I recently heard a gospel presentation titled Back to God’s Village. It is the story of a powerful God who created all things and who has authority over all things. He graciously created man and woman in His image and would walk in the garden with them. But they disobeyed God and their relationship was fractured. They could no longer live in God’s village.
But hope is not lost. God chooses to leave his village and go and be with His people, the very ones who had rejected Him. It is like a gazillionaire who, rather than staying in his comfort and riches, chooses instead to live in a dumpster.
God has always longed to be with his people and He has always been the one to make a way for that to happen. In His kindness, He made a covenant with David that his son, Solomon, would one day build a house for Him. The God of the universe would come to dwell among His people!
I Kings 8 describes this reality as the priests bring the ark of the Lord into the temple. The priests could not minister in the temple, for the glory of the Lord filled the house. Solomon says in vs 12, “The LORD has said that he would dwell in thick darkness. I have indeed built you an exalted house, a place for you to dwell in forever.”
God’s very presence fills the temple. He manifests His glory among his people and decrees that his “name shall be there” (vs 29). God’s presence among His people was a fulfillment of His promise to His people, namely to David, the representative of the people, that Solomon would build the temple.
From the garden of Eden, to the “house” in I Kings, all the way through to Revelation, we see God’s presence associated with the temple. In fact, the New Testament tell us that our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit.
God longs to dwell with His people. He longs to make his glory known among us and to give us His name, changing and shaping our identity.
This Christmas season, remember that the coming of Jesus in bodily form was an incarnation of the God who dwells among us. He has indeed left His village to come and rescue us and to bring us to His dwelling place. Let us rejoice in the One who is with us!