“But will God in very deed dwell with men on the earth? behold, heaven and the heaven of heavens cannot contain thee; how much less this house which I have built!”
II Chronicles 6:18
Under Solomon’s reign, the temple had been completed. The furniture, including the ark of the covenant, had been placed in the temple. Our text is a portion of the prayer that Solomon prayed at the dedication of the temple. His specific concern and question was, “will God in very deed dwell with men on the earth?” He was particularly interested in God’s presence being manifested in the temple, for the next phrase included these words: “the heaven of heavens cannot contain thee; how much less this house which I have built!”
God had manifested His glory in the tabernacle Moses built, and Solomon desired that God would also meet with His people in the temple. Solomon’s question brings to mind the great truth of God’s presence with us. In response to his inquiry, we know the answer is “yes.” God will “in very deed dwell with men on the earth.” From the very beginning, God has chosen to abide with His people. Adam walked with God, as did Noah, Enoch, Abraham, Moses, and many others. As a matter of fact, God so desired fellowship with man, that He, in Himself, removed the thing that separates us from Him.
It was sin that separated Adam from fellowship with his Creator, and it is sin that continues to come between our loving Heavenly Father and us. Because He so desires fellowship with His creation, Jesus took our sins on His own body on the tree that we might be forgiven and be able to walk with our holy God. The only way that sinners can dwell with an infinitely holy God is for our sins to be completely washed clean, which is only possible through the blood of Jesus Christ.
God does indeed dwell with His children. As a matter of fact, He indwells us by His Spirit. He promises to be with us always. Wherever we go, He is with us. One day, we will be with Him in Heaven. Also, just as God made Himself known in the tabernacle and temple in the Old Testament, He dwells “with men on the earth” in His church. His presence is committed to the assembly of His true churches. He promised, regarding His church, which the Bible calls the house of God, that when we are gathered together, He would be in our midst.