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Monday, May 23, 2016

When the Glory Fills the Temple (1 Kings 8:10)

"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."

Solomon and his builders finally finished the work of the glorious temple that was born of David's vision and crafted according to his design. This magnificent house exuded splendor and greatness, and was indeed a temple fit for the LORD. One thing it lacked, however, and this was the heart--the ark of the covenant. The ark was the meeting place between holy God and sinful man, the place where shed blood covered the broken law.

The priests brought the ark into the temple on their shoulders in just the way God had commanded it be borne. All the Levites wore the holy garments God required. Musicians took the places assigned by David, lifted up their voices in unison, and offered praise to God accompanied by 120 trumpeters, as well as those who played cymbals, harps, and lyres. They sang the simple yet powerful song of the redeemed:
"He is good; His love endures forever."

As the people dressed in purity, sang in unity, and worshiped in verity, the Bible says, "Then the temple of the LORD was filled with a cloud, and the priests could not perform their service because of the cloud, for the glory of the LORD filled the temple of God" (1 Chron. 5:13-14). God manifested His personal presence when His people worshiped Him properly.

This same glory came down again hundreds of years later; this time, however, the Glory was the person of Jesus Himself. John says, "And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only-begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth." Jesus is the radiance of the glory of God (Heb. 1:3); He manifests Himself among His people when they worship Him in Spirit and in truth. The chronicler records the purity of the people, the unity of the worship, and the verity (truth) of their song. When God's people seek purity, unity, and verity, God delights to show up in worship.

Does your personal worship measure up? Are you worshiping in purity and truth? How about your church? Does your church seek purity, unity, and truth in every situation? The stifling lack of the manifest presence of God that pervades our churches may reflect His response to impurity, disunity, and dishonesty that fills hearts, pews, and pulpits. We need to seek the Lord in unity, purity, and verity--perhaps the LORD will show up once again among His people!

Questions for Today's Chronological Bible Reading:
1 Kings 7:13-51
  • Who does Solomon bring from Tyre? With what metals does he work? How does he cast these metals? What seems to be his main responsibilities?
  • What is the design of the Sea? What is its purpose? How do the basins work alongside of the Sea?
  • What items were made of gold? Why these particular items?
2 Chronicles 4:1-5:1
  • How much bronze was used in the construction of the temple?
1 Kings 8:1-21
  • How many times does the text use the word "all"? What does this tell you about this event in the life of Israel?
  • How many sheep and cattle does Solomon sacrifice?
  • What was in the ark of the covenant? What is the significance of this item?
  • Why did Solomon praise the LORD?
Turning Truth into Prayer:
Do you long to see God's glory revealed in your life, your ministry, or your church? God desires to manifest His presence to His people, but the text today reveals the price--unity, purity, and verity. Ask God to bring unity to your church, purity to your heart, and truthfulness to your lips. Perhaps--just perhaps--He will move in mighty power once again.