God gets a permanent house

1 Kings 5:1–6:13

Before I graduated high school, I had only ever lived in two places. The blue house on 12th Street. And then when I was a freshmen, our family moved down the street to the house on Renaissance Drive. A pretty stable living situation.

And then, beginning that summer after graduation, I would pack up my things every summer and move. For the next 12 years. Every. Summer. I lived in four different states. Ten different zip codes. I lived in dorm rooms. Apartments. Shared a house. Lived with in-laws. Moved in with my parents. Twice. Grad school dorms. Duplex.

And then I finally bought a house.

Living like a nomad can take its toll, emotionally and psychologically. There’s something about being a permanent resident. About being intentionally present in a particularly place for the long haul. Owning a house does that.

And maybe there’s something to that in what’s going on here in Kings. We’re continuing a thread going back to 2 Samuel 7 when David first expressed intentions to build a temple (the Hebrew translates literally “house“) for God. And now Solomon begins with the business deals that will finally make it possible.

But maybe the thread goes back even farther than David. We’ve already talked about how Kings serves as the middle of the Great Story. Some of the most important words in Kings come here in today’s passage:

And I will dwell among the children of Israel and will not forsake my people Israel.

It’s the scenario in Eden at Creation. It’s the problem introduced by the Fall—God no longer dwells with humanity. It’s the plot that drives through the book of Exodus that concludes with construction of tabernacle, an elaborate tent, where God can live among the people once again, but with particular limitations.

And the tent was continuously on the move. All through the wandering in the wilderness. But no more. Solomon intends to construct a permanent house for God to live in the midst of the nation. No more moving.

Question: What’s the best place you’ve ever lived?


About peterjwhite

I am a pastor to college students in Tulsa, OK.
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