Your House, God’s House, Our House

Grand Central Station. Bedlam. A collection of individuals each doing his or her own thing. An empty nest. A place of peace and refuge from the world. Do any of these describe your house?

“House” is common in scripture, occurring over 2,000 times. Sometimes the word signifies the structure, other times those who inhabit it. Families matter to God.

For Israel, the temple was God’s “house.” Not that he needed one—“Wherever I have gone with the sons of Israel, did I say, ‘Why have you not built me a house of cedar?’” David’s desire to construct one was good, but the Almighty turned the tables: “Yahweh will build a house for you. Your house and your kingdom shall endure before me forever.” Our Lord Jesus later sprang from “the house of David.”

Families succeed or fail together. “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” United, one can. Noah was righteous; through him his whole “house” survived the flood. God chose Abraham “so that he may com­mand his household after him to keep the way of Yah­weh.” The Philippian jailer “and his house” were saved. Well- ordered houses are stronger than the sum of their parts.

God had wanted the temple to be “a house of prayer”; unscrupulous men corrupted it into “a den of thieves.” For this reason, the worthless building fell. Today “the household of God … is the church of the living God, the pillar and support of the truth.” Chris­tians, “as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacri­fices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.”

Tolkien’s trilogy paints Elrond’s abode as “a perfect house, whether you like food or sleep or story- telling or singing, or just sitting and thinking best, or a pleasant mixture of them all. Merely to be there was a cure for weariness, fear, and sadness.” Let us labor to make our “house” at Second Cape resemble Elrond’s.

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