2 Chronicles 2:6 (ESV) — But who is able to build him a house, since heaven, even highest heaven, cannot contain him? Who am I to build a house for him, except as a place to make offerings before him?
“You can’t stop him. You can only hope to contain him!”
This was the statement used to describe Michael Jordan on the basketball court. The idea that you could stop him from scoring over the course of the game was a terrible strategy. You couldn’t do it. If your plan was to stop him, it was doomed to failure. Instead, the plan was to contain him. He will score his points, but the idea was to limit the other ways he might beat you. Make him pass the ball off more. Try to get him in foul trouble. Just contain him.
The passage we are looking at today reminds us that while you may be able to contain Michael Jordan, there is no containing God. Nothing can box Him in. He cannot be housed or confined. He can’t be captured or sequestered.
In Chronicles 2 we see that the building of the Temple, a house for God, was not something that could contain Him. His home is Heaven. The universe is His. A Temple built for the LORD is simply a dwelling place where He chooses to dwell in the presence of man. It is not a place where God is put behind the glass and gawked at as a zoo animal. It is a place where worship and offerings can be presented before Him, but He is bigger than and beyond the Temple.
The theological idea here is transcendence. God is transcendent. This means He is beyond all things. He is above us and beyond us in such measure that there is nothing that truly captures the fullness of His essence, power, or presence. This is why it is foolish for humanity to think we can impose restraints on God or demand anything of Him. Instead, we should let the transcendence of God humble us. We should let it leave us in awe that a God so great and uncontainable would stoop down to our level to know and love us. What a beautiful reminder today of what we have in Jesus.
Reflection & Journal:
- What are some examples of God’s transcendence?
- How does the transcendence of God produce worship in our hearts?
- What are some ways God’s transcendence helps us in our struggles and encourages us?
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