God In A Box?
Creator of heaven and earth, Lord above all, thank You that You are willing, even desiring, to meet with me!
Read 1 Kings 8:1-21
 Then King Solomon summoned into his presence at Jerusalem the elders of Israel, all the heads of the tribes and the chiefs of the Israelite families, to bring up the ark of the LORD’s covenant from Zion, the City of David.  All the Israelites came together to King Solomon at the time of the festival in the month of Ethanim, the seventh month.  When all the elders of Israel had arrived, the priests took up the ark,  and they brought up the ark of the LORD and the tent of meeting and all the sacred furnishings in it. The priests and Levites carried them up,  and King Solomon and the entire assembly of Israel that had gathered about him were before the ark, sacrificing so many sheep and cattle that they could not be recorded or counted.  The priests then brought the ark of the LORD’s covenant to its place in the inner sanctuary of the temple, the Most Holy Place, and put it beneath the wings of the cherubim.  The cherubim spread their wings over the place of the ark and overshadowed the ark and its carrying poles.  These poles were so long that their ends could be seen from the Holy Place in front of the inner sanctuary, but not from outside the Holy Place; and they are still there today.  There was nothing in the ark except the two stone tablets that Moses had placed in it at Horeb, where the LORD made a covenant with the Israelites after they came out of Egypt.  When the priests withdrew from the Holy Place, the cloud filled the temple of the LORD.  And the priests could not perform their service because of the cloud, for the glory of the LORD filled his temple.  Then Solomon said, “The LORD has said that he would dwell in a dark cloud;  I have indeed built a magnificent temple for you, a place for you to dwell forever.”  While the whole assembly of Israel was standing there, the king turned around and blessed them.  Then he said: “Praise be to the LORD, the God of Israel, who with his own hand has fulfilled what he promised with his own mouth to my father David. For he said,  ‘Since the day I brought my people Israel out of Egypt, I have not chosen a city in any tribe of Israel to have a temple built so that my Name might be there, but I have chosen David to rule my people Israel.’  “My father David had it in his heart to build a temple for the Name of the LORD, the God of Israel.  But the LORD said to my father David, ‘You did well to have it in your heart to build a temple for my Name.  Nevertheless, you are not the one to build the temple, but your son, your own flesh and blood-he is the one who will build the temple for my Name.’  “The LORD has kept the promise he made: I have succeeded David my father and now I sit on the throne of Israel, just as the LORD promised, and I have built the temple for the Name of the LORD, the God of Israel.  I have provided a place there for the ark, in which is the covenant of the LORD that he made with our ancestors when he brought them out of Egypt.” Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectWhere do you go to meet with God?
What an amazing sight this must have been! Solomon in all his splendor and the leaders of the people, led by the priests and Levites, bring the Ark of the Covenant into the newly built Temple (1-9). And, as if that weren’t enough, the Lord then manifests his presence there in a truly awesome fashion (10).Nonetheless, he is not confined to the Temple. Maybe that’s why we’re told the Ark simply contains the stone tablets from Sinai (9). The Lord can’t be put in a box! The Temple is a place where God is found, but not confined. It is a magnificent sight, but who is the star of the show? It should be the Lord, but isn’t there just a touch of showmanship in Solomon’s closing words (20,21)? Solomon spent seven years (1 Kings 6:38) building the Temple, but he spent no less than 13 years (1 Kings 7:1) building his own palace. Perhaps his priorities weren’t quite as clear as they should have been.
God has come to dwell among us. Thank him that we who believe are now a living temple and his Spirit lives in us.
Lord of all, thank You that You have come near and made a way for us to draw near to You.