But will God indeed dwell on the earth? Behold, heaven and the heaven of heavens cannot contain You. How much less this temple which I have built! Yet regard the prayer of Your servant and his supplication, O Lord my God, and listen to the cry and the prayer which Your servant is praying before You today: that Your eyes may be open toward this temple night and day, toward the place of which You said, ‘My name shall be there,’ that You may hear the prayer which Your servant makes toward this place. And may You hear the supplication of Your servant and of Your people Israel, when they pray toward this place. Hear in heaven Your dwelling place; and when You hear, forgive. -1 Kings 8:27-30
Solomon had just finished building the temple that his father David had started raising funds for. Now one thing was left to make it complete. Without God’s presence, it was of no use. So Solomon sanctified it, dedicated it, and asked God to fill it.
God, who made the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands. Nor is He worshiped with men’s hands, as though He needed anything, since He gives to all life, breath, and all things. -Acts 17:24-25
Solomon knew that God was bigger than the temple and He didn’t need a place to live. Instead, the main purpose of the temple was to make atonement for sins so that God could live among them.
Solomon’s temple was temporary; just like the covenant that went with it. The blood of an animal would only cover sin temporarily. The temple was a foreshadowing of the covenant that God would make with all people through his blood
But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. -Jeremiah 31: 33
God chose to become one of us. He died to buy us back. And when we accept His gift of salvation, our sins are paid for, and God lives in us.
Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s. -1 Corinthians 6:19-20
The temple that Solomon built was an example to the world of God meeting with man. Just like the temple our lives should be an example of a person walking with God. The temple was a place where people could meet with God. Like the temple, others should experience God’s love around us.