God’s Presence Fills the Temple

Open Your Bible

1 Kings 8:1-13, 1 Kings 8:22-53, 2 Chronicles 7:1-3, Revelation 11:19

Glory is an elusive term, isn’t it? Meant to express majesty, it can mean many different things. When I think of glory, I think of my neck tipped back while taking in a waterfall too high to fit in one gaze. Eyes squinting to capture the wild shimmering of sunlight coming off of a lake that’s between alpine mountains, and I am awe-stricken. Soft at the knees, breathing slowed. The goosebumps sliding down my arms give away what my tears confirm: I am utterly overtaken by something in the living world—the world I inhabit—whose grandeur exceeds comprehension. All I can do is bask in beauty, which almost hurts to behold. The beauty is too lavish for words. 

These moments, far bigger than my small human frame, disrupted my attention and left a mark. I felt small, overwhelmed even, and yet safe as I took in what kept altering me. This same feeling is found in our reading today. All the priests were doing came to a halt as God’s otherworldly presence filled and shrouded every corner of a man-made space, a space that could not contain Him. Arms raised, King Solomon prayed to God, and His glory was made palpable in the temple at that moment. God was present in heaven and on earth, and the people present could only worship the glory they encountered.

God’s character is too splendid to process in merely human terms. When I grasp a glimpse, I am left undone. His glory is His essence, that is, His never-changing, ever-present majesty interacting with us, welcoming us to Himself. His intent to reside with us is too lofty a reality for human comprehension, His splendor is too great for words. While we go through highs and lows or shifts in the ground we stand on, God always is. Sometimes we stumble as we try to face life’s twists and turns, but His presence is ongoing and unchanging. 

We are removed from Solomon’s prayer by a few millennia, but we’re only a breath away from the God whose presence filled that temple. I feel small but also safe with the God who is present and unchanging with a glory that is so overwhelming. How do we remain the same in light of such a reality? We can’t. And what a relief it is that as we are also called to be a temple where He chooses to dwell.

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42 thoughts on "God’s Presence Fills the Temple"

  1. Tamya Hurry says:


  2. Jade Gaines says:

    Wow, Solomon’s prayer is definitely a testament! I am so blessed grateful to receive a love that I don’t deserve but also his dwelling place. Our sacred space and secret place is my personal heaven.

  3. Chanais Martinez says:

    Glory to God!!! What an honor that we are able to dwell with Him and feel His presence with us. It’s crazy to comprehend when you think of All He IS.

  4. Sophia Ayres says:

    ”I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.“
    ‭‭Romans‬ ‭12‬:‭1‬ ‭ESV‬‬

  5. Char Hight says:

    The reminder that everyone sins. Too often as a whole we forget this. Compassion is needed for all. ❤️

  6. Karen Breaux says: