In 1 Kings 8 Solomon brings the Ark of the Covenant into the now-complete Temple. Then he gives a prayer of dedication in honor of this momentous occasion. The presence of the Lord would now reside in the Temple. This was a historic moment for the Israelites and everyone there would have known it. Especially Solomon.
But then Solomon starts to pray. And he utters these words, “But will God indeed dwell on the earth? Behold, heaven and the highest heaven cannot contain you; how much less this house that I have built!”
Solomon understood the greatness of his God and he admits the inadequacies of his own hands. The Temple was an architectural masterpiece. Solomon could have thought himself a genius for constructing such a building. He could have thought himself as one of the greatest Kings ever to walk the earth as he built the structure the Lord would reside in.
But he doesn’t. He knows his little Temple could never contain his grand God. He knows his sinful hands could not erect a home big enough for the Lord.
And yet, the Lord chose to dwell among them in this fashion.
I think of Jesus being born into flesh. He became a child. Helpless and humble. But his mother and father could touch Him. They could hug Him. His disciples could sit at His feet and learn. He became flesh, fully human and fully God.
He chose to dwell among us this way. Even though His grandness surpasses all of our understanding. Even though He holds all things together, and with His words creates and calms. He chose to become bound by skin, so that He could not only have compassion on us, but be empathic to our struggle. So He could bare our sin and die.
He is that good. That grand. No temple can contain Him. But He will always reside with us.