by Bible League International
Verse of the Day and Devotion
“But will God indeed dwell with man on the earth? Behold, heaven and the highest heaven cannot contain you, how much less this house that I have built!” – II Chronicles 6:18 ESV
If one were to try and compare the Lord God with His creation, as difficult as that is, then perhaps the most feasible analogy is that the creation is like the contents inside a box and the Lord is like the owner of the box. As the owner, He’s outside the box because He’s the source of the box and its contents. He’s the Creator of His creation.
To continue with the analogy, inside the box would be the earth, the starry heavens, and even the spiritual heaven, angels included. All of it would be inside the box because all of it was created by Him. (Genesis 1:1) He, in contrast, was not created by anyone or anything. He just is, eternal and complete in Himself, not dependent upon anything.
That’s why Solomon wonders how it could be that the Lord God would dwell with man on the earth. Specifically, he wonders how it could be that the Lord would dwell in the temple he had built for Him. The Lord Himself, of course, wanted the temple to be built (I Chronicles 17:1-15), but Solomon still wonders how it could be, given that nothing can contain Him.
The same goes for the starry heavens. Vast as they are, they cannot contain the Lord God. Even the spiritual heaven, what Solomon calls the “highest heaven,” cannot contain Him. Although His manifest presence is located there, although the angels and the departed saints are with Him there, He cannot be contained there. The Lord God, one might say, cannot be “boxed in” anywhere, not even in the highest heaven above.
Nevertheless, this great God, this incomprehensible God, deigns to dwell inside of His creation. He does this by revealing Himself in creaturely terms that can be experienced. He does this by revealing Himself in a number of different ways. Included among them is His revelation of Himself as seated on a throne in the highest heaven, ruling and reigning from there. (e.g., Isaiah 6:1; Psalm 47:8) He also did it by revealing Himself in the Holy of Holies of the temple Solomon built. In our own day, one way He does it is by revealing Himself in the hearts of the men and women that love Him. (John 14:23)
Although this great God cannot be contained, He loves His creatures enough to dwell with them and to make Himself known to them.