I know many people struggle reading the Bible because it feels tedious and boring. This is a reflection on our flesh, not on the word of God! It is Jesus, the word of truth, who opens scripture up to us. He ministers.
Admittedly, when I first started to work on this chapter, I thought it was going to be boring. However, in looking at this chapter with the perspective of Jesus and what that means for us… it became very powerful and beautiful.
If you struggle reading passages like this, as I do, please consider praying to the Lord before reading and always be on the lookout for how we can see the purpose of Jesus in all scripture.
Today’s Reading: Chapter 8 of 1st Kings
Ark Brought Into Temple
Verses (01-13) The elders of Israel are assembled, the heads of every tribe, and the chief fathers. They are gathered to bring up the ark of the covenant, and then elders and priests do so. King Solomon and others are sacrificing sheep and oxen, too numerous to be counted. Then the ark is placed in the temple.
This is a beautiful scene because it’s been awaited for many, many, years. Ever since Exodus, there has been a plan for the temple to be built for the Lord and for the Lord to have a place to reside.
The ark is placed under the wings of the cherubim so that the wings overshadow it. Two tablets of the ten commands remain in the ark only. Afterward, when the priests come out of the holy place a cloud filled the house of the Lord and the priests could not continue ministering for the glory of the Lord filled the temple.
(Verses 13-21) King Solomon blesses the assembly and then gives a recap of its significance. Ever since Egypt, when God led the people out of slavery and to freedom, God chose Israel to build a house for Him. King David wanted to do this, but God told him it would be his son instead. King Solomon built the temple and God fulfilled what He said.
(Verses 22-53) King Solomon then praises God for keeping His word, and he then asks that God keep His word on what He promised David. As long as further sons of Israel walk before the Lord, God said that a man of Israel will always be on the throne. King Solomon asks that the Lord let this be true.
V.27 I love this, Solomon then speaks of how the earth cannot contain God, let alone the temple he built. He then asks that God hear the supplications of His people. That God judges and condemns the wicked and justify the righteous by giving unto their righteousness. He prays when Israel sins against Him and they fall before the enemy that when they seek forgiveness God forgives them. For the Lord to teach Israel in the way they should go.
Interestingly, King Solomon talks about the foreigner. Solomon requests when the foreigner hears of the mighty works of God that when they pray in the temple to the Lord that God does what they request for all people to know He is God.
Solomon repeats that when Israel sins and seeks forgiveness God forgives them. V. 46 states what we see in the New Testament, everyone sins. Throughout this speech Solomon speaks of the people sinning and God forgiving them seven times (at least, I don’t think I missed any.) This whole speech was said while King Solomon was kneeling!
Solomon Requests Assembly To Turn To God & Dedicates Temple
(Verses 54-61) After saying this, King Solomon arises and blesses the assembly of Israel again. Blessing God for giving Israel rest to what He promised. He prays that God turns their heart and ways to Him as well as that they keep His commandments. He says for them to rejoice in the Lord and be loyal to Him.
(Verses 62-66) More sacrifices are offered, lots! The middle of the court is consecrated because the bronze altar was too small to receive all of the burnt offerings, grain offerings, and fat of peace offerings.
Solomon holds a feast for 14 days for the people of Israel all over the land. On the 8th day, he sent them away. They blessed the king, and went to their tents joyful in their heart for all that God had done for them.
What To Take Away: There is a whole celebration of the temple being accomplished and God entering it. His glory shining and pouring out. What a powerful connection to what the return of Jesus Christ will look like!
We see many times in the Old Testament scripture pointing to our Savior. The festivals in the OT and laws are a picture of what is to come (Hebrews 8:05, 10:01). This chapter though quite lengthy and perhaps to some readers “boring” at first has such beauty in it when we look at how it relates to Jesus!
The ark being covered by wings reminds me of how Moses saw the shadow of God. (Something interesting to think about, Mike Winger brought up when Moses stood with Jesus transfigured on the mount… Moses got to see God in the flesh! Never thought about that before!)
Also, I’m reminded of how the mystery of God (1 Corinthians 2:07), which was once shadowed, is being revealed. The mystery which is Jesus Christ. He was our atonement sacrifice. He put to light what darkness tainted. He was, is, and will always be our Promise of God.
In Revelation, we see what happens to the temple in the New Jerusalem.
(NIV) Revelation 21:22, “I did not see a temple in the city, because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple.”
Jesus’ sacrifice and death on the cross made it possible for our bodies to be a temple to Him right now! His resurrection proves how He helps us overcome the flesh because He can dwell within us, and His Spirit can refine and convict us from the inside out!
(NIV) 1 Corinthians 3:16 & 6:19, “Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst?… “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own…”
THIS ALL IS A PICTURE OF WHAT IS TO COME! Seek Jesus now! Be worthy of His presence! Fall at His feet and worship Him! Only He can help us. Only He is our sacrifice and can forgive us. Only He can help us repent.
When the final judgment comes and those who are crowned with the glory of Jesus reside with Him for eternity… oh, what a day that will be!
What does this chapter say to you?
Monthly Scripture- (NKJ) Psalm 85:04, “Restore us, O God of our salvation, and cause Your anger toward us to cease.”
Monthly Community Prayer– April 2020, – Join us in praying for one another, if you have requests let me know
Second Blog: Peeking Beneath