The House of God – Week of October 12, 2020

One thing I ask from the LORD, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple. For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his sacred tent and set me high upon a rock.

Psalm 27:4-5

King David, the author of Psalm 27, wanted to build the Temple. He wanted to build, quite literally, a house for God. But he was not able to build the house of God because he was a man of war and God didn’t want his conquests (godly though they were) to be associated with the building of his house of worship. Instead David’s son, Solomon, would build the Temple of the Lord. Yet thoughts of God’s house were never far from David’s mind. It’s not hard to imagine that he dreamed it, planned it, and even sketched it out.

David was not only concerned with the house of God and the worship of Israel. He also concerned himself with a royal palace and the patriotism this might engender in the people of Israel. So he built himself a palace that would have been very close to the palace of God, the Temple. Two houses in close proximity to each other but with two purposes. One was for worship, the other for national pride and strength. Guess which one David sings about in Psalm 27? Not the house of power he built for himself but the house of God.

David ultimately knew that the splendor of God’s grace was far better than the splendor of any earthly kingdom. David knew it in his heart, but it did not always show in his actions, as we know. We struggle with this too. It’s not just our castles, that is our homes, versus our churches, that is God’s house, but rather where we seek God.

Do we seek him in power or in suffering? Do we find him in majestic and glorious vistas or at the ugly cross? Do we encounter him by ourselves or in his house where his Word is read and preached and his meal served? David wrestled with that question and so do we.

We find God at the cross. And he is delivered to us in his Word, Meal, and Baptism. Here we see true love. This is the beauty of God’s Temple: a church made of forgiven sinners. This is God’s house: a place where all people are loved on account of Christ no matter what their background or track record. No, it is not the grandeur of King David’s Palace. It’s not even the grandeur Solomon’s Temple, long destroyed. It is the forgiveness of sinners.

This is when the house of God becomes a home. A safe place. A comforting place. A place of forgiveness and peace. This is ultimately what David meant as he, no doubt, compared his palace to the coming Temple. He was comparing this fleeting world to the safety of God’s loving protection. When we compare our worldly home to God’s house let’s see the loving forgiveness of God’s home as our greatest treasure.

Prayer: Holy Spirit, dwell in us with your Word so that we may always find comfort in the hands of a loving God and peace in his home. Amen.

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All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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