God’s Rhythm in the Temple
In the Old Testament Solomon’s Temple had 3 “spaces”: the outer courts, the inner courts and the Holy of Holies.
- The Outer Courts … this space was where the people were welcomed in, confessed their sins, received forgiveness and they were washed clean in the laver.
- The Inner Courts … this was where the priest alone would enter for the partaking of the lighted Word, the Table and the prayers.
- Holy of Holies … this was where only the High Priest could enter once a year to pour blood on the Ark of the Covenant to pay for all the sins of the people.
God still includes these elements in Worship, though Jesus changes how we relate to these “spaces.” He still welcomes us into his presence, we confess our imperfections, he affirms his forgiveness of us, and we are washed in his love. Through Jesus, and because of Jesus’ work, ALL believers now have a role of meeting with God as we gather together. We together are the “priesthood” under one High Priest—Christ.
God calls us “where we are” to enter the outer courts, inner courts, and then draw near to him in the Holy of Holies in gathered worship (as we gather together), BUT the amazing thing now, is that he reverses the order in scattered worship (as we go out).
God’s presence (now our starting place) commissions us and is now full in us, as represented by the objects in the Ark of the Covenant (Jesus has fulfilled Moses’ law in us, he has made us priests in the order of Aaron, and is the bread of life—like the manna given to Moses), and we take the ministry of the inner courts (the word, the prayers, and the fragrance) out into the outer courts (culture) where we call people to confess their sin, receive forgiveness, and be purified by Christ’s holiness.
- God’s character recognized (Adoration) (vv. 5:1-5)
- Human character confessed (Confession) (vv. 5:6-10)
- God’s grace assured (Assurance) (vv. 5:13-14)
- Petition (vv. 6:12-21)
- Instruction for obedience (vv. 6:22-42)
- Response of thankful devotion (Communion) (vv. 7:4-9)
- Promise of Covenant Blessing (Dismissal) (vv. 7:10)
*For further reading in the Bible: 2nd Chronicles 5; 2nd Chronicles 6; 2nd Chronicles 7
Accompanying this study is over 300-Hours of video footage from 150 of today’s top Christian thinkers on culture, creativity, innovation, and invention at www.makejesusculture.com.