So back in the day, Solomon finished the Temple and brought in the Ark, and they had one big to-do. A major shindig. They sacrificed so many sheep and oxen that they couldn’t be counted. How many must that be, for not long ago they had just gotten through numbering every male in Israel, to the point that God was irritated at their need for a census. Peeved even. PO’d to the point of letting David choose his own plague for his pride. ‘Twasn’t good. But the numbers were large. Very large.
And here they are, all the priests in the new Temple, offering up so much blood and smoke that they can’t even keep track. That is a lot of hooves.
And then, THEN, things get really wild. They’re singing and praising God and having a regular hoopla, and the glory of the Lord fills the Temple, a cloud of mercy. And the glory, the cloud, becomes so thick that the priests are kept from continuing their ministrations. (2 Chronicles 5:13-14)
So God commands… do this thing… and then he drops in with so much glory that it prevents them from doing the very thing he’s commanded.
So we’re talking Old Testament here, highly allegorical, not somewhere from which we can draw many literal lessons, but it seems like we could learn something from this. I’m not entirely sure what, but there has to be a lesson there. Because there is always a lesson.
So why would God prevent? Why would he impede? Maybe to show them that their ministrations are only as good as the God they serve? Maybe to keep them from missing the point. That all of this is good, that all of this is what he wants, but it is only leading up to something. It is only a tool to bring them to the reality of God. Maybe he is teaching them resilience. Patience. Persistence. Rolling with the changes, because God, and life with God, is never static. Maybe. Maybe he’s just so overflowing with love that he can’t help but flood them out. Maybe.
What I know is that God will do that. He is not so rigid as to avoid changing the plan, not so hung up on The Things that he won’t pop in and give us an experience that completely overshadows The Things. Sometimes I think we forget that God is alive, and that we are reaching for a dynamic relationship. He is reaching for a dynamic relationship. It’s far-too easy to paint him into a box, where he lives silently, where we observe him. When the reality couldn’t be further from the truth.
There is no box. There is no silence. And there is no Thing that our God can’t blow to bits with his very presence.
Time to open our eyes and roll with the changes,