Lent Devotional: 2 Chronicles 6:18

by Jonathan Haefs

2 Chronicles 6:18
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!

I love looking at pictures of my kids.

Seeing how they have grown and changed over the years stirs up so many emotions. However, how foolish would it be to love pictures themselves in place of my children?! We all laugh at such an insane notion.

Pictures are not the point! No. They are meant to point beyond themselves to the reality, to the person we actually love.

In 2 Chronicles 6:18, King Solomon has finally completed the construction of Israel’s first temple, and in his prayer of dedication he recognizes the truth about pictures… “…heaven and the highest heaven cannot contain you, how much less this house that I have built!”

The temple could not contain God any more than a picture can contain my children. The temple was not the point… it was a pointer, not just to God, but the reality that God wants to dwell among his people!

Even though the temple could never contain God, his presence was revealed there in a special way (yes, the photograph analogy eventually breaks down), and the temple further revealed that sinful people could only approach God’s presence on the basis of sacrifice to atone for their sin.

All of this was pointing towards a larger coming reality that could never be “contained” in the temple.

It was all pointing to Jesus!

Jesus was and is God in the flesh… the living temple (John 2:18-22)! And he came to fulfill the heart of God to dwell amongst his people. He died as the perfect sacrifice to atone for our sin so that we might enjoy being with him forever!

And that is the ultimate reality to which the temple pointed! It was a picture that one day, the God who no house and not even the heavens can contain will be in our midst… fully and finally! We won’t need a temple, a pointer, because we will have the one to whom it pointed! We won’t need “pictures” anymore, for we will see his face!

Revelation 21:22, “…I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb.” Revelation 22:4, “They will see his face…”

I love looking at pictures of my kids, but nothing beats being with them.

I love that God has given us pictures of what our future with him looks like, but…

…nothing will beat finally being with him!

*All previous devotionals may be found at www.thejoyofglory.com
*The complete SVCC Lenten reading guide is available here.