Written by Andy East
How many conversations have you heard about building the house of God?
What does “house” mean anyway? Ultimately, it must be a place for God to dwell. A place of his presence. (Note Jacob’s response to a dream at Gen 28 v 16 & 17. First he says that God is there, and then he says that the place is God’s house)
God does not seem to be speaking about a physical house. After all, one already existed, built over 200 years earlier by Solomon. However, what Solomon said prior to the start of the physical work holds an important key for us today as we consider what it means to “build the house not made with hands”.
Let’s go back a bit. In the period leading up to Solomon’s work (about 966 BC), there had certainly been trouble. Solomon’s father David always seemed to be at war with someone or other and even Solomon had to deal with some treachery from within his own family.
But, a few years into his reign, Solomon eventually made this statement:
“You know how my Father David could not build a house for the name of the Lord his God because of the wars which were fought against him on every side, until the Lord put his foes under the soles of his feet.
But now the Lord my God has given me rest on every side; there is neither adversary nor evil occurrence.
And, behold, I propose to build a house for the name of the Lord my God….”
(I Kings 5 v 4, emphasis mine)
What struck me here was the state of the unhealed heart – and how in many areas there are “wars on every side”. Self –protection, unforgiveness, self blame, and ultimately war with the accuser. This is the heart that has little space to build the house, because all energies are spent. Contrast this with how much peace there is when the heart submits itself to his grace and restoration.
It just seems that our ability to build the spiritual house greatly increases when all those wars of unforgiveness, and evil occurrences of reaping from judgements largely come to an end.
Building during war is difficult, but healing leads to peace. Peace, in turn, provides the environment in which to build.