God has always wanted fellowship with his people. He commanded Moses to make a place for him to dwell, from which He would communicate through a spokesman. “And let them make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them:” (Ex 25:8). This sanctuary would be portable, making it possible for Him to be a wanderer along with his people. He would lead them; they were to go where He went.
David wanted to build a house for God, but God did not allow him to because David had been a man of war. David did, however, arrange for a lot of materials and labor to be resourced and planned. It was left for Solomon to build. It was glorious and glitzy; rich beyond compare.
God manifested Himself in a glorious cloud in that place. “So that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud; for the glory of the Lord had filled the house of the Lord” (1 Ki. 8:11). That temple was destroyed during the captivity period. Its riches were taken by the Babylonians
At the end of the captivity, another temple was erected; it was called Zerubbabel’s temple (Ezra 6:15, 16). The “old folks” cried because this temple was so plain compared the Solomon’s temple which had been destroyed. God’s presence occupied that temple until His departure during Ezekiel’s day (Ezek. 10:18). The temple remained without God’s presence; it was later expanded/replaced and made “glitzy and glorious” by King Herod. It was the temple where Jesus went for Passover, where he stayed and talked with the temple leaders when he was twelve years old. It was destroyed in AD 70.
Ezekiel had another vision in which he saw a magnificent city. That is the city to which the name Jehovah-shammah is given. The city represents the earthly Jerusalem, He also saw a temple the details of which Ezekiel took nine chapters to describe. David Wilkerson supports an argument that this temple was never to be a literal place because of impossibilities such as it being more than twice the size of the entire nation. He writes: I have no doubt Ezekiel was seeing the worldwide, spiritual city that is to be our Lord’s habitation forever. This was the true temple – the body consisting of every born-again believer, a tabernacle that couldn’t possibly be made with human hands. Wilkerson’s interpretation is fitting in light of I Cor. 3:16, “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?” and 2 Cor. 6:16 “Ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.”
It is important to have an overview of these dwelling places as we go into a study of the Book of Haggai.
Image tabernacle: Yahoo; Image Solomon’s temple: gettyfreeimage.com