Tuesday, February 28, 2006

The whim of God and all of his Solomon's

Recently I've come more and more to the conclusion that God likes to blow away my idols for me. The OT is so instructive in this: Build Him a Temple, say He lives on a mountain, try to name Him, you're just setting yourself up for the fall. God will be present when he will be present. He gave to his priests insane rules - sacrifice this chicken like this and no entering this space without a metallic vestment... it's just crazy. God's craziness comforts me, it reminds me that I don't know so much afterall. I want to quantify and qualify, but God will not be trapped. I try to make myself a Temple for God, but of course being the man I am, I cannot help but begin to think that my temple will be his sole and primary dwelling place. Solomon tried this as well, and like Solomon I "build a house for God, and my own house next to it, slightly larger". But God will not be housed by the Wise Solomon, and he will not be housed by me either. As CS Lewis put it so wonderfully "He is not a tame Lion."

I find a great kinship with the figure of Solomon. My life is a blessing and curse of my own design. At times I think I show a great deal of insight and wisdom, but then I come to the conclusion that it was my own, and my fall and those around me is assured. I desire the foreign idols and the foreign women, but God sees the idolatry in my heart, even when it is hidden from the world. He bids me keep his ways, and he will establish my house forever, but I am not David, I have trouble repenting, and I cannot do it. The raging storm will cram the scroll down the mouth of another Ezekiel and I will be humbled yet again. My Temple will be destroyed, and I will bemoan what I have lost concluding that All is vanity, but realizing that there is Nothing New Under The Sun - myself included.

"Thus says the Lord GOD: Behold, I will take the people of Israel from the nations among which they have gone, and will gather them from all sides, and bring them to their own land; and I will make them one nation in the land, upon the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king over them all; and they shall be no longer two nations, and no longer divided into two kingdoms. They shall not defile themselves any more with their idols and their detestable things, or with any of their transgressions; but I will save them from all the backslidings in which they have sinned, and will cleanse them; and they shall be my people, and I will be their God. "My servant David shall be king over them; and they shall all have one shepherd. They shall follow my ordinances and be careful to observe my statutes. They shall dwell in the land where your fathers dwelt that I gave to my servant Jacob; they and their children and their children's children shall dwell there for ever; and David my servant shall be their prince for ever. I will make a covenant of peace with them; it shall be an everlasting covenant with them; and I will bless them and multiply them, and will set my sanctuary in the midst of them for evermore. My dwelling place shall be with them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Then the nations will know that I the LORD sanctify Israel, when my sanctuary is in the midst of them for evermore."

- Ezekiel 37.21-28


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