The Meeting Place of God & Man
May 4, 2014 Series: The Old Testament
Passage: 1 Kings 8:22-30
Share a story from your life when either 1) you wanted access to someone and it was difficult to gain access? Or 2) someone pursued you for access and you were reluctant to give it to them?
AN EXPENSIVE PLACE
What does it mean that God is holy? And why do you think that our time and culture is losing its sense of God’s holiness? Read 1 Kings 8:22-26. What has convinced you that there is no God like the LORD? And how has someone’s covenant-keeping helped you to understand the LORD’s faithfulness or steadfast love?
What do you think of a place, any place where admission is only granted if blood gets shed? As you think about the price of the Temple (a really expensive, beautiful place) how does your view of the Temple change by the cost of admission?
HOW DOES THIS WORK?
Why does it matter that we cannot figure God out – that we have to have God’s revelation? As you think about God’s communication to you how have you viewed Him more as a telemarketer than as a lover? Read 1 Kings 8:27-30. What do you think Solomon was saying in v. 27, that the highest heaven could not contain the LORD? And yet what is the significance of Solomon saying “yet…” at the start of v. 28?
If you ever spell out a time and place for a meeting, yet it’s ignored, how do you feel? God has made Himself known, providing a way for sinners to meet Him in His holiness. So how have you insisted on finding him in any way you imagine? How have you been naïve or willfully ignorant of how God has made Himself known? Confess your idolatry to Jesus and trust Him to displace your lesser loves with His incomparable love and glory.
ACCESS & RECONCILIATION
How do I need to behave? Read again 1 Kings 8:27-30 and Ephesians 2:12-13, 18-22. What does it mean to regard someone? How has the LORD offered this to us in Christ? Read Matthew 12:6 and John 2:13-22. How are the things Solomon asks for fulfilled in Jesus?
How can access be affected by a personal connection? What does it mean that we are commanded even to pray in Jesus’ Name? So if Jesus is now the meeting Place where the repenting sinner can be reconciled to the Holy God, do you relate to Him more as a hacker or as someone who has been given a username and password? And why?
So how can this motivate you to open your life to let others in the way that Jesus has opened His heart and life to you?
- Worship God, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, for His mercy and patience with us, especially in light of our turning from His holiness. Praise the LORD that He opened His heart to us and came after us in Christ.
- How have you been naïve or willfully ignorant of how God has made Himself known? Confess your idolatry to Jesus and trust Him to displace your lesser loves with His incomparable love and glory.
- Give thanks to Jesus for the wonders of His mercy to be cut off from the place He alone deserves – the place of total acceptance by the Father – so that we could be accepted. Thank Him for His willingness to reach out to you and take you in as you repent and trust Him.
- Who do you know that is ignorant of how expensive they are? Pray for them asking the Lord to open their eyes to their true condition in sin and to reveal to them their need for Christ.
- Ask the Holy Spirit to help you live in light of Christ’s glory. Ask Him to increasingly convince you of two things: of the worthlessness of your false treasures, and of the unrivaled beauty, power, and His kindness in Jesus.