1 Kings 8; 2 Chronicles 5
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I am speechless after today’s reading. So many thoughts were running through my head. The beauty of what I read touched me deeply…the Temple was completed…the ARK was brought in….the people showed such reverence for God in their songs, their 14 day festival, and their offerings and sacrifices. There were so many offerings and sacrifices made to God that they were too numerous to count on the first move. Once the ARK was placed in the Holy of Holies and the poles were so long that they stuck out into other parts of the Temple…more sacrifices were made to God.
Solomon followed God’s way in moving the ARK (Numbers 4:15). King Solomon summoned into his presence at Jerusalem the elders of Israel, all the heads of the tribes and the chiefs of the Israelite families, to bring up the ark of the LORD’s covenant from Zion, the City of David. Do you remember when David first moved the ARK …..without Levite Priests?? The oxen pulling the cart with the ARK stumbled, Uzzah thought the ARK was beginning to fall, then touched it to “help it not fall”. Uzzah (2 Samuel 6:1-7) INSTANTLY died. David became angry, but over a period of time he found out what the Levitical Law said concerning moving the ARK and did it properly the second time. Solomon did it right the first time!!
AND I LOVED SOLOMON’s prayer. Did you notice that Solomon was down on his knees with his hands lifted to God as he prayed, praised, worshiped, thanked, blessed, etc.? Solomon’s prayer showed knowledge and Wisdom. Solomon knew God’s history, and his Precepts. He knew his Covenant and promises. Solomon was clearly also very aware of humanity and seemed to even have a prophecy of future captivity. Solomon again acknowledged: “what is this Temple compared to YOU.” HOW could the Temple contain the magnificence, the power, the awesomeness of God? Solomon was FILLED with awe!!! Israel was at peace, they were ALL grateful and praising God in a very GOOD time. Solomon could only imagine God’s greatness, was filled with awe and expressed it to all listening and to us today. This is a great reminder of the awe we would be wise to acknowledge of God daily….moment by moment. Did Solomon’s prayer make anyone else think about the Lord’s Prayer in NT???
Look at verses 1 Kings 8:46-51 — circle in your own bible the words “WHEN,” “IF,” and “AND.” Read here and then return in your bible and highlight those words (if you feel led): 46 “WHEN they sin against you—FOR THERE IS NO ONE WHO DOES NOT SIN —AND you become angry with them AND give them over to their enemies, who take them captive to their own lands, far away or near; 47 AND IF they have a change of heart in the land where they are held captive, AND repent AND plead with you in the land of their captors and say, ‘We have sinned, we have done wrong, we have acted wickedly’; 48 AND IF they turn back to you with all their heart AND soul in the land of their enemies who took them captive, AND pray to you toward the land you gave their ancestors, toward the city you have chosen AND the temple I have built for your Name; 49 then from heaven, your dwelling place, hear their prayer AND their plea, AND uphold their cause. 50 AND forgive your people, who have sinned against you; forgive all the offenses they have committed against you, AND cause their captors to show them mercy; 51 for they are your people AND your inheritance, whom you brought out of Egypt, out of that iron-smelting furnace.” When we sin (and we all do) if we change our heart and repent, please forgive our offenses and have our enemies have mercy on us…..again…does that make anyone else think of the Lord’s Prayer?”
We are told the original contents of the Ark of the Covenant in Hebrews 9: 3-4: “… Behind the second curtain was a second section called the Most Holy Place, having the golden altar of incense and the ark of the covenant covered on all sides with gold, in which was a golden urn holding the manna, and Aaron’s staff that budded, and the tablets of the covenant.” It appears that originally in the ARK there were three items — the stone tablets with the 10 commandments God wrote on the stone and gave to Moses, Aaron’s staff that bloomed, and a jar of manna to remind the Israelites of God’s daily provisions for them. NOW… the ARK ONLY contained the two stone tablets with the 10 commandments given to Moses. I have been reading several commentaries which present the idea that Aaron’s staff and the jar of manna were only placed in the Holy of Holies, but either way … God saw all three of those as important representing HIS ways, HIS miracles, and HIS provisions.
Last, the dedication of the temple. We read so much about the sacrifices back in Leviticus and Numbers. At the end of 1Kings 8 we see Solomon offered Fellowship Sacrifice (22,000 cattle and 20,000 sheep and goats). Then went to the courtyard to do the other offerings because they were so big they couldn’t fit on that altar! The Fellowship Offering symbolizes Peace with God, and Community with Him. After such an offering the worshippers could actually feast as a meal with the Lord. The Burnt Offering is a dedication to the Lord and Surrender to Him. We would worship by giving Him our Best unblemished male. The animal took the place of our sin. This sacrifice was completely burnt up after the blood was sprinkled on the altar. Last, was the Grain Offering (we read all this in Leviticus and Numbers.) The Grain offering was our finest flour, unleavened (reminder of the Exodus from Egypt) and grain. It symbolized His provision and our Thankfulness.
And the ABSOLUTE mind blower for me today was: 1King 8:10 & 11 – “10 When the priests withdrew from the Holy Place, the cloud filled the temple of the Lord. 11 And the priests could not perform their service because of the cloud, for the glory of the Lord filled his temple.” Can you IMAGINE…. seeing the Temple so FULL of the glory of God that there was NO room for people??? WOW!!! Some day we will see this in a different form….when Jesus comes back for all of HIS people…there will be no room for sinners in the most HOLY presence of God (all who know Jesus personally will have our sin covered by HIS blood…..whew!!)
EACH time I read this verse I can feel the Holy Spirit touch me anew, as if for the very first time. I think about WHAT a sight it must have been for EVERY ONE to witness the glory of the Lord filling the temple. And I am so very aware, and stand in awe, because HE is/has/will forevermore, fill me. Aaaahhhhhhh!!! I am reminded that HIS presence RESIDES IN ME (and in YOU!!) This beautiful picture through words brings such great peace and awe.
I am singing “Holy Holy Holy….”
What touched you today? Did The Lord make any words stand off the page for you?
Sharing HIS AWEsome love,