Cannot Contain You
1 Kings 8:27 (ESV) – But will God indeed dwell on the earth? Behold, heaven and the highest heaven cannot contain you; how much less this house that I have built!
There are realities about God that blow our minds. The Triune nature of the Godhead is one example. Our God is one Being, but Three Persons: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Each person in the Godhead is distinct from the others. They don’t morph back and forth from each other. They are eternally and always each Person, yet as Three Persons, they are One Being. This is what the Scriptures teach us. It is far from a contradiction, but it is profoundly difficult to wrap your head around.
Our passage today contains another incredible reality. Solomon prays for the Temple that he constructed. This is a big day for Israel. The Temple is the place where God’s presence will dwell and God’s people will worship. They will offer sacrifices there, pray, and remember the call and promise to their father Abraham (Genesis 12). But Solomon’s prayer points to an incredible truth. He says, “But will God indeed dwell on the earth? Behold, heaven and the highest heaven cannot contain you; how much less this house that I have built!”
Solomon recognizes that God’s immensity means He is not actually contained in a Temple. In fact, He is not even contained in the Heavens or on the Earth. He is so beyond the created universe that none of it in all of its vastness can contain Him. In fact, consider the size of the universe. It’s staggering.
The universe is like a drop
of water in the hand of God.
He is so much bigger and beyond the universe that He dwarfs it.
It doesn’t contain Him. He’s outside of it.
This truth is important to grasp. God is outside the system. He’s not a product of the system or inside of it. The framework to consider is: Creator and Created. If you drew a big circle on the board and it represented everything that exists in all the universe, that is the Created realm. But angels and demons, even heaven itself, belongs inside that circle. They are all created. Outside of that circle is God. Nothing in that circle could have existed apart from God creating it. But God is not contained in that circle. He can go in it. He can reveal Himself through it. But it doesn’t contain Him. It can’t. Solomon recognized this and voices it in his prayers. Praise the God who cannot be contained!
Reflection & Journal:
- Why does it matter that we have a comprehension of God’s immensity?
- What does Solomon’s prayer reveal about his knowledge of God?
- How does this devotion help you grasp the bigness of God? How does it provoke your devotion to God?
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