When humanity decided to domesticate animals, a way to control the animals had to be devised early on. Cages, corals, stables and fences were brought into use. These attempts to limit the movement of the animals are still utilized in some form today. Once the animal’s ability to move was controlled, then behavior altering allowed for domestication. These methods, along with psychological methods, have also been utilized with humans. Confinement is a strong control technique.
The passage which we read from the Book of Acts speaks of building confinements. First we hear about a container for the Law. This container, built according to God’s specifications, allowed the Law of God to travel with the Israelites. It is best known at the Ark of the Covenant and served as a visible sign of God’s presence and rule. Then we are reminded of the Temple which Solomon built, again as God specified. The Temple served as a gathering place for God’s people, a place to offer sacrifices and worship to God, and a visible reminder of God’s presence. The people also come to view these structures as a way to contain God and other people. Containment gives a sense of control.
It is important to keep in mind that the Ark and the Temple were not a need of God’s but a need for humanity. The words in Acts point this out to us. The words also attack the perception that humans could ever contain or control God. God is more expansive than anything conceived by humans. There is not any material or design which originates with humans because all originates with God. There is no human power strong enough to contain or control God. Let us hear the words of Acts in order to keep a proper perspective.