I have witnessed people come to the Lord in beautiful ways. They immediately articulate to those around them what God has done in their life. You feel the glory of the Lord as they speak, while basking in His presence. Then something happens. They experience a hardship, or an offense of some sort, and suddenly forsake the experience, even blaming God for the misfortune they encounter. This story recalls the parable of the seed planted in the stony places; when persecution arises because of the word, that person becomes offended, and because he has no roots, he withers away.
Using Ancient Methods of searching scripture becomes a powerful tool when looking for answers to daily experiences in our lives. A fundamental part of using Ancient Methods entails performing word searches in Hebrew and Greek. When studying a word in the order it appears in scripture, patterns emerge that are not ordinarily seen. In the above story, being planted in good soil does not come through a one-time experience. It comes through a relationship with God. As seen when using Ancient Methods of study, a seed planted in good soil involves a process of allowing God to dwell on the throne of our hearts.
While studying the tabernacle of the wilderness, a pattern is seen regarding the movement of God into the Holy of Holies, to dwell between the cherubim of the mercy seat. A word study of “kerub,” or cherubim, brings to light this interesting pattern.
Num 7:89 NASB Now when Moses went into the tent of meeting to speak with Him, he heard the “voice speaking to him from above the mercy seat” that was on the ark of the testimony, from between the two cherubim, so He spoke to Moses
1 Sam 4:4 NASB So the people went to Shiloh, and from there they carried the ark of the covenant of the Lord of hosts who “sits above the cherubim;”
2 Sam 6:2 NASB And David arose and went with all the people who were with him to Baale- Judah, to bring up from there the ark of God which is called by the Name, the very name of the Lord of hosts who is “enthroned above the cherubim.”
See the progression of the Lord of Hosts? He is first seen speaking above the mercy seat, next He is seen sitting above the mercy seat, and lastly, He is enthroned above the mercy seat. The Lord of Hosts “enthroned” above the cherubim of the mercy seat is consecutively seen in every verse after 2 Sam 6:2.
In this same manner, we see the glory of the Lord move away from the mercy seat in Solomon’s temple. When studying the Hebrew word "kabowd," or glory, we watch God’s glory slowly depart from the mercy seat of God.
Eze 9:3 NASB - And the “glory of the God” of Israel was “gone up from the cherub”, whereupon he was, “to the threshold of the house.”
Eze 10:4 NASB - Then the “glory of the LORD” went up from the cherub, and “stood over the threshold” of the house.
Eze 10:18 NASB - Then the “glory of the LORD” departed from off the threshold of the house, and “stood over the cherubims.”
Eze 10:19 NASB - And the cherubims lifted up their wings… and the “glory of the God of Israel hovered over them.”
Eze 11:23 NASB - And the “glory of the LORD” went up from the midst of the city, and “stood upon the mountain” which is on the east side of the city.
Why did the glory leave the mercy seat of Solomon’s Temple? In Ezekiel Chapter eight we see the abominations the elders of the house of Israel were committing in the dark with their carved images. We see the women sitting at the entrance to the North Gate weeping for Tammuz. At the entrance to the temple, between the porch and the altar, twenty-five men with their backs to the temple and their faces toward the east, prostrated themselves eastward toward the sun. These were God’s people in His temple. The utterly detestable things His people committed drove Him from His sanctuary (Eze 8:6).
As our relationship with the Lord grows, He enters and begins to dwell upon the seat of our hearts. He enthrones Himself upon our hearts progressively. As we draw near to Him, He draws nearer to us. But, in the same manner, if we turn our face toward idolatry and infidelity He eventually leaves. God does not take our relationship with Him lightly. He is a jealous God. He will not share His glory with anything or anyone else.