“But will God indeed dwell with man on the earth? Behold, heaven and the highest heaven cannot contain you, how much less this house that I have built!” 2 Chronicles 6:18
In my quiet time one morning recently, I came across this verse. It’s part of a larger passage in which King Solomon is dedicating the temple he had just finishing building for the Lord. In my head, whether this is correct or not, I read King Solomon’s words like this, “I’m praying all these things to you God, but will you really dwell with man on this earth? I mean, seriously, God, heaven, or really any place, cannot contain you. So I’m not sure this house that I have built will contain you either!” I don’t think Solomon was saying that to God with doubt as much as with surprise and bewilderment that God would want to dwell among man in this temple that he had built. He was genuinely astonished that God would would desire to do such a thing.
As I read this text, I immediately think of the ultimate way that God came to dwell with man on the earth. In the birth of His Son Jesus. God in the flesh. Honestly, I might have missed the significance of Solomon’s words if I had not read this passage around Christmastime. Solomon was trying to wrap his mind around God coming to dwell among man in this earthly temple. How absolutely mind-blowing to Solomon then would the idea have been of God coming to dwell among man not in a temple but wrapped in flesh? Even more so, Jesus leaving Heaven to be born as a baby, not as this big, mighty, powerful king. What would Solomon have said then? “But seriously, God, You are going to send your own Son to this earth as a baby? You are so mighty and wonderful, but Your Son will come wrapped in flesh as a vulnerable, tiny baby?” I think Solomon would have been utterly bewildered at the thought. And yet, we know that Jesus did exactly that. We know that He did come to dwell among us as Emmanuel, God with us. So, then, are we bewildered by this? That God would send His Son to live among man, to be one of us? Is that reality something that we’re so used to hearing that it’s lost on us? Oh, I wish I could say that it’s never lost on me, but that would be a lie. I’ve gotten comfortable with this truth when in actuality it should shake me up to my core and lead me into humble worship of the One who would risk everything to dwell among His creation.
Lord, let that sit with me today. Let the truth that You sent Your own Son, Jesus, to dwell among us some 2,000 years ago bewilder me. Let it astonish me that out of Your steadfast love You sent our Rescuer to dwell with us. Your goodness and Your love are too wonderful for me to comprehend.
Pressing on in faith, Jennifer