When the Hebrews praised the Lord in the Temple (verse 13), they used a familiar phrase. David had used it often in the psalms…”the Lord is good, for His lovingkindness is everlasting.” (Chapters 106, 107, 118, 136) The prophet Jeremiah used it later when he foretold the restoration of Israel from the Babylonian exile (Jeremiah 33:11). Since Scripture is inspired by God, this phrase must be pleasing to God. In our Re:Verse this week, God’s response to this corporate praise from the Hebrews was to fill the Temple with His presence. He literally inhabited their praise.
Sounds like a good idea to use God’s own words to praise Him! Using the words of Scripture to pray back to God is pleasing to Him. In prayer, in songs and hymns, or in worship…God responds to His praise. Do you want to acknowledge God’s love…God’s goodness…God’s character? “The Lord is good, His lovingkindness is everlasting!”
“There was nothing in the ark except the two tablets which Moses put there at Horeb.”
There was nothing in the ark but the word of God delivered to human beings. There was nothing in the ark except a description of the good life recorded in language people could understand. There was nothing in the ark save the revelation of the only kind of life that will last eternally. The point is that the physical, geographic point in the temple where God would dwell with human beings contained the only thing it needed to contain: God’s guidance to a life that lasts through all uncertainty, all adversity, all hostility. God would meet there with the high priest and tell him, “Remind the people, train the people, love the people with these words. They will live when they learn this way of life.”
…the house of the Lord, was filled with a cloud…vs. 13
What fills you up? Not in the sense of cuisine, but what occupies the most space in your heart? The idea of the presence of God filling a space so completely that there is room for nothing else is overwhelming. That, however, is the hope of our relationship with Jesus. When we give him our hearts, are we simply rearranging furniture, or are we turning over the keys to the apartment? I continually struggle to turn over those stubborn areas of my life to Jesus, but my desire is that when I am confronted with them I will act in a way that prefers him and not me. Have you taken an inventory of what occupies your heart lately? Have you tried turning over everything to him? When he fills you, there can be no room for anything other. May we continue to work for a full heart of Jesus.
Join us as Senior Pastor Chris Johnson, Associate Pastor Aaron Hufty and Associate Pastor Bryan Richardson walk us through 2 Chronicles 5:1-14in our Spring Sermon Series: “SOLOMON – Building A Place of Worship.”
On this day last week, our church gathered in worship to celebrate our Savior defeating the grave, but the celebration didn’t end at 11:59pm April 4th…
Matthew 27:51 tells us that the veil was torn from top to bottom, a symbol that the holy of holies was now open. If we read the footnotes in our re:verse passage this week, verse 8 could literally read, “Now he made the [house] of the holy of holies.” The purpose of this room was to be a house for the presence of the Lord, so where does God move to in Matthew 27? His new “home” is you. His new “home” is me. His new “home” is inside of all who call upon His name.
1 Corinthians 3:16 “Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?”
Not only are you the new temple, you are the most holy place where God will make His “home.” We have seen Solomon going to extraordinary lengths to build a home for the Lord. To what lengths are you going to prepare your home for the Lord?
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
“The gold nails weighed fifty shekels. He also overlaid the upper parts with gold.”
Gold nails?Even that part was intentional. Could seem extreme to our “be good stewards” culture. But not to Solomon, or to God.What we can learn, is that God is aware and interested in the smallest details. Of this project.Of our lives. It speaks to His all encompassing love and care. Does that encourage you?Does that shape the way you pray (every detail shared in praise, confession, and supplication)?God is aware of all of it. More than that, He cares about all of it.
Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. –Luke 12
God had given David the plans for the temple and also supplied all of the needed gold and silver, brass, iron, precious stones, and fine woven material. Solomon set out to build a temple worthy of the one true God. In chapter 3, we see that God was very specific with where, how, and with what, every aspect of the temple was to be built.
In God’s sovereignty, He was very involved in the details of constructing the temple. Throughout history, many have believed and taught that God created the world and then stepped back and allowed man to manage it on his own…that is not the case! God is intimately involved in the affairs of man. God promised Israel blessing and curse…depending on their obedience to Him. Discipline and curse is prepared for those who do not obey God. That truth should instill a healthy fear of God in our hearts. How have you seen God’s hand at work in your daily life?
“These are the foundations which Solomon laid for building the house of God.”
There is something in us that insists that what is material is of lesser worth than that which is spiritual. This is not true at all. The physical realm – matter, energy, space – is contingent upon the spiritual realm. That is, the spiritual realm – ultimately God himself – undergirds and upholds the physical realm. What is material depends on the spiritual for its existence. But there is a difference between dependent and worthless. God worked with Solomon to build the temple because God is very interested in living with human beings in this material realm. In the age to come, heaven and earth will merge to become one. Then we will know by sight that God loves this whole glorious place that he made.
Now it came about after these things, that God tested Abraham, and said to him, “Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.”2 He said, “Take now your son, your only son, whom you love, Isaac, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I will tell you.” Genesis 22
The Lord in his great wisdom never lets a teachable moment pass by. The very spot where God would consecrate his covenant with Abraham would become the plot where the temple would be constructed. This temple would rise and fall, and be rebuilt. It would serve then as the backdrop for the crucifixion of Jesus, and the sealing of the new covenant. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promises as we count time, he moves at the fulfillment of his design. We are wise to look at the continued work of his hand throughout history and trust that he is still at work.