I. Love for the Presence of the Lord (Psalm 26:8)
“Lord, I have loved the habitation of thy house, and the place where thine honour (or glory) dwelleth”
“One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to enquire in his temple. For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me up upon a rock.”
David wanted to dwell in the place where the Lord’s honor was maintained.
This concept is different from the house that David speaks of in the 23rd Psalm, where he describes the end of his journey saying, “I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever” (vs. 6b). Above, it is the place where the Lord’s presence was found in this scene, and where he could learn more of the beauty of the Lord.
Do we prize the presence of the Lord more than any gain we could have in this life? Many things come in that break our communion such that we cannot enjoy the presence of the Lord.
II. Hezekiah’s First Concern – To Repair the Doors of the Lord’s House
It was the place where he knew the honor of the Lord dwelt.
Now, the house of the Lord in our day is not the same kind of house such as was seen in Hezekiah’s day, which was made of costly stones and pure gold. There the Lord had placed His name — and many came there as it was the center for worship for the people of God.
The testimony there at Jerusalem had been maintained; however, the Lord in His rejection walked out of that house (temple) and He said, “Behold, your house is left unto you desolate. For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord” (Matthew 23:38-39). That house and place were then disowned. It was no longer His center for His people.
Today, there is a different house. Paul wrote to Timothy saying, “But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth” (1 Tim. 3:15).
The Church of the Living God, was called by Paul, the House of God. How was this house built? Peter tells us in 1 Peter 2:4-5: “To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious, Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.” Believers then are the “living stones” built up in this spiritual house.
The purpose of this house? For the holy priesthood! The living stones are also holy priests, and they offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ!
III. Hezekiah, and a Day of Ruin
God’s people, now as then, are all scattered. Whatever God has ever committed to man, he has made a failure of it as God’s steward. And there is a mixture when it comes to this thought of worship. We ought to be in subjection to the Word of God with our whole heart.
But God has a provision for His people, even when the testimony is in sad ruins.
Hebrews 13:12: “Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate. Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach. For here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come.“
- “Without the gate” – Outside of Jerusalem and the religion (traditions) of men for which that place stood – Outside of the temple, the priesthood, and religious ritualism.
- “The camp” – It was then Judaism. The Jews continued in the synagogues and in the temple. The Lord called believers outside of that sphere of things. The system that man had organized of his own was to be considered “the camp.”
The gathering center had to be that ONE with Whom the book of Hebrews starts. That place where He is “in the midst”, would then be a separated place “without the camp” of organized religious systems. It would be a place of reproach (Heb. 13:13). We take no other name but that worthy name of Jesus.
Matthew 18:20: “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.”
- The 16th chapter is the first mention of the church in Matthew. The second mention is here in the 18th chapter.
- In order to enjoy the privileges of the house of God, and to be a true worshipper, exercising our holy priesthood, sending up spiritual sacrifices to God by Jesus Christ — you can have the smallest plurality, only “two or three” gathered together to the Lord’s precious name.
For further listening on connected truth concerning the Temple, click here