Where is God’s house?
I was glad when they said to me, “Let’s go to God’s house!”Psalm 122:1 [WEB]
This verse is one of the first passages of scripture I memorized as a child. I remember the watercolor posters showing how beautiful the Temple in Jerusalem was. My Sunday School teacher talked about how we should be quiet and polite in church because God spoke to us there. Those are good memories.
There’s a problem, though. When David talked about “God’s house,” he could not have been talking about the Temple. Solomon, David’s son, built the Temple after David’s death. What, then, was the “house?”
We know that David set up a tabernacle for the Ark of the Covenant in Jerusalem [2 Samuel 6]. So, technically, there was no house, only a tent. To what was David referring? David’s strong desire was to build a temple, but God denied his request.
What if David imaged a great temple in his heart and mind so strongly that his dream was a reality? Going to God’s house is a spiritual experience, not a geographic one. The joy of anticipating an encounter with God can be satisfied wherever we are.
This idea became a reality for me when my wife and I were finally able to go back to church for the first time in months due to the pandemic. Sitting in the worship center waiting for the service to start was a profound and stirring experience. Psalm 122:1 came to mind while I sat there.
I was physically in God’s house, but I was also overwhelmed with the realization that God’s house isn’t necessarily a place. Fast forward to the last night Jesus spent with his disciples before we was crucified.
If a man loves me, he will keep my word. My Father will love him, and we will come to him, and make our home with him.John 14:23 [WEB]
Jesus told us that Yahweh’s house is within us, not in a building. We can “go to God’s house” every time we pray, whenever the Holy Spirit inspires us, or when we experience God’s miracles in whatever form they take.
Let’s go to Yahweh’s house and be happy… wherever that house may be.
J. Brent Eaton