In our first article we tried to show that it was not God's desire to build the temple. Starting with the verbatim word from Nathan to David as recorded both in 2 Samuel 7:5-16 and Chronicles 17:4-14 we show that the word was added to and altered until we put these words in God's mouth; "David, I'm so excited about you building Me a great, majestic, fixed structure, but you've shed too much blood as a warrior. So I'm going to get your son, Solomon to build it." We contend that was not God's heart at all. God's intent was to continue to develop the idea of His Spirit inhabiting an earthly tent or tabernacle through whom He could manifest His glory.
I can imagine someone coming across these essays and thinking "this is nuts!" We have all accepted David's and Solomon's account of the story for so long that I can see where this would be tought to accept, but it's such a wonderful illustration of how we take God's word and add our own druthers. When I started checking where exactly who said what, I got curious about Stephen's comments abou t the temple. In the book of Acts, Stephen is a man (tabernacle), unusually full of the Holy Spirit who though assigned to pass out food is out performing signs and wonders. A group of Jews are provoked to present to the Sanhedrin accusations that Stephen is predicting the ruin of the temple. Stephen is dragged in and defends himself with a lengthy soliliquy in which he recounts Israel's resisting both Joseph and Moses.Stephen says that David wanted to build God a house but Solomon built it. Then Stephen starts getting hot and paraphrases God's original word to Nathan; He doesn't live in houses built by human hands!!! And after making that statement asks the one that gets him killed;"you stiff-necked heathen, will you always resist the Holy Spirit?" They despised Joseph and Moses though God raised them as deliverers.They deified the temple and killed Jesus who was the real temple.Jesus was the end point of the concept God began developing after Adam disconnected himself from God; an earthly tabernacle yielded to and inhabited by the Spirit of God, Himself. Beginning with a very mild and well intentioned departure from God's intent (I've got this swell house- shouldn't I build one for Him?)Man followed his own predisposition to control God rather than yield to and seek Him until they kill Jesus(God with us) for speaking against the temple! Then they kill Stephen; a man full of the spirit of Him who the Jews profess to worship! Its amazing but the Bible is replete with examples beginning with Cain and Abel deciding what God should accsept as an offering. Just as God loved and aided the kings that sought Him, even though He didn't intend to have kings, so he embraced the temple and saw to it's rebuilding after the exile. I think the Holy Spirit directed me through this study to show me the importance of really seeking Him and being sensitive to the progressive nature of His self revelation; He's very different from us and we are always to be ready to chunk religious and traditional notions about him as He directs us. That the very leaders who were charged with caring for and publishing the revelation of the one true God would despise His only Son and kill Him should serve to warn us against complacency with what we know and listening to wrong voices.
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