Verse 4 – 7
Israel’s confidence and lack of fear came in the presence of the Temple “the holy habitation” which was in Jerusalem. The Temple was a symbol of God’s presence among His people. Since Jerusalem was God’s special city He was expected to protect her. The Israelites looked to the Temple and felt security because the Temple reminded them that God was with them in their midst. There was a wall around the city that was built for protection, but the people of Jerusalem didn’t put their complete trust and faith in the wall, they instead put their absolute faith and trust in God.
Unfortunately, over time the people started to have a false sense of security in the Temple. They began to view the Temple (physical structure) as their source of power and favor and thus placed the building above the presence of God. They worshiped the created thing and not the Creator. The Bible tells us God will not take the back seat to anything or anyone and this includes the Temple. Ironically the people began to worship the Temple and not the God of the Temple. The edifice became the God and soon it went from being understood as the Holy dwelling place of God to a structure of abhorrent evil and idolatry. Ezekiel chapters 8 and 10 show us more specifically how God viewed the Temple at this time… The evil practices and idolatry that was going on resulted in God’s presence “leaving the building” which led to the Israelite captivity.
Summary of verses 4 – 7
We do well to understand that God is the protector of His people. However, His favored nation is not one specific location. His favor lies in His people... believers. As Western Christians we sometimes place our future and current security in having a mighty army, a strong nation, and at times a decent and fairly stable economy; thus we can have a false sense of security in these things. We must realize that our protection and security comes from God and God alone. He is here among us, we do not have a physical Temple where God dwells here on this earth. Jesus tells us that the physical dwelling place for God has passed; we are now His temple. Corinthians says that our bodies are the Temple of the Holy Spirit. He is present in us, we are protected from any powers, principalities and eternal death. We should take great strength and comfort in this.