Temple

LENT ADVENTURE 2016

Read 1 Kings 8:6-21

The priests then brought the ark of the Lord’s covenant to its place in the inner sanctuary of the temple, the Most Holy Place, and put it beneath the wings of the cherubim. The cherubim spread their wings over the place of the ark and overshadowed the ark and its carrying poles. These poles were so long that their ends could be seen from the Holy Place in front of the inner sanctuary, but not from outside the Holy Place; and they are still there today. There was nothing in the ark except the two stone tablets that Moses had placed in it at Horeb, where the Lord made a covenant with the Israelites after they came out of Egypt.

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.

12 Then Solomon said, ‘The Lord has said that he would dwell in a dark cloud; 13 I have indeed built a magnificent temple for you, a place for you to dwell for ever.’

14 While the whole assembly of Israel was standing there, the king turned round and blessed them. 15 Then he said:

‘Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, who with his own hand has fulfilled what he promised with his own mouth to my father David. For he said, 16 “Since the day I brought my people Israel out of Egypt, I have not chosen a city in any tribe of Israel to have a temple built so that my Name might be there, but I have chosen David to rule my people Israel.”

17 ‘My father David had it in his heart to build a temple for the Name of the Lord, the God of Israel. 18 But the Lord said to my father David, “You did well to have it in your heart to build a temple for my Name. 19 Nevertheless, you are not the one to build the temple, but your son, your own flesh and blood – he is the one who will build the temple for my Name.”

20 ‘The Lord has kept the promise he made: I have succeeded David my father and now I sit on the throne of Israel, just as the Lord promised, and I have built the temple for the Name of the Lord, the God of Israel. 21 I have provided a place there for the ark, in which is the covenant of the Lord that he made with our ancestors when he brought them out of Egypt.’

King David made Jerusalem the capital of Israel and had a vision to build a temple for God; a place for the Ark of the covenant to be placed and for God to be worshipped. It was a wonderful vision but David was not the one to bring it to pass. His Solomon was the one who would ultimately build the temple. This Temple was not a house for God to live in, but a holy meeting place between humans and God. It was somewhere where Heaven and Earth met. A most holy place: A place where the presence of God dwelt with His People.

God keeps his promises. The temple was testimony to this. What promises are you waiting on from God?

Solomon later prays for foreigners (outsiders) who would hear of the temple, come and pray, he asks that God would “Do whatever the foreigner asks of you, so that all the peoples of the earth may know your name and fear you, as do your own people Israel, and may know that this house I have built bears your Name.” How are you inviting and welcoming outsiders into the presence of God?

Today, how is the character of the living and loving God being seen by others in your behaviour?

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