When the priests withdrew from the Holy Place, the cloud filled the temple of the Lord. And the priests could not perform their service because of the cloud, for the glory of the Lord filled his temple. 1 Kings 8:10-11
After years of construction, the Ark of the Covenant is brought into the temple that Solomon built for the Name of the Lord. The Levitical priests set it down in the holy of holies and, after leaving that space, the Cloud descends. It is the Presence of the Almighty and is so dark and dense that the priests cannot continue their worship rituals.
The Presence of God will do that – and it is awesome. We have service to do for the Lord and sometimes He surprises us with His strong Presence to the extent that we cannot continue. All work… all serving stops, giving way to God.
Ultimately this is what all serving is for – the Glory of the Lord. The work is not what is worshiped, otherwise it’s an idol. As crazy as that sounds, it’s entirely possible. The Pharisees in Jesus’ day loved the work and the keeping of the Law, more than the Lawgiver Himself. They kept the ritual and enforcement of the Law, but lost the heart of it, which is to do justice, love mercy and walk humbly before God (Micah 6:8).
For me it’s entirely possible to love the work of the Kingdom more than the King. In my brokenness and sin (powerfully described in Romans 3), I can focus on the wrong things with the best of intentions.
Father, may Your Presence descend like a dense cloud and overwhelm me. May all service give way to Your Glory! I live for You today.