40 Years

Re:Verse passage – 2 Chronicles 7:1-10 (day six)

Now all glory to God, who is able to keep you from falling away and will bring you with great joy into his glorious presence without a single fault. Jude 24

In less than forty years Solomon turns from God and gives his devotion and attention to pagan gods. As goes the king, so does the people. Save the prophets of the Lord, the nation is rife with rebellion and the pungent stench of idolatry. It is hard to imagine how quickly they forgot their incredible encounter with God at the dedication of the Temple.

The irony is stark; as important as the Temple was to David, and then Solomon, there is barely a mention in the rest of the historical books (save during Josiah’s reign).

What a terrible reminder for us! How quickly we can exchange the glory and wisdom of God for our homemade (and destructive) idols!

Oh what a miserable person I am. Who will free me from this life of sin and death? Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord! -Paul, Romans 7:24-25

House of ________

Re:Verse passage – 2 Chronicles 6:12-42 (day six)

The temple was a house of prayer. The whole purpose of atoning sacrifices was to pave the way for the people to commune with God; to petition him from out of their brokenness and sin, to find wholeness again. This ornate building was to be a constant reminder of that reality, that the God who fashioned the heavens and the earth, gave the people his name on which to call, giving his infinite and glorious attention to a people who need his help.

The temple was a sign of hope and promise:

That if they would humble themselves and call upon the Lord, they would be saved.

Jesus, is not a sign, he is the truth. He is temple, sacrifice, and high priest…

God has given no other name under heaven by which we must be saved. Acts 4:12

Faithfulness

Re:Verse passage – 2 Chronicles 6:1-11 (day six)

Solomon stood on the promises of God for only a short season. While God remained faithful, Solomon soon began to go his own way. The chronicler is writing hundreds of years after the fact, of course. He knew all too well the destruction Solomon’s unfaithfulness would eventually bring.

Solomon was not the fulfillment of God’s promise to David. Nor would any king after him; not of the political sort, at least. God’s long game was not to prop up a perishing earthly kingdoms (even our own).

No, his faithfulness would eventually find its fulfillment in the one true eternal king, his Son Jesus. As true today as it was for the Israelites after the exile.

Interestingly, we find ourselves in the very same position as those who first read the writings of the chronicler. They were looking to a future Son of David, the messiah, to restore the kingdom. We now are looking to his return.

Continuity

Re:Verse passage – 2 Chronicles 5:1-14 (day six).

God descended upon Mount Sinai in smoke and fire. When Moses completed the assembly of the Tabernacle, God covered it in a cloud and his glory filled the tabernacle, so much so Moses could not enter. The same cloud hovered by day, and glowed with fire by night above the Tabernacle. In the desert, when either would move, then the people would take up camp and follow God’s lead.

So, when God’s presence filled the temple with a thick cloud during the dedication of the temple, it had little to do with God blessing the temple building, and more to do with expressing his continuity:

I am the God who revealed his glory to Moses.

I am the God who made a covenant with you on the mountain, and gave my Word to you.

I am the God who lead and provided for you for 40 years in the desert.

I am the God who fought all your battles in Canaan.

I am the God of your fathers.

I am the unchanging God. And I have made a way for you to know me, love me, meet with me, and move with me.

Emmanuel [God with us]

So the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son.  John 1:14

 

Back to the Garden

Re:Verse passage – 2 Chronicles 3:1-17 (day six). 

After some thought, it comes as no surprise that many of the design elements in Solomon’s Temple point us back to the Garden of Eden. Palm trees, pomegranates, lilies, and cherubim provide striking similar imagery.

Even the Temple’s position from east to west reminds us that God expelled Adam and Eve to the east of the Garden. And in order for God’s people to return into his rest and presence they must journey westward through atonement, sanctification, and the mighty cherubim who guard the way.

The temple is a clear picture of God’s plan for restoration; back to the Garden where there is free and full fellowship with God.

“Look, I am making all things new.”-Jesus, Revelation 21:5

Forever

Re:Verse passage – 2 Chronicles 2:1-12 (day six)

It will be a place set apart to burn fragrant incense before him, to display the special sacrificial bread, and to sacrifice burnt offerings each morning and evening, on the Sabbaths, at new moon celebrations, and at the other appointed festivals of the Lord our God. He has commanded Israel to do these things forever. 2 Chronicles 2:4

 With his own blood—not the blood of goats and calves—he entered the Most Holy Place once for all time and secured our redemption forever. Hebrew 9:12

Forever. From the beginning God never intended for Temple sacrifices to fulfill what was required to atone for our sin forever. But they did point to the greater sacrifice (and high priest). Jesus died once for all, and rising from the grave, sat down at the right hand of the Father forever.

He is the fulfillment of 2 Chronicles 2:4.

Happy (almost) Easter!

Restoration

Re:Verse passage – 2 Chronicles 1:1-13 (day six)

There in front of the Tabernacle, Solomon went up to the bronze altar in the Lord’s presence and sacrificed 1,000 burnt offerings on it.

That night God appeared to Solomon and said, “What do you want? Ask, and I will give it to you!” 2 Chronicles 1:6-7

The progression is clear, from 1000’s of sacrifices at the altar to receiving word from God. Worship at the tabernacle in Gibeon illustrates that kind of beautiful movement towards God; we can only move towards him through repentance and atonement.

This highlights something else for us. The forgiveness we receive through Jesus, our once for all sacrifice, restores our relationship with God. The kind of relationship where God speaks to us, and we speak with him.

Repentance and atonement is never the end goal, restoration to our Father in heaven is; knowing the one true God and the one who he sent, Jesus. (John 17:3)

Please Help

Re:Verse passage – 1 Chronicles 29:1-11 (day six)  

The human heart is the most deceitful of all things,  and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is? Jeremiah 17:9

David did. This is why he prays, “Lord,…see to it that their love for you never changes.”

God is infinitely worthy of all our worship, our energy, our time, our devotion because he is infinitely holy and good and beautiful and majestic. When we capture even the smallest fraction of this reality we are consumed by him, and worship becomes as effortless as breathing. BUT our hearts are desperately wicked; we quickly forget the glory of God’s holiness and become enamored by the lackluster corrosion of our own brokenness.

Wickedness is blindness. It’s forgetfulness. Wickedness is a warped mind thinking God is mundane or nothing at all.  Wickedness is exchanging being enchanted by him, to being mesmerized by dead and dying things.

Without God’s help our hearts are always pulled by the gravity of our own wickedness. This is what Jesus meant by the truth will set you free.

Plans

Re:Verse passage – 1 Chronicles 28:11-21 (day six)  

The Tabernacle had a singular purpose, movement. It provided a way for a sinful and rebellious people to find peace with God, and move with him as his people. This came by way of regular atoning sacrifices made on behalf of individuals and the people. The sacrifices provided the means for the people to move towards God, in  a literal sense, both physically and spiritually.

The temple would serve the same purpose in Jerusalem, atonement, worship, movement towards and with God.

This was God’s plan. It has always been his plan, to make a way for us to draw near to God. The tabernacle and the temple would point to an even grander plan, a more perfect and eternal way-Jesus!

“I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one moves towards the Father except through me.”-Jesus

Fulfillment

Re:Verse passage – 1 Chronicles 28:1-10 (day six)  

Solomon and his temple were both a disappointment. By the time the Chronicler was writing this history (around 400 BC), the temple was destroyed and there was no king on the throne. Nehemiah would oversee the temple’s rebuilding, and Herod the Great would see it expanded to new heights, only to be destroyed again a few decades later by the Romans.

Solomon was the first of a long line of disappointing kings, and the temple didn’t fair any better. Neither would fulfill God’s promise to David.

For God so loved the world he sent the Son… John 3:16

Jesus, the Son of David, who would forever sit on the throne and rebuild his temple in the hearts of men and women.

Promises fulfilled.