TODAY’S READING: II CHRONICLES 5-8
The Ark is brought into the Temple; the glory of the Lord fills the temple; Solomon’s prayer of dedication; Solomon’s sacrifices; the glory of the Lord fills the Temple again; God appears to warn Solomon.
HIGHLIGHTS & INSIGHTS:
It had taken 153,000 skilled workers seven years to complete, (just imagine!) but the Temple was now ready to receive all of the furnishings David had accumulated and dedicated to be housed in this magnificent (magnifical!) structure he so longed to build. Once they were put in their place, along with the Ark, Solomon led the people in offering sacrifices and heart felt praise to God. The music must have been incredible! The brass section in our worship band has only a handful of musicians, and yet they offer plenty of sound for around a 1000 voices. The passage doesn’t say how many singers there were, but it says there were 120 priests playing the trumpet (5:12), and that when they played with the singers, the mix was absolutely perfect (“as one” – 5:13)! Quite the worship experience! Even God got a little carried away. The glory of God so filled the Temple that the priests had to run for the exits! (5:14)
As you read about the Temple in the Old Testament, don’t ever lose sight of the fact that it is a picture of YOU! God no longer dwells in temples made with hands (Acts 7:48), but says very specifically, “Your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God and ye are not your own. For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s” (I Cor. 6:19-20). The glory that we just read about in II Chron. 5:14 is the glory God wants to receive and manifest through our lives!
In chapter six, Solomon leads the people in Israel in dedicating the Temple. He addresses the people in 6:1-11, and in verses 12-42, he ascends onto a scaffold made of brass, and made for this specific purpose, and addresses the Lord Himself! It is the longest prayer recorded in the Bible, and is perhaps the most majestic, and moving! It is so powerful, and wonderful, and when spoken, so incredibly sincere, that you hate to bring into it any negativity. However, though Solomon asks God in verses 24 and 25, that if His people sin against Him, but return to Him and confess His name, to please hear them, and forgive them, the pitiful thing is, there is never any biblical record of Solomon ever repenting of any of his own sins! It really makes you wonder how it is that so many who start so strong, can end up so overthrown (I Cor. 10:5-6,11!). Once again, God help us!
When Solomon finishes his prayer of praise and thanksgiving to God for His unequalled attributes and unfailing promises, the glory of the Lord was, once again, so overpowering that the priests couldn’t even make their way into the Temple! When the people saw it, “...they bowed themselves with their faces to the ground upon the pavement, and worshipped, and praised the LORD, saying, For he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever” (7:3).
But even in the midst of all of this incredible worship, God comes to Solomon in the night warning him that if the nation didn’t remain true to Him, He would uproot them out of their wonderful homeland and would destroy their magnificent Temple (7:20).
Chapter 8 moves the timeline along 20 years, and records various accomplishments and successes in Solomon’s reign. Of particular note is verse 11. It says that Solomon wouldn’t allow his wife, the daughter of Pharaoh, to live in the royal palace. The reason he gave (which was a legitimate one!), was that the palace was holy! It is a great illustration of how prone we are to be blinded to think that there are somehow areas of our personal lives that can remain disconnected from our spiritual lives. Call it a “double-life,” or a “double-standard,” hypocrisy, or just plain stupidity, it never ultimately remains separate! Though Solomon restricted her to a separate residence, it did not restrict her from leading him into idolatry! (See I Kings 11:1-8)
CHRIST IS REVEALED:
Through SOLOMON’S PRAYER – II Chron. 6:14 (Jesus is that God! I Tim. 2:5 – “There is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.”)