Where does God dwell? David had it wrong. The Ark of the Lord was in a tent in Jerusalem that he had constructed and pitched. (1). David implied that the Lord God was thus living in a tent. Interestingly, Nathan the prophet did not correct him (2).
I can imagine a group of people sitting at a dinner table when David decided it was time to bring up something that was on his mind and in his heart. I believe that building a temple for the Lord had been on David’s mind and in his heart ever since he saw the Philistine temples with their idols in them while he was amongst them when Saul was trying to kill him.
Nathan gave David bad advice. A man of God is not infallible though a few I have had the acquaintance of portrayed the belief that they are. The Lord God enlightened and rebuked both David and Nathan.
“I have not dwelt in a house from the day I brought Israel up out of Egypt to this day,” was the Lord’s excoriation (5). Was the Lord God walking and sitting in the tabernacle and now in David’s tent invisible from our eyes? Was he laying in the Ark of the Lord? Was he the two stone tablets inside the Ark? No to all those silly questions?
The irony is the thought that anything that David would commission to be used to build a temple is but one infinitesimal piece of that which the Lord God created. Does that mean that the Spirit of God cannot be in a tent, a temple, or a person? No. For the Lord told David, “I have moved from one tent site to another…” (5)
When David was in Ziklag located in Philistine territory the Lord God was there too. When David was in Gath, one of their capital cities the Lord God was there too. If David stepped inside the temple of the Philistines idol, the Lord God would have been there too. God was there when David was telling Nathan about his plans to build a temple. God is everywhere. The question really is, do I seek him everywhere?