Manna for Today

 

Have Faith in God’s Faithfulness (1 Kings 8:22-53)

“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; 47 and if they have a change of heart in the land where they are held captive, and repent and plead with you in the land of their captors and say, ‘We have sinned, we have done wrong, we have acted wickedly’; 48 and if they turn back to you with all their heart and soul in the land of their enemies who took them captive, and pray to you toward the land you gave their ancestors, toward the city you have chosen and the temple I have built for your Name; 49 then from heaven, your dwelling place, hear their prayer and their plea, and uphold their cause. 50 And forgive your people, who have sinned against you; forgive all the offenses they have committed against you, and cause their captors to show them mercy; 51 for they are your people and your inheritance, whom you brought out of Egypt, out of that iron-smelting furnace.

52 “May your eyes be open to your servant’s plea and to the plea of your people Israel, and may you listen to them whenever they cry out to you. 53 For you singled them out from all the nations of the world to be your own inheritance, just as you declared through your servant Moses when you, Sovereign Lord, brought our ancestors out of Egypt.”  (1 Kings 8:46-53)

Learn it:

            The Ark has been brought in and now King Solomon offers this long prayer up to the LORD.  I encourage you to go back and read the whole prayer it is beautiful!  One thing that is important to remember about this passage is to remember who’s its original audience was.  It would have been Israelites that were living in exile.  In this prayer Solomon prays that the LORD would help the Israelites through times of famine, drought, war, and times when they sin against one another.  He prays that the LORD would forgive them and that the people’s hearts would change. 

            It is the authors hope, that the reader of this prayer would be drawn back into a right relationship with the LORD.  Up above in verses 47 and 48, it speaks directly to a person living amongst their enemies.  They need to repent and turn their hearts back toward the LORD.  This would have been great encouragement and then it gives them hope.  That God will continue to be with his chosen people and He will hear their prayers. 

Live it:

            Solomon’s prayer should be of great encouragement to us today.  Solomon starts off the prayer by recognizing how big the LORD is and how crazy it seems that he would dwell in the temple.  Solomon understands that it is just a small part of the LORD dwelling in the temple.  Then he goes through different circumstances asking for God’s faithfulness and for the people to back to him. 

            We need to pray in a similar way.  Praying that the LORD would hear our prayers.  Praying that He will forgive us.  Then praying, that we will turn back to him with our hearts and our lives.  What circumstances in your life do you need the LORD to step in and help you with?  Then you need to trust that Christ is going to be faithful in answering that prayer.  Put your trust in Christ and that He is going to be with you always.   Just like he had a purpose for Israel being exiled he has a purpose for everything we are going through.  It may not make sense to us, but the LORD’s way is beyond our understanding!


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Solomon’s Thankfulness to God (1 Kings 8:12-21)

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.”  (1 Kings 8:14-21)

Learn it:

            After the presence of the LORD fills the temple, King Solomon offers up these words to God before the crowd.  He is focused on praising the LORD for his faithfulness for bringing Israel out of Egypt.  That God had given them this land.  He expresses gratitude that they were able to complete the temple that originally started with David.  Finally, he is also grateful that the LORD has allowed him and his father to rule over Israel.

            Solomon wants all of Israel to know how the LORD has blessed them.  Solomon does not want the glory.  He wants the LORD to receive all the glory.  He is the one that chose Israel.  He is the one that protected them and guided them.  He is the one that deserves all the glory and praise.  The LORD is faithful and has chosen to dwell among them. 

Live it:

            In our lives God has provided for us in one way or another.  Whether that is a job, skill, relationship, or whatever it is.  God deserves the glory because it is all from him.  Then we need to give him the credit for it.  Not just silently in our hearts but we need to tell others of how great our God is.  How he dwells with us and is active in our lives.  It will be a great testimony to others and will encourage fellow believers.  How can you share what God has done in your life with someone else today?


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God Dwells with His People (1 Kings 8:1-11)

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.  (1 Kings 8:1-11)

Learn it:

            This is a big moment in Israel’s history.  The temple is completed and now the ark is going to be brought in.  This is the ark that Moses had built that held the two stone tablets that the LORD gave him.  The same ark that was in the tabernacle where the LORD dwelt while the Israelites were roaming in the desert.  The LORD finally has a proper place to dwell in the promised land! 

            The bring the ark in during the Feast of the Tabernacles.  This festival is when Israelites look back at their slavery in Egypt and remember how the Lord brought them to the promised land.  It would have meant so much to everyone during this celebration for the ark to dedicate the temple.  When they bring the ark in the presence of the LORD fills the temple.  The cloud was so dark that the priests could not perform any sacrifices.  What a sight to behold! 

Live it:

            Back then the LORD dwelled in the temple.  Now, the LORD dwells within each believer.  When we surrender our lives to Jesus Christ the Holy Spirit comes and dwells within you.  This picture of the LORD filling the temple points forward to the Holy Spirit within us.  It is a cause of celebration whenever someone comes to faith.  We should be in awe of how God dwells within his people, you and me.  Praise God!  It should lead us into a deeper worship of who he is.


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The Glory of God (1 Kings 7:13-51)

So Huram finished all the work he had undertaken for King Solomon in the temple of the Lord: 41 the two pillars; the two bowl-shaped capitals on top of the pillars; the two sets of network decorating the two bowl-shaped capitals on top of the pillars; 42 the four hundred pomegranates for the two sets of network (two rows of pomegranates for each network decorating the bowl-shaped capitals on top of the pillars); 43 the ten stands with their ten basins; 44 the Sea and the twelve bulls under it; 45 the pots, shovels and sprinkling bowls.  (1 Kings 7:40-45)

When all the work King Solomon had done for the temple of the Lord was finished, he brought in the things his father David had dedicated—the silver and gold and the furnishings—and he placed them in the treasuries of the Lord’s temple.  (1 Kings 7:51)

Learn it:

            In this lengthy section, we get a description of the furnishings inside and outside the temple.  Much like how the temple was built there was a lot of care given to what was made to furnish it.  Towards the entrance of the temple were two prominent pillar that were named Jakin, which means he shall establish, and Boaz, which means in Him is strength.  These would symbolize the covenant that was established between God and Israel. 

            Other things that were made for the temple were lamp stands, huge water basins and a ton of pomegranates.  The water basins symbolized how big God was and the pomegranates alluded to the abundance or fruitfulness of God’s blessings and presence.  Once the new things were created they then brought in all the things that were made during King David’s reign.  This is something they had been working towards for a long time.

Live it:

            The grandeur and beauty of the temple are probably lost on us.  The closest example I can think of is when I was in junior high my parents took the family on a trip to London.  While we were there we visited many old churches.  Even at a young age, I was in awe of how large and beautiful they were.  I could not imagine how someone would be able to build these massive buildings, with huge arching ceilings, and stained glass windows.  It gave me a sense of how big God was and of his glory. 

            Have you ever visited an old cathedral, that left you breathless with everything in it pointing to God?  That is what the temple would have been like for Israel.  That is where they would go to experience God and to be in his presence.  For us today God dwells within the believer so we lose the visual impact of a temple.  That is why we need to read through these passages of the temple.  To be in awe of the visual picture the author is painting for us.  Read through chapter 7 and think about all the things that are in the temple.  How do they point towards God and his promises?  What does that mean for your life? 


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Pastor’s Corner