Where Does God Dwell?

Joseph Holbrook, Jr.

READ : Isaiah 66:1–5

But this is the one to whom I will look; he who is humble and contrite in spirit and trembles at my word. (v. 2)

The verses we have been reading these past few days have been looking forward to the great change from the Old Testament to the New. But in the new order of things that the Lord will institute what will be the place of the old center of worship, the temple? And what will be the place of the burnt-offering? Our verses today give us the answer.

God tells his people, through Isaiah the prophet, that his presence will no longer be found in a very special way in the great sanctuary of the temple. The time when his glory filled the temple with a great cloud, as on the day when Solomon dedicated the temple, will be seen no more. God now dwells in people. But he dwells in a certain kind of people—those who are humble and contrite in spirit and who tremble at his Word.

As for the sacrifices, they too will have no more place in the new order of things. The sad truth was that the sacrifices had come to be looked upon as substitutes for repentance. The same words of judgment can speak to any of us today who, although we do not offer this type of sacrifice, offer a form of worship without humility, repentance, and obedience. (originally published June 28, 1967)

PRAYER

Thank you, God, for your promise to live in our hearts. Give wisdom to those who teach and learn in our theological seminaries. Amen.