History reflects a God who deeply longs to be with His people.
From the beginning of time, God’s desire and design is to dwell in and amongst His creation. God’s dream manifests a world of perfect harmony—a world where God is the natural habitat of humanity.
Yet we know the story all too well: man and woman rejected God and chose their own path, resulting in alienation, brokenness, and death. God walked in the cool of the garden and called out to a hiding Adam, “Adam, where are you?”
Even though Adam shunned his Maker, God promised to send a rescue. The enemy would eventually be defeated and God would fully be with His people once again: “The offspring of a woman will crush the head of the serpent” (Genesis 3:15).
From that moment on, history reflects a God who deeply and passionately longs to be with His people. One of the ways He does this is through the Temple. The Temple takes many forms and these forms profoundly inform our evangelism.
The first Temple was built by Solomon and completed in 939 BC. The Temple housed the Ark of the Covenant (which was the structure carrying the presence of God and the Ten Commandments through the wilderness and into the Promised Land). The Temple was also the place where priests offered blood sacrifices in atonement for the sins of the people of Israel. Time and again, the Israelites turned away from God but they could be cleansed from their iniquities at the altar of the Temple through animal sacrifice.
The Temple in Jerusalem was the central place of worship and the place where God could be encountered. The Lord said:
Now set your heart and your soul to seek the LORD your God; arise, therefore, and build the sanctuary of the LORD God, so that you may bring the ark of the covenant of the LORD and the …