And there I have provided a place for the ark, in which is the covenant of the LORD – 1 Kings 8:21
The temple had several layers, from the outer court to the holy place to the most holy place (1 Kings 8:6). It was in the most holy place that the covenant box resided. Here, in a place too special even to be looked on was the box that contained the ten commandments – the stone tablets of the covenant made through Moses between God and His people, Israel.
In this new temple, the focus of worship, the covenant was placed at the very heart. The only basis upon which Israel could draw near and worship was that of God’s covenant with them. The temple without the covenant was devoid of relationship: it was merely religion.
For Christians our body is the God’s temple, and the new covenant must be at our very heart. Without that we are not Christian, but merely religious. It is Christ’s sacrifice on our behalf and our acceptance of His terms for salvation that allows us to draw near.
This covenant must be the very heart of our faith – all else is peripheral to the love of Jesus in dying in order to raise us to newness of life. As we place Jesus and what He has done at the heart of our lives then the glory of God will fill the temple of our bodies (1 Kings 8:11) as we worship Him in Spirit and truth.