“Then the glory of the Lord departed from the threshold of the temple and stood over the cherubim.”
The day Solomon’s Temple was built was one of the most glorious days in the history of Israel. It marked the completion of many of the promises God had given to His people down through the centuries. From a single man with a barren wife, a mighty nation had been formed, that now occupied the land that was promised to them. Their enemies had been defeated and held at bay, the people were experiencing a prosperity they had never dreamt would be possible, and the Tabernacle that spoke of mobility, was now replaced with a glorious, permanent Temple. On the day the Temple was dedicated, something quite remarkable took place. We are told, “the glory of the Lord filled the house of the Lord.” God’s presence was so “thick” the priests had to stop their ministry. It seems all they could do was fall down before the glory of God. Ezekiel lived about 300 years later and he too saw the Temple and the glory of God. This time, however, the glory was not filling the Temple, but rather was departing from it. He watched as the same glory that once filled the Temple, began to rise from it and slowly depart.
The sin of Israel and Judah had many devastating consequences. The nation was divided, the enemies they once conquered, began to conquer them, the witness they had in the world was lost and the people began to suffer many unnecessary consequences for sin. However, the greatest tragedy of their sin was when the glory, that once filled the temple, was removed. This happened on a personal level with King Saul. He had once been filled with the Spirit of God, in such a powerful way, that he “became another man.” He was still Saul, but there were striking changes within him that were brought about by the work of the Spirit of God. Years later, as a result of persistent sin we read that the Spirit departed from Saul (1 Samuel 16:14). He lost the peace and presence of God, and when he needed it most, had lost the ability to hear the voice of God.
If you are a believer in Christ, then you have been filled with the Spirit of God. You do not need to fear that He will forsake you, but it is possible, through persistent sin and disobedience, to lose the benefits of fellowship with God. Sin can harden your heart and deafen your ears. Sin can make it seem as if God is far from you, and even make you feel forsaken. The remedy, however, is quite simple. All you need to do is confess your sin and return to following Christ. You may feel miles away from God, but in reality, you are only one confession away. If you turn to Him, He will forgive and restore, and you will begin to once again experience the sweetness of fellowship with God.
Perhaps praying something like this, “Jesus, I am sorry for my sin. I ask that You would forgive me, cleanse me and help me lay this aside and return to walking with you.”
Now that it is laid aside, don’t pick it back up. Instead, get plugged into reading the Bible and a healthy church.