This psalm shouts of the beauty of the Sanctuary of God. Behold the majesty God has set on His holy mountain. It is breathtaking!
I’m going to guess that this psalm was written after the completion of the Temple Solomon built for the Lord. Its grandeur, described in scriptures, was beyond belief. I wish they had cameras back then because I would like to actually see photographs of it. We have renditions of it from the best minds man could find to interpret His word but that’s not the same as seeing it and appreciating its true scale and detail.
Can you imagine walking through the Temple? Exploring all of its rooms, hallways, even the smallest spaces? But that wouldn’t be allowed. Inside the actual structure was reserved for the Levites. Inside the Holy of Holies was reserved for the high priest only and only once a year.
Imagine being a visiting dignitary and being shown the outside from OUTSIDE the courts. Maybe you would be allowed to stand at a window in Solomon’s palace that looked out on the scene. You could watch from afar but could not enter for fear of being struck dead. The stories of old would keep most in line and stop any unauthorized night reconnaissance.
Fear and awe would be the usual response to such visits from foreign dignitaries. One dignitary received the FULL tour and God was NOT pleased by this. Hezekiah gave the envoy from Babylon the FULL tour. “There was nothing among my treasures that I did not show them” (2 Kings 20:15b). Looking at this verse I wonder if it was only the king’s treasures that were shown to the envoys. Did they get to tour God’s treasures too? Isaiah told the king that his foolishness and pride would result in ALL the treasures being lost to Babylon. Hezekiah was good with this because it was for a future generation, not for his own lifetime.
But would the familiarity of it breed apathy with those who lived in its shadows? Or would there always be awe and wonder in the hearts of the observers, no matter how often the Temple was viewed? This psalm seems to cry out for that. It calls for the people to remember the God whose Temple this is and the unique privilege that comes with being His chosen people. What an enviable position to be in!
But with great privilege also comes great responsibility. God expected much of His chosen people, even though He KNEW they would not be able to live up to the fullness of that responsibility. That’s why He sent Jesus. To make up for what man lacked. As mentioned earlier, even Hezekiah who was a godly king messed up royally.
Jesus’ sacrifice made it possible for ALL men to come to God; into His presence. There is the requirement of doing so through His Son but ALL are welcome.
I wonder if we will be able to tour the original Temple in Heaven that the earthly Tabernacle was fashioned after. I have a feeling it will put EVERYTHING else to shame, including the awe inspiring Temple built by Solomon. This is a tour I would wait in line forever to take!
Father God, I want to NEVER lose the awe and wonder of Your salvation and of You choosing ME among ALL the people ever born. I cannot imagine my life without You. Even at my lowest points I KNEW You were still with me. I can’t conceive of the despair I would have been in without You to hold me during those times. I don’t say it nearly enough, but I’ll say it now. YOUR LOVE IS AMAZING!!! Why You chose me I’ll never understand. I’m just grateful that You did. I will FOREVER praise You!