The Glory connection!
Scripture Reading for April 4th: 1st Kings 5-8
Solomon, David’s son, had heard God’s decree that he would build the house where God’s Name would reside among His people. He had a vision and purpose for his life. He knew of the desire of his father David and willingly offered himself to the Lord to build this “House”. (1st Kings 5:5)
In building the temple, Solomon employed many people. Some came from lands outside Israel. The temple was made of stone, cedar and pine wood, and precious metals. Craftsmen worked off site on the stones so that the temple could be assembled without saws, chisels or hammers used on the site. (1st Kings 6:7) The temple took seven years to construct with thousands of workers meticulously adding every piece and detail in precise order and design. (1st Kings 6:38) God was truly a God of order and a master craftsman!
The crowning moment at the dedication was when God filled His house with His Glory! The priests had carried the Ark into the Holy of Holies and then withdrew. The priests could not stand to minister because of the Glory! (1st Kings 8:6-11) Solomon declared a blessing to the people gathered there and thanked God for His faithfulness!
Solomon then knelt down, raised his hands toward heaven, and prayed a magnificent prayer of dedication! In this prayer were eight petitions centering on the need for forgiveness! Since man’s troubles are caused by sin, the temple would be a place where they could meet with God and find mercy. As God’s people cried out, God’s glory was that He showered grace on them.
Solomon also asked God to hear the prayer of foreigners so that all peoples of the earth might know His Great Name! (1st Kings 8:41-43, 60) This prayer reminds us of Jesus command to go into all the world and make disciples of all nations! His house was to be a house of prayer for all nations! (Mark 11:17) Believers are the new “temple” of God. God’s presence fills each believer with His Glory and gives them power to reach the nations with the message of His saving grace! The “living stones” are being gathered from around the world without chisel or hammer through the power of the Gospel!