“Then Solomon stood before the altar of the Lord in the presence of all the assembly of Israel and spread out his hands. Solomon had made a bronze platform…, and he stood on it. Then he knelt on his knees in the presence of all the assembly of Israel, and spread out his hands toward heaven, and he said, ‘O Lord, God of Israel, there is no God like you, in heaven or on earth, keeping covenant and showing steadfast love to your servants who walk before you with all their heart, who have kept with your servant David my father what you declared to him. You spoke with your mouth, and with your hand have fulfilled it this day…. Will God indeed dwell with man on the earth? Behold, heaven and the highest heaven cannot contain you, how much less this house that I have built!'” 2 Chronicles 6:12-15,18
Have you ever had too much for a container– groceries in a shopping bag, clothes in a suitcase, leftovers in a bag or jar– and tried to fit it all in anyway, only to be inefficient and frustrated? In our finite minds, we can imagine many ‘uncontainables,’ but kneeling before heaven and contemplating Almighty God brings a deeper and wider grasp of what His measureless infinity means.
At the completion of God’s temple, Solomon is obsessed not with its intricate beauties and grandeur, but with the magnificence of the God Who called him to reign and to build it, the God Who was to dwell there. Humbling himself on a platform above all the people, he is overwhelmed by God’s uniqueness, sufficiency, covenant-keeping integrity, and steadfast love. How could this great God be contained in a temple if even the highest heavens were too limited to hold Him?
What is my measure for God? Do I, even subconsciously, fit Him neatly into my box of expectations, trim Him to conform to my desires and adjust Him for my agenda? If so, my focus is on the ‘me’ and ‘my,’ not the ‘Him.’ Do I stand before God and expect Him to tag along and bless, while bowing to lesser gods who demand my attention, energy, time, resources? In what plans and activities do I need a higher view of God today? When and where will I take time to kneel before His uncontainable love and holy greatness?
“Could we with ink the ocean fill, and were the skies of parchment made, were every stalk on earth a quill, and every man a scribe by trade; to write the love of God above would drain the ocean dry; nor could the scroll contain the whole, though stretched from sky to sky.” ~ Frederick M. Lehman (1917)
Lord, it is a mystery that You Who cannot be contained could fill your people, but I believe since You are limitless and all-sufficient, it is possible. So I ask this day for you to fill every part of me to overflow, that I go about in Your power and love and wisdom and others see only You. (Ephesians 5:18; Colossians 1:9)