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April 14 Today’s Reading: 1 Kings 7-8
“Will God indeed dwell on the earth?”
1 Kings 8:27
493 years after the children of Israel came out of the land of Egypt, and 17 years after his father David had gone to Glory, Solomon finished building the temple in Zion. It took him seven years to build it. Then, when the temple was finished and the Ark of the Covenant had been brought into the most holy place, the Lord God condescended to come into the temple Solomon had built. And the glory of the Lord filled the house of the Lord!
Then Solomon extolled the Lord God as the only true and living God (1 Kings 8:22-23). He declared that there is no God but our God, none beside him, none like him, none to be compared to him in his nature or in his works. He is the supreme sovereign of the universe, the covenant keeping God of his people, merciful, gracious and good, and faithful and true, fulfilling all his promises to all his people!
God Came Down
Yet, this great and glorious God, who inhabits eternity, condescended to come into the temple and to dwell in the midst of his people upon the earth! To Solomon this was a matter of utter astonishment (vv. 26-27). Solomon was utterly astonished at the goodness of God in coming to dwell upon the earth. — “Will God indeed dwell on the earth?” This is not an expression of doubt or unbelief, but an expression of utter amazement!
Will God, who dwells on high, who humbles himself to look upon things in heaven and stoops to consider things upon the earth, will this great and glorious God condescend to dwell with men upon the earth? That is utterly astonishing! But this display of our God’s great condescending grace foreshadowed something indescribably greater. It foreshadowed and typified the incarnation of God the Son for the accomplishment of our redemption and everlasting salvation.
“Will God” the Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, “dwell on the earth?” Indeed, he has and he does. This is marvelous in our eyes! This is astonishing indeed (2 Corinthians 8:9). Jesus Christ is God; yet, he tabernacled upon the earth in our nature (John 1:1, 14). Moses’ tabernacle was a type of Christ’s human nature. His humanity is “the true tabernacle which the Lord pitched, and not man” (Hebrews 8:2). The temple which Solomon built, into which God came and dwelt, was also a type of our Savior’s human nature. He said, “Destroy this temple (referring to his body) and in three days I will raise it up” (John 2:19). Christ came into this world to fulfill the covenant he made with the Father on our behalf before the world began (Hebrews 10:5-17).
The wonder of the incarnation only increases as we contemplate it. Once the Lord Jesus obtained eternal redemption for us, he entered into heaven in our flesh. And now, though he has gone to heaven to make intercession for us, our Lord still dwells upon the earth. He who is God our Savior is the infinite God, the incarnate God, and the indwelling God. Particularly, the Lord God, in the person of and by the Spirit of Christ, dwells in the hearts of all true believers (John 14:18). The Father comes and makes his abode with us (2 Corinthians 6:16). The Spirit comes and dwells as our Comforter (John 14:26). The Son dwells in our hearts by faith (Ephesians 3:17).
Imagine that! What an astonishing fact this is: — The Lord Jesus Christ dwells and lives in his saints upon the earth! He dwells not in our heads only, not in our lips only, but in our hearts. He dwells where sin dwells, in our hearts! He dwells where he is often slighted, in our hearts (Song of Solomon 5). He dwells where his Holy Spirit is often grieved, in our hearts! Our God, the Lord Jesus Christ, dwells in us permanently! No wonder Solomon spoke with such astonishment. — “Will God indeed dwell on the earth?” Child of God, take this thought with you throughout the day, — God’s saints are the dwelling place of God’s Son.