As I opened the Word this morning the Lord took me to these passages about David and Solomon and the fulfilled promise about the building of the temple for the Lord. My mindset was mostly on how faithful God is with His promises. He is a covenant God who always follows through with what He promises.
When I finished reading this I was reminded even more about practicing the Presence of God. That was the purpose of why David and Solomon wanted to build this temple - a place for God to remain with them - a place where they could enjoy His Presence through prayer.
They understood clearly that they could not "contain" God in a building - one made of human hands no matter how grand and how beautiful it was. Yet God, in His mercy agreed to dwell there because of what it meant to them. If you read all of chapters 6 & 7 you will find the conditions (of obedience) laid down for this - but all in all it was (once again) God's mercy and grace that allowed Him to dwell there.
2 Chronicles 6:12,14,16-20
Solomon's Prayer of Dedication
12 Then Solomon stood before the altar of the LORD in front of the whole assembly of Israel and spread out his hands. 14 He said: "O LORD, God of Israel, there is no God like You in heaven or on earth—You who keep Your covenant of love with Your servants who continue wholeheartedly in Your way. 15 You have kept Your promise to Your servant David my father; with Your mouth You have promised and with Your hand You have fulfilled it—as it is today. 16 "Now LORD, God of Israel, keep for Your servant David my father the promises You made to him when You said, 'You shall never fail to have a man to sit before me on the throne of Israel, if only Your sons are careful in all they do to walk before me according to my law, as You have done.' 17 And now, O LORD, God of Israel, let Your Word that You promised Your servant David come true.
18 "But will God really dwell on earth with men? The heavens, even the highest heavens, cannot contain you. How much less this temple I have built! 19 Yet give attention to your servant's prayer and his plea for mercy, O LORD my God. Hear the cry and the prayer that Your servant is praying in Your presence. 20 May Your eyes be open toward this temple day and night, this place of which You said You would put Your Name there. May You hear the prayer Your servant prays toward this place. [emphasis mine]
2 Chronicles 6:41-42
40 "Now, my God, may Your eyes be open and Your ears attentive to the prayers offered in this place. 41 "Now arise, O LORD God, and come to Your resting place, You and the ark of Your might. May Your priests, O LORD God, be clothed with salvation, may Your saints rejoice in Your goodness.
42 O LORD God, do not reject Your anointed one. Remember the great love promised to David Your servant."
2 Chronicles 7:12, 15-16
12 the LORD appeared to him at night and said: "I have heard your prayer and have chosen this place for Myself as a temple for sacrifices. 15 Now My eyes will be open and My ears attentive to the prayers offered in this place. 16 I have chosen and consecrated this temple so that My Name may be there forever. My eyes and My heart will always be there.
A promise made - a promise kept! God did His part and the results were blessings for those who kept His decrees and followed in His ways. The bonus to it all was the Presence of God Himself.
As we live in the New Testament church age we have the Holy Spirit of God living within our own hearts where He has access to us and more importantly, we have complete and daily access to Him - to the Presence of a Holy God. How awesome is that?
Do we practice the Presence of God? Or do we take that for granted every day? This OT passage should remind us the lengths and depths that David and Solomon went through to get that very thing. It should also remind us of how much God wanted to grant it to them (and to us).
May His Grace and Mercy - through His very Presence - bless your life today!