Christology in the OT: The Wonder of the Incarnation

“But will God indeed dwell with man on the earth? Behold, heaven and the highest heaven cannot contain you, how much less this house that I have built!” (2 Chron. 6:18 ESV)

This was the question Solomon prayed as he dedicated the first temple. Up to this point in redemptive history, Solomon, as did Solomon’s father David before him, thought the Godhead was demeaned by being relegated to a portable tabernacle. Upon its completion, Solomon could only look at the temple and wonder how the most ornate, elaborately constructed human edifice ever built by man could house the King of Glory.

It couldn’t.

Solomon understood correctly that his temple could never contain the Lord of lords. But the ultimate answer to his question, “But will God indeed dwell with man on the earth?”, was reserved for those of us upon whom the end of ages has dawned.

Fast forward to John’s gospel, chapter 1:14 where we read: “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.” The verb dwelt is ἐσκήνωσεν, literally, “he tented.” The Word “tented” among us; John tells us that God “tabernacled” in the most ornately designed and constructed temple ever designed — the human body.

The wonder of the incarnation, that God would indeed dwell with man on the earth, fully God and fully man, two natures in one person. The mystery of mysteries that even Solomon in his day couldn’t get his mind around.