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December 2nd, 2011 – 2 Chronicles 2

Click here to read II Chronicles 2 on BibleGateway.com

Do you ever find yourself trying to figure out your own motivations? For example, why do people go to a buffet? You know deep in the bowels of your gut that the food is as low a quality as possible; just fresh enough to pass health inspections. Not so bad that maggots are in plain view, but definitely not fresh off the farm. Why do people watch a repeat of Dancing with the Stars instead of finishing the report that’s due tomorrow? Why do people watch the NBA at all? And don’t get me started on the luge.

BECAUSE IT’S THERE

In the 1920s, George Mallory was obsessed with climbing Mt. Everest. Back then, it was even more dangerous than it is today; but Mallory made three attempts in a quest to be the first to stand at the top of the world. When some reporters asked why he was so determined, Mallory responded with the famous quote “Because it’s there.” There is something in us as people that has to defeat a challenge, simply because it exists, to be the one that overcame the odds, to make a name for ourselves.

In the ancient world, there was a common motivation among rulers; to leave a lasting monument to their own greatness. We can appreciate those desires now, since they resulted in such classic monuments as the pyramids, the coliseum, and the plethora of ruins in Greece. However, I imagine the people actually working on these monuments (and paying for them) probably were a lot less enthusiastic.

“UM…I NEED MORE WOOD”

However, in 2 Chronicles, we read of an entirely different motivation for a building project. Solomon is beginning work on the temple in Jerusalem, and he writes to a neighboring king, saying “The temple I am going to build must be great, because our God is greater than all other gods.” Solomon was trying to create a monument to Creator of the universe; there was no expense or effort too great to make. Rather than make a name for himself, he was trying to make a name for God.

But even in the midst of these preparations, Solomon recognized that his efforts were ultimately futile. He comments “but who is able to build a temple for him, since the heavens cannot contain Him?” In other words, what is the point in making the temple at all, when God’s glory in the skies will over shadow it anyway?

I AM WHO I AM

I think the answer lies in that same motivation as Mallory. We don’t build monuments to God so that everyone can see them; after all, people just have to look around to see God’s greatness. We don’t build them to give God a place to hang out; the very realms of reality are not enough to contain Him.

Rather, we build cathedrals and churches, we sing and worship, we dance and praise, simply because He Is. There is something in us that is driven to worship God; sometimes that drive gets warped to worship something else, but our search drives us on to worship. It’s fulfilled only when we fully engage our lives in worship of our Creator.

Simply because He’s there.

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