"But only the High Priest entered the inner room, and that only once a year, and never without blood which He offered for Himself and for the sins of the people committed in ignorance" Hebrews 9:7
A study of the tabernacle and later temples provides not only detailed descriptions of the structures but also a comprehensive list of those who served there and their official functions. One position is conspicuously absent - a janitor for the Holy of Holies.
Moving through the wilderness necessitated the assembly and dis-assembly of the tabernacle on a periodic basis. At that time the Holy of Holies got a much needed airing out. Dust bunnies and creepy crawlies got the boot.
Solomon built the first permanent temple which lasted about 400 years. The second temple built by Ezra and later enlarged and embellished by Herod stood for 586 years. The most notable difference between these two magnificent structures was the absence of the Ark of the Covenant in the second building. The
sometime around the Babylonian invasion and subsequent destruction of Solomon's
masterpiece. The Ark, the
visible, tangible manifestation of the presence of God was gone.
The Holy of Holies was an enclosed room. Once a year the High Priest entered with incense and blood. Upon completion of His assigned duties he left. The room wasn't entered into again until the same time the following year.
In almost 1000 years of combined existence in the two temples, the Holy of Holies was never cleaned. My house has a basement that until recently was rarely visited. It takes no time for dust to build up and unwanted visitors to arrive there. By the time either temple was demolished the Holy of Holies would have accumulated hundreds of years of stale incense smell and dried blood. Add to that a thick coating of dust, cobwebs and all types of critters. Surprisingly, God didn't seem to mind. He didn't appoint an anointed custodian to regularly sanitize and freshen up His room. There's a lesson to learn from this.
In the same way that God dwelt in the innermost part of the tabernacle/temple, He chooses to reside in the innermost part of man, the heart. He seems more interested in being invited in and permitted to live there than on the heart's initial condition. He'll take any heart in any state of disrepair and disorder.
No one was allowed to clean up God's room (mother's don't tell your kids this). Similarly, no one can adequately clean up oneself and through self effort make them self acceptable to God. To those of us who aren't clean freaks, we knew we liked Him!
God's idea of a clean environment rubs our religious spirit the wrong way. The maturation process of sonship does bring essential and necessary changes to our lives. We all have dust bunnies and creepy crawlies but they don't send God packing and heading for the exit. If we allow Him, He'll set up a housekeeping schedule on His terms and develop us into a great place to live.
How about you? When you made Jesus your Lord, how messy was your life? What did God overlook when He accepted your invitation to set up His abode in you? What works better- a rigorous self-improvement program or having Him isolate the grime and together working with you to remove it? His concept of an ideal environment can look very different from ours. Since it is His house, why not let Him do things His way?