Where Does God Dwell?

Leslie M. Grant

From Grace & Truth October 1994

Though God dwells in "the high and holy place" (Isa.57:15), far above the level of all His creatures, yet in marvellous grace He desires a dwelling among mankind. Therefore, when He redeemed His chosen earthly people Israel from the bondage of Egypt, He told Moses,

"Let them make Me a sanctuary, that I may dwell among them" (Ex.25:8 NKJV).

Later, when Israel was established in their land, God gave orders for King Solomon to build the temple where He would dwell in their midst (I Ki.5:5). Because of their disobedience to God, this temple was destroyed by the Babylonians (2 Chr.36:19), and in the days of Ezra another was built in its place (Ezra 6:5). Later Herod added to this temple, taking 46 years to do so (Jn.2:20). It was this temple that the Lord Jesus called, "My Father's house" (Jn.2:16).

Just before His death, the Lord wept over Jerusalem, saying, "Your house is left unto you desolate" (Mt.23:38). Notice He called it "your house." Later when shown the buildings of the temple, He told His disciples, "Not one stone shall be left here upon another, that shall not be thrown down" (Mt.24:1‑2). Before long this prophecy was fulfilled. Because Israel rejected the Lord of glory, their house was left desolate.

God therefore no longer dwells in the midst of Israel. Can He possibly have another dwelling? How wonderful is the answer to this! The Lord Jesus said while still on earth, "On this rock I will build My Church" (Mt. 16:18). This building began when the Spirit of God came on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2). It is not a material building but a "spiritual house" (I Pet.2:5), composed of all believers, Jew and Gentile. They are all the product of His work in their hearts. Each is a living stone added by the Lord Himself as the house gradually "grows into a holy temple in the Lord" (Eph.2:21).