In both ancient and modern civilisations the size and splendour of a deity’s temple was a powerful indicator of how highly the worshippers thought of their god. The enormous, ornate and richly decorated Christian cathedrals dotted around our own country are testimony to that way of thinking.
David’s wish to build a marvellous temple for the Lord came out of a desire to glorify God, and to proclaim the greatness of God throughout the nations. All the people around would see the magnificent temple and understand that a truly magnificent God was worshipped there.
Although David would never actually get the build the temple – that honour would fall to his son – he vowed not to rest himself until he found a resting place fit for the Ark of the Covenant and for God himself. And the Lord honoured David for this desire, promising to place David’s descendents on the throne.
Many of us will worship God this week in buildings that are far from magnificent. For us, the dwelling place of God is not in a building, however magnificent, but in the body of Christ – the people who together form the body of believers. This is the temple of the Holy Spirit.
We many no longer consider it important to build magnificent buildings to glorify God, but it is still important, perhaps more than ever, that we build a magnificent church – a magnificent body of believers – as a witness to all around of the glory of our God.
May we, like David, not rest until we have made our fellowships a fit dwelling for the Mighty One.
Meditation verse: Arise, Lord, and come to your resting place, you and the ark of your might. May your priests be clothed with your righteousness; may your faithful people sing for joy.