As I read through the Old and New Testaments simultaneously, I am sometimes struck by the odd juxtapositioning of verses. Today I read through the dedication of the temple in 1 Kings. What an amazing event where the glory of the Lord filled the temple. From that moment on, Jerusalem and Judaism would never be the same. Then I read Luke 19 where Jesus spoke against the temple’s effects and chapter 21 where Jesus predicted the total destruction of the temple. So was the temple a good thing or a bad thing?
Perhaps the answer is “yes”. There was a time when the temple served a great and noble purpose; it united God’s people in worship as the central theme of his people. Later it served only as a distant reminder of worship while primarily serving as a tool for swindlers and false leaders.
The result on me is that I walk away with two ideas in my head.
1. Rules are not static. As conditions change, rules might change. What the Father calls “good” in one case, he might not call “good” in another. What he knows is a blessing to my neighbor might be a curse for me. The way the Father deals with us is fluid and dynamic, not static.
2. He might take away something I think is still good. Personally, there are many things in my life that I cherish and consider to be a blessing from the Father – health, family, resources, etc. Yet the truth is that over time, I can convert any of those into an idol. Rather than remind me of the Father, they remove me from the Father. When that happens, he might – and hopefully will – remove those former blessings from my life.
I wonder what “good” thing has gone “bad” in my life and is about to cast out next?