Daily Devotional


Inside the Temple of God

by Simon Whitton

Each of us are the temple of God, and the temple is intended to be a holy and beautiful place.  Filled not only with the pleasant aroma of incense and cedar wood, but as God's dwelling place on earth, the most important thing is that His house is filled with His presence.  Here is just a partial description of the temple king Solomon built for the Lord.

29 On the walls all around the temple, in both the inner and outer rooms, he carved cherubim, palm trees and open flowers.
30 He also covered the floors of both the inner and outer rooms of the temple with gold.
31 For the entrance of the inner sanctuary he made doors of olive wood with five-sided jambs.
32 And on the two olive wood doors he carved cherubim, palm trees and open flowers, and overlaid the cherubim and palm trees with beaten gold.
33 In the same way he made four-sided jambs of olive wood for the entrance to the main hall.
34 He also made two pine doors, each having two leaves that turned in sockets.
35 He carved cherubim, palm trees and open flowers on them and overlaid them with gold hammered evenly over the carvings.
36 And he built the inner courtyard of three courses of dressed stone and one course of trimmed cedar beams.

I Kings 6:29-36 (NIV)

What a wonderful description of the Lord's temple.  But let's contrast this with a vision of the temple that the prophet Ezekiel received:

6 And he said to me, "Son of man, do you see what they are doing-- the utterly detestable things the house of Israel is doing here, things that will drive me far from my sanctuary?  But you will see things that are even more detestable."
7 Then he brought me to the entrance to the court.  I looked, and I saw a hole in the wall.
8 He said to me, "Son of man, now dig into the wall." So I dug into the wall and saw a doorway there.
9 And he said to me, "Go in and see the wicked and detestable things they are doing here."
10 So I went in and looked, and I saw portrayed all over the walls all kinds of crawling things and detestable animals and all the idols of the house of Israel.
...
12 He said to me, "Son of man, have you seen what the elders of the house of Israel are doing in the darkness, each at the shrine of his own idol?  They say, 'The LORD does not see us; the LORD has forsaken the land.'"

Ezekiel 8:6-10,12 (NIV)

This vision shows how the sins of the people of God desecrate the temple.  The situation was so detestable the Lord says they will "drive me far from my sanctuary".

Nehemiah may well have been familiar with Ezekiel's vision, of more than a century earlier, when he recorded an incident where a priest was put in charge of the storerooms of the house of our God.  It seems the priest let a friend use one of the temple rooms to store his own personal items:

7 Here I learned about the evil thing Eliashib had done in providing Tobiah a room in the courts of the house of God.
8 I was greatly displeased and threw all Tobiah's household goods out of the room.
9 I gave orders to purify the rooms, and then I put back into them the equipment of the house of God, with the grain offerings and the incense.

Nehemiah 13:7b-9 (NIV)

Nehemiah took swift action and purified the temple.  Let's remember that we have been put in charge of our hearts, the house of our God, and every room in our heart belongs to Him and is for His use.

Take some time and search your heart.  If you feel that there is any area of His temple that may have been desecrated or used for your own purposes, confess this to the Lord.  Ask Him to purify His temple by the blood of the Lamb, to restore it to its intended glory, and to fill it with His presence.


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