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House of Peace or House of Cards?

“There is a place in the heavens, a place of intimacy.
There are windows to this home, in the eyes of you and me.”

King David, Solomon’s father, was said to be a man “after God’s own heart.”¹  Not so much after His mind, His purpose, His plans, but His heart.  There’s something passionate in this that I can’t shake. David was a visionary for the central part of God, the part that makes Him tick and from which everything flows.  One of the ways David expressed this was in a desire for God to have a permanent place to call ‘home.’

Psalm 132:4, “I will not enter my house or go to my bed, I will allow no sleep to my eyes or slumber to my eyelid until I find a place for the Lord, a dwelling for the Mighty One of Jacob.”

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It is interesting that despite the fact that God is Spirit and never had been, nor ever will be contained in a house of stone made with hands,² God was touched by David’s request.  For like His creation, God has always had a desire, and a plan in fact, to have a home.  Only it was to be made up of “living stones,” and built on love. He wanted to carry a Bride over the threshold of His house.
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Listen to the romantic way God “turned the tables” on David’s desire to build Him a house. “I will provide a place for my people, and will plant them so that they can have a home of their own and no longer be disturbed…[yes] the LORD Himself will establish a house for you.” 2 Sam 7:10-11
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Later we see the fulfillment of this in Jesus, who on His way to the cross comforts His disciples, “I go to prepare a place for you…” John 14:3
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But until the fullness of time came for His Son to be revealed, God allowed a parable to be built in a temporary, physical temple; but only that David was not to build it.  David later told his son Solomon the reason why.

“My son, I had it in my heart to build a house for the Name of the LORD my God. But this word of the LORD came to me: ‘You have shed much blood and have fought many wars. You are not to build a house for my Name, because you have shed much blood on the earth in my sight. But you will have a son who will be a man of peace and rest… and I will grant Israel peace and quiet during his reign.’” 1 Chron 22:7-9

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Division, striving, unrest.  This wasn’t to be the background for building God’s house, and it still isn’t.  Is it not remarkable then that the name Solomon or Shelomoh in Hebrew, comes from ‘Shalom’ meaning peace, rest, safety?  And the name Shulamite comes from “Shalam” which is a feminine play on the word “Shalom”?   The picture is breathtaking, that in ceasing from our works and entering into the rest of Christ together, we are granted the blessing of being a part of the building of God’s house and the resulting “intimate kingdom.’
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In fact, according to Psalm 127 below, Solomon may have understood this more than we realize!
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“A Song of Ascents. Of Solomon.
Unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain.
Unless the LORD watches over the city, the guards stand watch in vain.
In vain you rise early and stay up late, to eat the bread of toil.
For He grants His beloved sleep.

Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, offspring a reward from Him.
Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one’s youth.
Blessed are those whose quiver is full of them.
They will not be put to shame when they contend with their opponents in court.

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It is interesting that the offspring of one’s youth, or as it were, fruit that is born out of first love, is mentioned in this Psalm as coming out of a place of rest.  It would seem that Solomon’s lesson for us was that this is the definition of home, and in the end only the relationships that are heaven-born are the ones that will “have our backs.”
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Thank you to a friend for recently reminding me that under the Old Covenant newlywed men were not to go to war, but to remain home and “be happy with, and make happy his wife.”³  So it is in the setting of Solomon’s reign of peace that the fertile “first love” lovemaking of the Song takes place with the Shulamite, and perhaps not to discount the meaning of the concubines he had as well.  It was out of this kingdom that profound wisdom, creativity, and prosperity flowed, the great temple was being built, and to Solomon many children were born.  All of this, spiritually speaking, is what the Ekklesia should look like!  Keeping in mind that as to the multiplication of Christ’s life, it only takes two – and there He is in the midst – if the relationship is sourced and maintained in the Spirit, not the flesh.  The math changes to division, however, when instead of fully nurturing the “two in the Spirit”, there is an undiscerning and indiscriminate loving of “many foreign women,” spiritually speaking.  We know from history that this is how Solomon was entangled. 4

“Come out of her, My people, [mystery Babylon, the mother of harlots] that you fellowship not in her sins and receive of her plagues.”  Rev.18:4

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Sadly at the end of Solomon’s life the religious compromises and complications he brought upon himself relationally divided the kingdom, and tore down what he worked so hard to build.  The lessons for us in this are valuable. Jesus must be Lord of Relationship or we are playing with fire, the wrong fire.  The only fire that is safe to play with is the fire of “first love,” which is Christ. Rev.2:4
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The matter is quite simple, and delightful too.  Jesus is building His Home, and all He desires for us to do is be discerning of what He is doing, and enter into that.  This is a place of rest and of fruitfulness for the children of God!
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Won’t you come home?
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In the end, (as the following song hauntingly expresses) love will be all that mattered.

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1 Sam.13:14,   2 1 Kings 8:27,   3 Deut. 24:5,   4 1 Kings 11:1-13

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19 comments

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  1. jimpuntney

    “The matter is quite simple, and delightful too. Jesus is building His Home, and all He desires for us to do is be discerning of what He is doing, and enter into that. This is a place of rest and of fruitfulness for the children of God!”

    to come to the end of ourselves is to ‘see’ this rest that our Lover is wooing us to, to enter His rest is to see the best…the best of His Love, and to share this Love with one another

    thank you for this beautiful post…

    1. Pamela

      Thank YOU Jim. For your steady stream of encouragement and love.

      1. jimpuntney

        smiling

  2. oikoskrk

    The Commandment is simply to Love. In the end, as always, all that matters is Love. LOVE is calling out for His Bride. The question is…in this day and hour will She come to Him and Him alone?

    1. Pamela

      Thank you Christopher. We certainly don’t have to wait until tomorrow.

  3. Paul Rodgers

    “Listen to the romantic way God “turned the tables” on David’s desire to build Him a house.”

    Yesterday, I was driving through the country side and saw a large banner that read, “God is building a church!” Situated on the left of the this property was a small, old and delapidated, white wood framed, single room church building. To the right of that, a brand new, larger brick church building was nearing completion.

    Further up that road, just a few miles away, another larger banner caught my attention. It was in full color, advertising what appeared to be a megachurch in the making, beckoning to the passersby, “All are welcome!”

    Man’s perpetual desire to build sanctuaries for God quite simply reveals that they want to remain in control of their own lives, deciding among themselves how God relates to the body of Christ.

    Your post is such a concise description of our Father’s desire for His family! I continue to get a sense that what the Spirit is saying to the church is rapidly being reduced to a most condensed form, His message cutting through all the idle chatter of ‘the churches’, to be received by those who have ears. It is my prayer that the Holy Spirit would broaden the boundaries of His work and capture the hearts of those still trapped in today’s religion.

    Beautiful post, Pam!

    1. Pamela

      Wow, Very apropos. The paradox I saw in your second viewing strikes me, that men build walls, and then put out a welcome sign? Hmm… I think they call such inventions ‘traps’. :-/

      Thank you so much for sharing this, Paul. I resonate with your prayer.

  4. Vinny

    Awesome ! Many things to ponder here but home and peace move me the most in this.
    As I wrestle with my ideas of love or kingdom(house) building I realize A deep peace in accepting the fact that He does the hard work of building and i am humbled to tears to see that He loves us so much that He chose to make His home in us to simply enjoy and be with Him.
    Our ideas of this fall way short of the exciting ecstasy in store for us………..I am sure ! :-D

    1. Pamela

      Thank you so much, Vinny, and for your precious comment. I love you so. I was reminded today, and at your last line above, of Frank Sinatra’s song, “The Best is Yet to Come”… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NqmtCrgpeik :-)

  5. Joe Simmons

    I am struck by the sentence: “Sadly at the end of Solomon’s life the religious compromises and complications he brought upon himself relationally divided the kingdom and tore down what he worked so hard to build.”

    I am reminded that Solomon even in all of his wisdom, in the end came up short. The compromises of his life resulted in sadness. Compromises result in half-truths at best. We must be mindful that love and truth go together like a hand and glove. Eph. 4:15 …speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into Him who is the head, into Christ. To say, , “truthing in love” is the literal rendering of the phrase St. Paul uses in this verse. This is what Christianity is to be,, truthing in love. Truth and love go together. Truth without love is no truth at all. Neither is love without truth love at all.

    How much we need the Spirit of Truth to guide us into true love A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, just as I have love you, you are also to love one another.Jn.13:34

    1. Pamela

      Dear Joe, That’s good. I can see in this idea of “truthing” something that is more relational than just correcting someone with our words, and pushing them away. Recently I also saw it this way: “speaking truth [Christ] to each other, “being in love.” The “being in love” part is very sobering to me, actually, because that is where I have fallen short for so long. Deep, abiding passion for one another that draws out Truth for each other, and out of each other, in intimate relationship. We have so much catching up to do in this :-)

  6. breadforthebride

    This is beautiful Pamela.

  7. Jim Puntney

    can it be said that our greatest need, our goal at this time, and quite possibly our ultimate purpose is to be found as David was found…a man after our Fathers heart. I do firmly believe that our Father is open to, and desires with deep passion to give is His best…His very heart

  8. Shelby Shock Marsh

    Joe, i guess it was about 5 or 6 years ago now, i was praying about confronting someone. Correcting someone would be closer to the reality of it. In my spirit i clearly heard: The truth must be so mixed with love, that you can’t tell one from the other. Well, that cleared everything up for me in an instant & many times since then, when i pondered if love & truth were so equally mixed that neither could be singled out. Truthing in love…that really jumped out to me. Thanks for that.

  9. Shelby Shock Marsh

    You have brought much to the table in this in depth post. im still trying to process it all. i especially like how you’ve taken the above & compared it to the ekklesia. My perception keeps changing & im so grateful it is because the Kingdom of God is ever increasing and so our understanding should also evolve. Bravo, Pamela! Thanks for sharing His heart with me.

    1. Pamela

      And you, me! Speaking of increasing, and evolving:)… It has been impressed upon me since writing this post that I’ve been saying a verse wrong. It’s not “where two or more are gathered, there I (Jesus) am in the midst,” but it is “where two or three…”!

      Meaning, two or three is not a minimum for Jesus to be present. It is a foundational principle on which the ekklesia (church) is built. It is the principle of oneness as known by Jesus in John 17:21.

      1. Shelby Shock Marsh

        Aaaah, I’ve had the same misconception with that very scripture…when two or three. Very interesting!

  10. jimpuntney

    The door to His bedchamber is open, His invitation is unmistakable, and His Love is a fire. He is waiting…waiting for us to ask…to ask may I have this dance with you? His answer is…

    “there is nothing more to Life than Love”

    “Will you dance with me?
    Like we used to dance
    And remember how to move together

    You are the torch
    And it all makes sense
    I’ve waited here for you forever
    I’ve waited here for you forever

    In the end
    In the end
    There’s nothing more to life than love is there
    In the end
    In the end
    It’s time for us to lose our weary minds

    We’re lost ’til we learn how to ask
    We’re lost ’til we learn how to ask
    We’re lost ’til we learn how to ask
    So please, please just ask

    In the end
    In the end
    There’s nothing more to life than love is there
    In the end
    In the end
    It’s time for us to lose our weary minds

    In the end
    In the end
    There’s nothing more to life than love is there
    There’s nothing more to life
    There’s nothing more to life
    There’s nothing more to life than love is there”

    Snow Patrol “In The End”

  11. Nischelle Reagan (@Nischelle_)

    This is such a beautiful post and speaks so much to me in this time. Thank you for sharing this. I know I’m late in the game reading it, but the timing couldn’t be more perfect.

    “In the end only the relationships that are heaven-born are the ones that will “have our backs.” — how true this is!

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