Saturday, March 18, 2017

Saturday – I Kings 8 – Dedicating the Temple

When everything else was in order, Solomon had the Ark of the Covenant brought into the holiest section of all.  There it was set in what was intended to be its final earthly resting place. Once the Ark was there, the presence of God came too. In the form of a cloud, God was there with a special manifestation of His glory. In a proper response to God's clear presence, Solomon prayed an amazingly wonderful prayer to Him before the people on that day. He reflected on the past, realized the significance of the present and wisely anticipated the future. As such, he primarily prayed that God would use the temple as an object to draw people's attention to Him. With his knees bowed and his hands raised to heaven, Solomon prayed that when people turned to Him (in years to follow) by turning to the temple, that God would hear and answer their prayers.

When the prayer meeting was over, Solomon praised God loudly. He worshipped God by pointing to the certainty of His words (I Kings 8:56), to the fantastic power that God uses to influence the hearts of men (I Kings 8:58) and to the exclusivity of God's existence (I Kings 8:60). Clearly Solomon had a strong handle on true theology, especially on the importance of our hearts in this matter of worship (I Kings 8:18 & 61). On this occasion, Solomon and the people offered 142,000 animals to God in sacrifice. The celebration couldn't have possibly any bigger or more intense than it was. They literally feasted and rejoiced for 2 full weeks.  This should remind us that no sacrifice is too great, no offering too large, no devotion too intense & no praise too extravagant… when it is directed sincerely to our God!

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