“And when the priests came out of the Holy Place, a cloud filled the house of the LORD, so that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud, for the glory of the LORD filled the house of the LORD.” –1 Kings 8:10,11
Once the temple was built the ark was brought to rest in the Most Holy Place. The ark represented not just the covenant between God and his people, but was also the representative location of his abiding presence at the heart of the people of God, centred in the most holy part of the temple. When the ark was placed in the Most Holy Place, God’s presence rested there too. As the priests left the Most Holy Place a cloud spread out through the entire temple – we are told that the glory of the LORD filled the house of the LORD. The cloud represented God’s glory to his people.
And in the face of this glory the priests could no longer stand. Normal service was brought to a halt by the manifest presence of God Almighty. His presence consumed the sanctuary.
Oh that our rigmaroles & rituals would be brought to a halt by the felt presence of the living God among us, among his Church, his dwelling place. Oh that we would be brought to a standstill by his moving among us. Lord, fill our house, fill our lives. Glorify your own glorious self in your Church until we cannot but stop and adore you.