“When the priests came out of the holy place … the cloud filled the house of the Lord, so that the priests could not continue ministering because of the cloud; for the glory of the Lord filled the house of the Lord.” – 1 Kings 8:10-11 (NKJV)*
This is the most important passage in the Bible re: Israel, the apex of her history as a nation. God brought Israel out of Egypt so his presence could rest on the Ark of the Covenant’s mercy seat in the most holy place, in the temple in Jerusalem (Exodus 3:8, 17; 1 Kings 8:1, 6-11). Natural foreshadows spiritual (1 Corinthians 15:46). Jesus’ death on the cross fulfilled the temple’s purpose, since God “does not dwell in temples made with hands” (Acts 7:48). Through the cross, God delivers people from their personal Egypts of sin and death so they can worship him “in spirit and in truth” (John 4:23-24). The veil over their hearts is removed (Matthew 27:51, 2 Corinthians 3:14-16).
This event, both natural and spiritual, prophesies the millennial reign of Christ. One day, “the mountain of the Lord’s house … shall be exalted above the hills and all nations shall flow to it” (Isaiah 2:2). They will say, “Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; he will teach us his ways and we shall walk in his paths” (2:3).
Worship is the eternal purpose of salvation. God wants to fill the temples of our bodies with his glory (1 Corinthians 6:19). Conversion must come first, since Jesus Christ in us is “the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27). A baptism of fire must come next (Matthew 3:11). Both events foreshadow heaven, whose temple is God and the Lamb (Revelation 21:22). Here we will worship Jesus forever. The Holy Spirit has been given to us as a promise (Ephesians 1:13-14).
So where are we on our spiritual journey? Have we left the Egypt of sin through repentance and conversion? Have we set our hearts toward the Promised Land and Jerusalem? Have we let God remove the veil over our hearts so that we can worship him in spirit and in truth? Do we hunger for heavenly fire? Do we desire to bring glory to God? Or are we wandering in the wilderness like unrepentant Israel, longing for Egypt? We must answer these questions as we examine our spiritual lives of worship. “No” answers signify trouble.
Are we hungry for the deep things of God? We receive as much of him as we want. Some worship services satisfy our souls. Many times, they don’t. I love attending church on Sunday morning. There is no place I would rather be. I still recharge my worship battery every day by listening to Christian music on Spotify, YouTube, and personal CDs. If we have little of God in our lives and Sunday worship is more than enough each week, then our spiritual appetites are craving this world rather than heaven. Worship in church is just a foretaste of heaven. If we worship God little down here, then heaven will be a rude awakening.
The purpose of salvation in Jesus Christ is worship. If we’re not worshipping God in spirit and in truth each day, let us repent of our worldliness and sin and then turn to Jesus.
* All Scripture verses are NKJV, unless otherwise noted.