His glory fills the temple

GRAND OPENING

It was time to dedicate the temple, to make it official.  The emblems and furnishings of the tabernacle were to join the new temple.

Then Solomon assembled the elders of Israel, and all the heads of the tribes, the chief of the fathers of the children of Israel, unto king Solomon in Jerusalem, that they might bring up the ark of the covenant of the LORD out of the city of David, which is Zion.  And all the men of Israel assembled themselves unto king Solomon at the feast in the month Ethanim, which is the seventh month.  And all the elders of Israel came, and the priests took up the ark.  And they brought up the ark of the LORD, and the tabernacle of the congregation, and all the holy vessels that were in the tabernacle, even those did the priests and the Levites bring up.  1 Kings 8:1-4

According to the Law Solomon had the Levites and Priests carry the ark and temple furnishings into the temple.  The tabernacle was brought along, probably to be stored in the temple, as it was no longer to be used.  The temple will take its place on earth, becoming a dwelling place for God.

And king Solomon, and all the congregation of Israel, that were assembled unto him, were with him before the ark, sacrificing sheep and oxen, that could not be told nor numbered for multitude.  And the priests brought in the ark of the covenant of the LORD unto his place, into the oracle of the house, to the most holy place, even under the wings of the cherubims.  For the cherubims spread forth their two wings over the place of the ark, and the cherubims covered the ark and the staves thereof above.  And they drew out the staves, that the ends of the staves were seen out in the holy place before the oracle, and they were not seen without: and there they are unto this day.  There was nothing in the ark save the two tables of stone, which Moses put there at Horeb, when the LORD made a covenant with the children of Israel, when they came out of the land of Egypt.  1 Kings 8:5-9

Other objects were missing from the ark, including Aaron’s rod.  Perhaps the Philistines added these to their curses when they had the ark.  The staves were handles far carrying so they had no further use attached to the ark.  The emblems and furnishings were all in place now.

And it came to pass, when the priests were come out of the holy place, that the cloud filled the house of the LORD,  So that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud: for the glory of the LORD had filled the house of the LORD.  Then spake Solomon, The LORD said that he would dwell in the thick darkness.  I have surely built thee an house to dwell in, a settled place for thee to abide in for ever.  1 Kings 8:10-13

Now Solomon and Israel see that this is indeed the house of God, as his presence fills the temple.  After four hundred years a manifestation is again visible to the people of Israel.  Solomon is satisfied that this was a work worthy of their investment, honored by God.

And the king turned his face about, and blessed all the congregation of Israel: (and all the congregation of Israel stood;)  And he said, Blessed be the LORD God of Israel, which spake with his mouth unto David my father, and hath with his hand fulfilled it, saying,  Since the day that I brought forth my people Israel out of Egypt, I chose no city out of all the tribes of Israel to build an house, that my name might be therein; but I chose David to be over my people Israel.  And it was in the heart of David my father to build an house for the name of the LORD God of Israel.  And the LORD said unto David my father, Whereas it was in thine heart to build an house unto my name, thou didst well that it was in thine heart.  Nevertheless thou shalt not build the house; but thy son that shall come forth out of thy loins, he shall build the house unto my name.  And the LORD hath performed his word that he spake, and I am risen up in the room of David my father, and sit on the throne of Israel, as the LORD promised, and have built an house for the name of the LORD God of Israel.  And I have set there a place for the ark, wherein is the covenant of the LORD, which he made with our fathers, when he brought them out of the land of Egypt.  1 Kings 8:14-21

Solomon credits the God of his father for the fulfillment of his promise to David.  He gives credit to God, not claiming himself to be the architect of this spiritual event.  There is still another manifestation of this prophesy coming when Messiah will build the living temple. 

And Solomon stood before the altar of the LORD in the presence of all the congregation of Israel, and spread forth his hands toward heaven:  And he said, LORD God of Israel, there is no God like thee, in heaven above, or on earth beneath, who keepest covenant and mercy with thy servants that walk before thee with all their heart:  Who hast kept with thy servant David my father that thou promisedst him: thou spakest also with thy mouth, and hast fulfilled it with thine hand, as it is this day.  Therefore now, LORD God of Israel, keep with thy servant David my father that thou promisedst him, saying, There shall not fail thee a man in my sight to sit on the throne of Israel; so that thy children take heed to their way, that they walk before me as thou hast walked before me.  1 Kings 8:22-25

Solomon petitions to see the fulfillment of God’s promise to David. 

And now, O God of Israel, let thy word, I pray thee, be verified, which thou spakest unto thy servant David my father.  But will God indeed dwell on the earth? behold, the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain thee; how much less this house that I have builded?  Yet have thou respect unto the prayer of thy servant, and to his supplication, O LORD my God, to hearken unto the cry and to the prayer, which thy servant prayeth before thee to day:  That thine eyes may be open toward this house night and day, even toward the place of which thou hast said, My name shall be there: that thou mayest hearken unto the prayer which thy servant shall make toward this place.  And hearken thou to the supplication of thy servant, and of thy people Israel, when they shall pray toward this place: and hear thou in heaven thy dwelling place: and when thou hearest, forgive.  1 Kings 8:26-30

Solomon further seeks continual blessing and answers to prayers as Israel seeks service and forgiveness.

If any man trespass against his neighbour, and an oath be laid upon him to cause him to swear, and the oath come before thine altar in this house:  Then hear thou in heaven, and do, and judge thy servants, condemning the wicked, to bring his way upon his head; and justifying the righteous, to give him according to his righteousness.  When thy people Israel be smitten down before the enemy, because they have sinned against thee, and shall turn again to thee, and confess thy name, and pray, and make supplication unto thee in this house:  Then hear thou in heaven, and forgive the sin of thy people Israel, and bring them again unto the land which thou gavest unto their fathers.  1 Kings 8:31-34

He anticipates the failures of the future with intercession for mercy.  He reminds Israel to seek him for human and natural disasters. 

When heaven is shut up, and there is no rain, because they have sinned against thee; if they pray toward this place, and confess thy name, and turn from their sin, when thou afflictest them:  Then hear thou in heaven, and forgive the sin of thy servants, and of thy people Israel, that thou teach them the good way wherein they should walk, and give rain upon thy land, which thou hast given to thy people for an inheritance.  If there be in the land famine, if there be pestilence, blasting, mildew, locust, or if there be caterpiller; if their enemy besiege them in the land of their cities; whatsoever plague, whatsoever sickness there be;  What prayer and supplication soever be made by any man, or by all thy people Israel, which shall know every man the plague of his own heart, and spread forth his hands toward this house:  Then hear thou in heaven thy dwelling place, and forgive, and do, and give to every man according to his ways, whose heart thou knowest; (for thou, even thou only, knowest the hearts of all the children of men;)  That they may fear thee all the days that they live in the land which thou gavest unto our fathers.  1 Kings 8:35-40

Israel is called to fear God, to give and to receive mercy as they seek it.  Jews and gentiles alike are to be sheltered as they embrace the Lord.  They will be helped in battle as they seek God in prayer.

Moreover concerning a stranger, that is not of thy people Israel, but cometh out of a far country for thy name’s sake;  (For they shall hear of thy great name, and of thy strong hand, and of thy stretched out arm;) when he shall come and pray toward this house;  Hear thou in heaven thy dwelling place, and do according to all that the stranger calleth to thee for: that all people of the earth may know thy name, to fear thee, as do thy people Israel; and that they may know that this house, which I have builded, is called by thy name.  If thy people go out to battle against their enemy, whithersoever thou shalt send them, and shall pray unto the LORD toward the city which thou hast chosen, and toward the house that I have built for thy name:  Then hear thou in heaven their prayer and their supplication, and maintain their cause.  1 Kings 8:41-45

Israel still faces Jerusalem as they pray, and God does hear their prayers.  They have wandered off course at times, and he allows them a season of re-education. 

If they sin against thee, (for there is no man that sinneth not,) and thou be angry with them, and deliver them to the enemy, so that they carry them away captives unto the land of the enemy, far or near;  Yet if they shall bethink themselves in the land whither they were carried captives, and repent, and make supplication unto thee in the land of them that carried them captives, saying, We have sinned, and have done perversely, we have committed wickedness;  And so return unto thee with all their heart, and with all their soul, in the land of their enemies, which led them away captive, and pray unto thee toward their land, which thou gavest unto their fathers, the city which thou hast chosen, and the house which I have built for thy name:  Then hear thou their prayer and their supplication in heaven thy dwelling place, and maintain their cause,   And forgive thy people that have sinned against thee, and all their transgressions wherein they have transgressed against thee, and give them compassion before them who carried them captive, that they may have compassion on them:  1 Kings 8:46-50

Solomon recognizes the captivity that will come to a people who are predictable in their failures.  He may not realize that his own mistakes will make a contribution to their coming demise.  He does know that the people are God’s people, and his promises will keep them when their own promise is falling short.

For they be thy people, and thine inheritance, which thou broughtest forth out of Egypt, from the midst of the furnace of iron:  That thine eyes may be open unto the supplication of thy servant, and unto the supplication of thy people Israel, to hearken unto them in all that they call for unto thee.  For thou didst separate them from among all the people of the earth, to be thine inheritance, as thou spakest by the hand of Moses thy servant, when thou broughtest our fathers out of Egypt, O LORD God.  1 Kings 8:51-53

Israel still possesses his promises, and he will let them see their deliverance again.  They will return from Babylon, and from the Diaspora of the Roman destruction of the temple.  They will be much longer returning from another form of bondage.  David predicted a suffering time for a familiar figure who will deliver them from the separation of their greatest rejection.

My strength is dried up like a potsherd; and my tongue cleaveth to my jaws; and thou hast brought me into the dust of death.  For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet.  I may tell all my bones: they look and stare upon me.  They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture.  Psalm 22:15-18

John describes this same scene in his time:

Then the soldiers, when they had crucified Jesus, took his garments, and made four parts, to every soldier a part; and also his coat: now the coat was without seam, woven from the top throughout.  They said therefore among themselves, Let us not rend it, but cast lots for it, whose it shall be: that the scripture might be fulfilled, which saith, They parted my raiment among them, and for my vesture they did cast lots. These things therefore the soldiers did.  John 19:23-24

Zechariah describes a great deliverance of Israel in the future.  God will present himself to free his people in their darkest hour, which is coming.

And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.  In that day shall there be a great mourning in Jerusalem, as the mourning of Hadadrimmon in the valley of Megiddon.  Zechariah 12:10-11

How could Israel pierce God if he has not come to them in the flesh? 

But when they came to Jesus, and saw that he was dead already, they brake not his legs:  But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came there out blood and water.  And he that saw it bare record, and his record is true: and he knoweth that he saith true, that ye might believe.  For these things were done, that the scripture should be fulfilled, A bone of him shall not be broken.  And again another scripture saith, They shall look on him whom they pierced.  John 19:33-37

Solomon has interceded for the hope of Israel for thousands of years to come.  With the glory of God filling the temple, we can be sure the request was heard and assured.

And it was so, that when Solomon had made an end of praying all this prayer and supplication unto the LORD, he arose from before the altar of the LORD, from kneeling on his knees with his hands spread up to heaven.  And he stood, and blessed all the congregation of Israel with a loud voice, saying,  Blessed be the LORD, that hath given rest unto his people Israel, according to all that he promised:  there hath not failed one word of all his good promise, which he promised by the hand of Moses his servant.  The LORD our God be with us, as he was with our fathers: let him not leave us, nor forsake us:  That he may incline our hearts unto him, to walk in all his ways, and to keep his commandments, and his statutes, and his judgments, which he commanded our fathers.  And let these my words, wherewith I have made supplication before the LORD, be nigh unto the LORD our God day and night, that he maintain the cause of his servant, and the cause of his people Israel at all times, as the matter shall require:  That all the people of the earth may know that the LORD is God, and that there is none else.  Let your heart therefore be perfect with the LORD our God, to walk in his statutes, and to keep his commandments, as at this day.  1 Kings 8:54-61

Having completed the prayer of intercession Solomon proceeds to offerings.

And the king, and all Israel with him, offered sacrifice before the LORD.  And Solomon offered a sacrifice of peace offerings, which he offered unto the LORD, two and twenty thousand oxen, and an hundred and twenty thousand sheep. So the king and all the children of Israel dedicated the house of the LORD.  The same day did the king hallow the middle of the court that was before the house of the LORD: for there he offered burnt offerings, and meat offerings, and the fat of the peace offerings: because the brasen altar that was before the LORD was too little to receive the burnt offerings, and meat offerings, and the fat of the peace offerings.  And at that time Solomon held a feast, and all Israel with him, a great congregation, from the entering in of Hamath unto the river of Egypt, before the LORD our God, seven days and seven days, even fourteen days.  On the eighth day he sent the people away: and they blessed the king, and went unto their tents joyful and glad of heart for all the goodness that the LORD had done for David his servant, and for Israel his people.  1 Kings 8:62-66

Thus ended eight days of glory, feasting, and praise.  God will answer Solomon’s prayer with promise and warnings.  Israel is in a position of peace and prosperity as they acknowledge their God and soverign.

Advertisements