1 Kings 8:
In the first paragraph you can establish the Who, What, Where, When, (we get to the Why later).
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.
The WHEN is so cool. This is a HUGE moment and Solomon chose the month of Ethamin, the seventh month. Ethamin means “ever-flowing streams,” “enduring” “strong” “everlasting” The name of the month gets changed after the captivity to Tishri or Tishrei. The word “Tishrei” comes from the Syrian “tishrin,” and it means “beginning” or “commencement”. How fitting for this moment (little geeky info for you).
What do you see? The Feast of Tabernacles. This was one of the feasts that the Mosaic Law specified that all Israelite males must attend (Lev. 23:33-36). This feast was a commemoration of the Lord’s faithfulness during the wilderness wanderings. It looked back to their slavery in Egypt and forward to their Promised Land. The bringing of the ark into the temple symbolized the fulfillment of that hope. Solomon waited for this feast in order to celebrate the dedication of the temple. This festival would bring everyone to the tabernacle (now the temple) to celebrate all week. This is a fantastic day with a spectacular crowd to see the dedication of the temple as the Glory of God fills it.
The ark has been in the Tabernacle this whole time at the house of Obed-edom. David brought it there after the Philistines had captured it and returned it (2 Sam. 6:17). The Levites properly brought the Ark into the Temple.
“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.”
The “shekinah” cloud, means “to dwell”. It symbolized his presence among the people. The same word was used when he filled the tabernacle in Exodus 40.
Solomon addressed the people regarding his father’s heart wanting to build the temple, but he was not allowed since he was a king of war, not peace. God raised up Solomon to do that, as He had promised. He has a large crowd for the festival and he is restating the Davidic Covenant BUT I am also thinking he is letting them know he is king. A king takes his rightful place after his throne is built (we read about that yesterday):
Solomon’s Prayer was AMAZING!!! It is the longest prayer in the Bible. It begins with:
“Lord, the God of Israel, there is no God like you in heaven above or on earth below—you who keep your covenant of love with your servants who continue wholeheartedly in your way.
He did not confuse God’s presence with God Himself. (I think we need to think about that in our own lives)
27 “But will God really dwell on earth? The heavens, even the highest heaven, cannot contain you. How much less this temple I have built!
When Solomon prayed his requests were specific. In Leviticus and Deuteronomy God spoke of Blessing if they followed the law and consequences for disobedience. Solomon specifically addressed each consequence in his prayer. However, he uses the word WHEN not If. (Must be the Wisdom speaking)
- When anyone wrongs their neighbor…judge between the innocent and the guilty
- When your people are defeated, sin, turn their back to you…forgive them
- When there is a drought…teach them what is right
- When there is a famine, plague, natural disasters….know their hearts when they call out
- When a foreigner comes to you (Gentiles)…may all the people know you
- When we go to war…uphold the cause of your people
- My favorite: 46 “When they sin against you—for there is no one who does not sin—and you become angry with them and give them over to their enemies, who take them captive to their own lands, far away or near; ….(and when they repent)…forgive them and bring them back.
After reading Chronicles, I thought: “If Chris Tomlin was the entertainment for the Festival, what would the encore song be”. I know you thought about it too!!