2 Chronicles 5:1-6:11; Romans 7:5-13; Psalms 18:1-3; Proverbs 8:12-13
OT: “The priests brought the ark of the Lord’s covenant to its place, into the inner sanctuary of the temple, to the most holy place, beneath the wings of the cherubim… The trumpeters and singers joined together to praise and thank the Lord with one voice. They raised their voices, accompanied by trumpets, cymbals, and musical instruments, in praise to the Lord: For he is good; his faithful love endures forever. The temple, the Lord’s temple, was filled with a cloud. And because of the cloud, the priests were not able to continue ministering, for the glory of the Lord filled God’s temple.” (2 Chronicles 5:7, 13-14 CSB)
Once all of the construction for the temple was complete, Solomon had the priests of the Lord carry the Ark of the Covenant into the temple and set it in its place behind the veil in the most holy place. Once the priests exited the most holy place, the Levite singers and instrumentalists began lifting up a unified song of praise to the Lord God. In their song, everyone declared together that God is good – and that His checed, His zealous mercy… His goodness… his faithful, never-ending covenantal love endures forever. As everyone joined together in united praise to God, His throne was established in their praises, His presence was made manifest, and His overwhelming glory filled the temple. The God of the universe responded to their praise and made His habitation with His people. The manifested glory of God’s holiness was so overwhelming that the consecrated priests and Levites could no longer minister and were driven outside the temple. What a powerful picture!
An even more powerful picture is when the Lord similarly fills up the life of a person who consecrates and yields himself to the Lord through faith. Just as the glory of God filled and inhabited the temple, God now desires to fill and inhabit lives that are His through faith in Christ. The redeemed and righteous people of God are the temple of the Holy Spirit – and if we are willing, Jesus Christ will baptize us with and immerse us fully in the Holy Spirit and make us holy as He is holy, fully equipped to do all that He has called us to do.
NT: “For when we were in the flesh, the sinful passions aroused through the law were working in us to bear fruit for death. But now we have been released from the law, since we have died to what held us, so that we may serve in the newness of the Spirit and not in the old letter of the law. What should we say then? Is the law sin? Absolutely not! But I would not have known sin if it were not for the law. For example, I would not have known what it is to covet if the law had not said, Do not covet. And sin, seizing an opportunity through the commandment, produced in me coveting of every kind. For apart from the law sin is dead… So then, the law is holy, and the commandment is holy and just and good. Therefore, did what is good become death to me? Absolutely not! But sin, in order to be recognized as sin, was producing death in me through what is good, so that through the commandment, sin might become sinful beyond measure.” (Romans 7:5-8, 12-13 CSB)
A consistent trait of humanity is that we are likely to do what we are focusing on. Even if our focus is to not do something, our focus is still on that thing we don’t want to do – and so we end up doing it. A person who has not been freed from sin through faith in Christ has no inward compass to lead them to righteousness. The law was given to provide that compass that declared, “this is right and this is wrong.” In showing us what is wrong, the Law not only highlighted our deficiencies, but caused us to focus on our sin and the righteousness we did not have. The Law is holy and good, but it has no ability to make us righteous. All it can do is show us how unrighteous we really are… and in focusing on our unrighteousness, we become all the more unrighteous. When we place our faith on Christ and become united with Him in His crucifixion, our sinful self is killed and we are released from the requirements of the Law. When we place our faith on Christ and His resurrection, we are declared righteous and given a new sin-free life that is now consecrated and prepared for the indwelling glory of God through the Holy Spirit. Through the indwelling Holy Spirit, we are able to do righteously and live righteously because 1) we are no longer fixated on our sinfulness under the law and 2) we are empowered and made able to do and be good by His grace.