“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 called home here on earth had none of those luxuries! As a result, His first houseguest slept outdoors on the ground with rocks for pillows.
God’s next house was a little more substantial, but fairly small. The tabernacle that God called home among the people of Israel was nothing more than a tent, and could easily have been featured on the TV show Tiny House Nation. Especially when you consider that “the most holy place” (Ex.26:34), a place within the “holy place” of the tabernacle (v. 33), was God’s actual dwelling place. We know that the tabernacle was small enough to be a mobile home, for God’s people carried it through the wilderness for forty years.
When God finally decided to settle down, He chose to put down roots in Israel, where “Solomon…built the house of the Lord in Jerusalem” (I Chron. 6:32). And just like the tabernacle, Solomon’s house of God had an “inner house, the most holy place” (I Kings 7:50). Thus it was true of both the tabernacle and the temple that God’s house in Israel was actually a house-within-a-house.
But this house-within-a-house is nothing compared to the living arrangements God has today. The physical body of every believer “is the temple of the Holy Ghost” (I Cor. 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. And the people of the local assembly are housed within the larger house of “the church, which is His Body” (Ephesians 1:22,23), a church made up of all believers! 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…vessels…to honour, and some to dishonour” (II Tim. 2:20). Which are you? If your house is not in order, maybe it’s time to do a little housecleaning. Our apostle Paul says, “Let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness” (II Cor. 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.
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.