Bible Workbench: Proper 11, July 19, 2009

Text: II Samuel 7:1-14a

Reading Between the Lines

In The Home We Build Together: Recreating Society (Continuum 2007), Jonathan Sacks reminds us that 1 Chronicles 28:3 attributes the building of the temple by Solomon rather than his father David to the fact that David was a warrior and that a temple must be built by a man of peace. But that is not the issue here. In this text the core question is about movement from tabernacle to temple – from the mobile and temporary to the stationary and fixed. The Lord God asks David: “Wherever I have moved about among all the people of Israel, did I ever speak a word with any of the tribal leaders of Israel, whom I commanded to shepherd my people Israel, saying, “Why have you not built me a house of cedar?” Read and then read again out loud this verse. See how many different intonations you can give to the question. What is between the lines? If every question has a statement behind it, what is the Lord God telling David? What do you know of a style of life that is “tabernacle” and one that is “temple”? How does one’s worldview reflect “tabernacle” or “temple”? Do you consider yourself a “tabernacle” or “temple” kind of person? How might you be both? How does such a window determine what you see and bias the choices you make? – Bill Dols

Art in the Christian Tradition from Vanderbilt Divinity Library


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