The Ark Brought into the Temple

Key Verse: “I have surely built You a lofty house, A place for Your dwelling forever.”
—I Kings 8:13, New American Standard Bible

Selected Scripture:
I Kings 8:1-13

OUR KEY VERSE EXTOLS the heart-felt sense of privilege that Solomon experienced at the honor of building a house for the Lord, referring to it as “a lofty house.” In this phrase, we are reminded of these words from the Book of Isaiah: “For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.” (Isa. 57:15) The God of Israel, high and lofty though he be, dwelt in the new temple through his shekinah [“that which dwells”] glory which shone on the mercy seat of the Ark of the Covenant.

God now makes his dwelling within us. Paul teaches this, saying, “Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?” (I Cor. 3:16, NASB) Again he writes, “You are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit.”—Eph. 2:19-22, NASB

By God’s presence in our hearts, we are changed “from glory to glory.” (II Cor. 3:18) “For we are the temple of the living God; just as God said, I will dwell in them and walk among them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Therefore, come out from their midst and be separate, says the Lord. And do not touch what is unclean; and I will welcome you. And I will be a father to you, And you shall be sons and daughters to Me, Says the Lord Almighty.”—II Cor. 6:16-18, NASB

Through the work of God’s Holy Spirit we are sanctified. As such we seek to honor him each day by subjecting each thought, word and action to his divine will. Though we fail to attain his standards of perfection, by faith he forgives us and grants us grace to make up for our deficiencies. It is true that “God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God.”—Eph. 2:4-8, NASB

God’s “throne of grace” is a place where we today may experience his “shekinah” glory. “Let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” (Heb. 4:16, NASB) Bible commentators have observed that in the phrase “throne of grace,” Paul was making reference to the spiritual realization of the ark’s mercy seat, or propitiatory. (Rom. 3:25) Let us daily rejoice in the blessing of bringing the “ark” of God’s presence into the temple of our body.