PROMISED RESTING PLACE
Has God promised you something? Ask for his strength to continue waiting for the fulfillment.
Read 1 Kings 8:1–21
The Ark Brought to the Temple
8 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. 2 All the Israelites came together to King Solomon at the time of the festival in the month of Ethanim, the seventh month.
3 When all the elders of Israel had arrived, the priests took up the ark, 4 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, 5 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.
6 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. 7 The cherubim spread their wings over the place of the ark and overshadowed the ark and its carrying poles. 8 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. 9 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.
10 When the priests withdrew from the Holy Place, the cloud filled the temple of the Lord. 11 And the priests could not perform their service because of the cloud, for the glory of the Lord filled his temple.
12 Then Solomon said, “The Lord has said that he would dwell in a dark cloud; 13 I have indeed built a magnificent temple for you, a place for you to dwell forever.”
14 While the whole assembly of Israel was standing there, the king turned around and blessed them. 15 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, 16 ‘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.’
17 “My father David had it in his heart to build a temple for the Name of the Lord, the God of Israel. 18 But the Lord said to my father David, ‘You did well to have it in your heart to build a temple for my Name. 19 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.’
20 “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. 21 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.”
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectHow do you keep going while you wait on God?
Israel had had a long wait. So the completion and dedication of the Temple did not simply call for a celebration of an architectural job well done. This marked a national turning point, a symbol of centuries of wandering drawing to a close.
From the Exodus from Egypt onwards, the Ark of the Covenant (9) had been kept in a special tent. But now it could be brought out of the tent (4) and into the Most Holy Place in the new building. This marked true confidence in their God-given rest from their enemies (as promised in 2 Sam. 7) because the whole point of the
Temple is that it is not portable! No wonder all the great and the good attend this moment (1,2). This is the culmination of centuries of hope!
With great care and ceremony, the priests take the Ark to its final resting place (6–9; 2 Sam. 6:7). The climax comes when the cloud descends—just as it had nearly a millennium before during the wilderness wanderings (10–12). What confidence it brings to know that God is living with his people. No wonder Solomon bursts into praise (14–21). But notice the theme: God’s promises kept!
Write down any promises God has made to you or your family. Keep your eyes open for any ways that God is fulfilling those promises. Write down whatever you observe.
Through Jesus, God lives with us, his people. Praise him for the privilege of access to him without the need for temples.