The opening verse of Psalm 72 is a passionate plea to God regarding the transition from David (the king) to Solomon (the king’s son). The plea consists of a having a wise, compassionate, righteous, and feared earthly king of Israel, whose backing is the King of Creation. Up through verse 17, it is about humankind. Verses 18 and 19 show all that precedes is based upon God’s wondrous deeds and glory.
The glory of God takes center stage in Isaiah’s vision. Confronted with God’s glory, Isaiah gives in to despair, knowing that he is unworthy of being there, and on top of it, he lives among people who have forgotten by whose name they are called. These people proclaim God’s name, praise him and offer sacrifices to him. Yet, as Isaiah knows the words that come from their mouths are far from their hearts. Isaiah feels guilt of association, and likely the feeling of having failed to change their hearts.
The people had exchanged the God of the Living for the god that was the temple and rules. The people had exchanged relationship with God for empty phrases and actions. In the midst of his response to the Sanhedrin, Stephen (Acts 7:44-53) recalls that God made it all and that the Tabernacle (the tent of worship) and the Temple (built by Solomon to replace the Tabernacle) were just human places. Whether Tabernacle, Temple, or church building, nothing can contain the glory of God.
1) Scripture is filled with specific places where God met with people. If God is everywhere, why are places still important?
2) Why is limiting God to specific places a problem? Why can it be a problem when there are not places set aside to meet with God?
3/KD) Can you think of a specific place where you have met or experienced God? Have you ever gone back to that place? How did it feel?