The first time that the concept of the ‘House of the Lord’ is mentioned is in 2 Sam 7:1-2, “when King David had settled into his palace and the Lord had given him rest on every side from all his enemies, the King said to Nathan the prophet, “Look, I am living in a cedar house while the Ark of God sits inside tent curtains”. David realised that God had blessed him abundantly more than what he thought was possible, while on the other side God was ‘living in a tent’. He wanted to build a dwelling worthy to house the Lord. David wanted the most glorious ‘house’, the best that was available, for the Lord. In short, a House that was worthy for the Lord. By doing so, David did not realise that we cannot and should not put God in a limiting space, and He should not be restricted by our limited concepts. The problem started already when the Israelites wanted a king, like all the other nations. Forgetting (or not accepting) that God filled the kingship role for Israel. David however did continue with this concept and wanted to build a temple that would be more splendid than all the other nations, to show and give glory to the true God. This concept has been practised even in the new testament times of the Church, where even in the middle ages there was a striving to build bigger and more glorifying structures with all the complications of architectural and engineering challenges of flying buttresses etc.
We should, and are, to look at the house of God in a different way since the cross and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. 1 Corinthians 6:19 (NLT), “Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself”. Today, the church or house of God is built with living stones, and He is living in all. You and all others! The house of God is the total essence of all of us! We are challenged to accept and to continue this concept according to 2 Tim 1:14, “Guard the good deposit that was entrusted to you—guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us”. It is also encumbent on us to remember that the Lord’s House (you) is not a place of religious legalism, a bastion of religious tyranny, or a centre of profitable enterprise, but as the prophet Isaiah stated, “Even them I will bring to My holy mountain, and make them joyful in My house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and their sacrifices Will be accepted on My altar; For My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations.” (Isaiah 56:7), as Jesus reminded the money-changers with whips.