April 24

Read I Kings 8

The glorious day had arrived for the dedication of the Temple on Mount Moriah in Jerusalem. In the eleventh year, in the . . . eighth month, was the House finished. . . . So he was seven years in building it (I Kings 6:38). Just prior to the dedication, Solomon assembled the elders of Israel . . . in Jerusalem, that they might bring up the Ark of the Covenant of the Lord out of the City of David, which is Zion. . . . And the priests brought in the Ark of the Covenant of the Lord unto . . . the most Holy Place (8:1,6). The Ark is where the presence of God dwelt above the Mercy Seat. Now there was nothing in the Ark except the two tables of stone (the Ten Commandments), which Moses put there at Horeb (Sinai) centuries before (8:9). After the Ark was placed in the Holy of Holies, the glory of the Lord filled the House of the Lord (8:11). This was a visible reminder that the God of Israel was in their midst.

The people stood in the courtyard and worshiped the Lord at the dedication of the Temple, as they had at the Tabernacle. Solomon stood (on a platform) before the altar (of burnt offerings) of the Lord in the presence of all the congregation of Israel, and spread forth his hands toward Heaven: And he said, Lord God of Israel, there is no God like You, in Heaven above, or on earth beneath, who keeps covenant and mercy with Your servants that walk before You with all their heart (8:22-23; compare II Chronicles 6:13-14). Solomon prayed the longest recorded prayer in the Bible and stressed the necessity of faithfulness to the Word of God (I Kings 8:22-25).

The Israelites were chosen to let the world know there is only One True God: That all people of the earth may know Your Name, to fear You, as do Your people Israel. . . . let Him not leave us, nor forsake us: That we may incline our hearts to Him, to walk in all His ways, and to keep His commandments. . . . That all the people of the earth may know that the Lord is God, and that there is none else (8:43,57-58,60). Buddha, Allah, and all other "gods" are false gods. The one true God includes all three persons of the trinity: God the Father, Jesus as God, the son, and God the Holy Spirit. Notice also that all mankind is to walk in all His ways, meaning that each person's daily conversation and conduct should be an expression of love to God and loyalty to His commandments.

Solomon continued to pray: Let your heart therefore be perfect (blameless) with the Lord our God . . . to keep His commandments. . . . And Solomon offered a sacrifice . . . to the Lord, of twenty-two thousand oxen, and a hundred and twenty thousand sheep (8:61-63).

The word "sacrifice" does not mean "a great loss." A sacrifice to the Lord is never a deprivation, but is a gift of something dedicated to the Lord. However, sacrifices are an abomination if they don't represent an expression of our true inner devotion to the Lord. The Prophet Samuel had warned King Saul: Hath the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to harken than the fat of rams (I Samuel 15:22).

Christ Portrayed: As the perfect Temple of God before whom all kings of the earth one day must bow (I Kings 8:54; John 2:19-21).

Word Studies: 8:37 blasting means blight; 8:47 bethink themselves means think it over/learn their lesson; 8:64 hallow means consecrate or set aside for holy use.

Prayer:

Government Officials: Gov. Argeo Paul Cellucci (MA), Gov. Jim Geringer (WY), and Rep. Jack Kingston (GA) · Pray for Rick Hash and the Bible Pathway Radio Broadcasts on KVER-FM, El Paso, TX · Pray for the Bible Pathway International Radio broadcast in honor of Emma Sallee · Country: Equatorial Guinea (466,000) in western Africa · Major language: Spanish · Freedom for churches at this time · 71% Roman Catholic; 19% ancestral spirit worship and medicine men; 6% Protestant · Prayer Suggestion: Ask for understanding as you read the Word of God (Psalms 119:73).

Optional Reading: Acts 25

Memory Verse for the Week: Ecclesiastes 12:13-14