Solomon and Israel spent 20 years of their time, talent, and treasure completing God’s temple (1 Kings 9:10). Imagine all the planning, calculations, drawings, agreements, money, and hard labor put into this project. Over $165 Billion worth of Gold and Silver were used on the temple (1 Chron 22:14). Can you imagine? God gave the temple plans to Solomon as a key life objective. The temple’s purpose was to enable people to experience the awesomeness of God.
Placing the Ark of the Covenant in the Holy of Holies (v. 6), the innermost sanctuary, was the final step in completing the temple. The Ark held the stone tablets containing the covenant God gave Moses—it stated that if Israel would trust God by following His commands, God would bless the Israelites and the world through them. Placing the Ark in the inner sanctuary was the key that unlocked the door to God’s glory; God enveloped His covenant with His presence. When God makes promises, He covers them with His presence to make them reality.
When the priests came out of the Holy Place, a thick cloud filled the Temple of the Lord. The priests could not continue their service because of the cloud, for the glorious presence of the Lord filled the Temple of the Lord. 1 Kings 8:10-11
It required 20 years of Israel’s obedience to God’s plan to experience the new temple filled with His presence. How did Solomon respond to God’s presence? Solomon praised God (verses 12-21). Solomon was awed by God’s faithfulness following Israel’s obedience to His plan. Solomon experienced God’s presence through long term obedience.
Some things we can take away from this passage:
- God keeps his promises.
- Our role is obedience to God’s plans, if we want to experience his promises.
- The Christian life is a marathon, not a sprint. Some of God’s best blessings come after long periods of committed effort.
- When we experience God’s presence in our lives, we need to praise Him for it.
A few parting questions:
- What long term vision has God put in front of you? To raise a Godly family? Learn the Bible in depth? See CPC’s ministry grow?
- What are you doing to be faithful to that vision?
- Where does God’s presence in your life demand your praise?
By: Mike Wilson — Leadership Team Member