“Jacob… lighted upon a certain place, and tarried there all night… and he took of the stones of that place, and put them for his pillows… And he dreamed, and… awaked out of his sleep, and… said… this is none other than the house of God” (Genesis 28:10-17).
And you thought your starter house was humble! At least you had a roof over your head and pleasant amenities like walls, doors and windows. As you can see, the first house that God chose to call home here on earth had none of those luxuries! As a result, the first houseguest of the Almighty slept outdoors on the ground with rocks to serve as his pillows.
God’s next house was a little more substantial, but fairly small by our standards. We speak, of course, of the ark of the covenant. At 1.5 x 1.5 x 2.5 cubits (Exodus 25:10), it could easily be featured on the popular television show Tiny House Nation. We know it was a mobile home, for it led God’s people through the wilderness, and we later read about something that happened “all the time that the house of God was in Shiloh” (Judges 18:31).
When God finally decided to settle down, He chose to put down roots in the land of Israel, where “Solomon…built the house of the Lord in Jerusalem” (I Chronicles 6:32). This is a reference to the magnificent temple that King Solomon built for God, of course. And it was into this new house of God that they brought the old house of God, when “the priests brought in the ark…into the most holy place” (II Chronicles 5:7). The temple then became the big house of God, with the little house of God inside, a more appropriate home for the God of all creation.
But this house-within-a-house is nothing compared to the living arrangements God has today. The “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14) physical body of every believer “is the temple of the Holy Ghost” (I Corinthians 6:19). But “the house of God” today is also the local church (I Tim. 3:15), the gathering of God’s people together in a local assembly. But as impressive as some of these local assemblies are, they pale in comparison to “the church, which is His Body” (Ephesians 1:22,23), a church made up of all believers found everywhere around the world. Thus today God dwells in a house-within-a-house-within-a-house. Now that’s a great house!
“But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour” (II Timothy 2:20). Which are you? If your house is not in order, maybe it’s time to do a little housecleaning. “Dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God” (II Corinthians 7:1). God’s starter house was pretty humble, but with a little spiritual elbow grease you can make your body a house that brings Him great glory. And together we can improve our local churches to the point where “the church, which is His Body” will exceed Solomon’s temple, as far as the sun exceeds the moon, in bringing glory to God!
To the Reader:
Some of our Two Minutes articles were written many years ago by Pastor C. R. Stam for publication in newspapers. When many of these articles were later compiled in book form, Pastor Stam wrote this word of explanation in the Preface:
"It should be borne in mind that the newspaper column, Two Minutes With the Bible, has now been published for many years, so that local, national and international events are discussed as if they occurred only recently. Rather than rewrite or date such articles, we have left them just as they were when first published. This, we felt, would add to the interest, especially since our readers understand that they first appeared as newspaper articles."
To this we would add that the same is true for the articles written by others that we continue to add, on a regular basis, to the Two Minutes library. We hope that you'll agree that while some of the references in these articles are dated, the spiritual truths taught therein are timeless.