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Bible Pathways 04/24/2002

April 24

Read 1 Kings 8

In Today's Reading:

What a thrill it must have been to witness the glory of the Lord filling the Temple after the Ark is brought into the Temple l The priests are unable to enter l Solomon's amazing sermon, prayer, and dedication l Blessing upon the people and numerous sacrifices.

Verses for Today:

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. . . . What prayer and supplication soever be made by any man . . . Then hear . . . and forgive . . . and give to every man according to his ways, whose heart thou knowest (1 Kings 8:1).

At last, the glorious day had arrived for the dedication of the Temple on Mount Moriah in Jerusalem. 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). The presence of God dwelt above the Mercy Seat which covered the Ark. It was a visible reminder that the God of Israel and of all creation 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 Offering) 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 2 Chronicles 6:13-14). Solomon prayed the longest recorded prayer in the Bible and stressed the necessity of faithfulness to the Word of God (1 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 He 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).

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" is not to be thought of as "a loss" but as a privilege to present to Him. However, sacrifices are an abomination if they don't represent an expression of our true devotion to the Lord Jesus Christ.

There is but One Living God Who is a Trinity expressed in three Persons: God the Father, God the Son (virgin born in Bethlehem), and God the Holy Spirit, Who dwells within every child of God. All other gods are lifeless counterfeits that can save no one from hell or prepare them for Heaven. They are helpless to provide for our needs, protect us from enemies, or answer our prayers. For there is one God, and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus (1 Timothy 2:5). Jesus made Himself known to the religious authorities when He said: I and My Father are One (John 10:30). These enemies clearly understood Him and were ready to stone Him: Because [You make Yourself] God (10:33). Jesus clearly distinguishes the difference between the God of His followers and of all others who reject Him as the One True God. To His disciples He later said: He that [has] seen Me [has] seen the Father (14:9); and still later said: He that [hates] Me [hates] My Father also (15:23).

What a wonderful sense of security and great honor Our Lord bestowed upon all who are faithful when He prayed: They have kept thy Word. . . . They are not of the world. . . . Father, I will that they also, whom Thou hast given Me, be with Me where I am; that they may behold My glory (John 17:6).

Christ Portrayed:

As the perfect Temple of God before whom all kings of the earth one day must bow (1 Kings 8:54; John 2:19-21). Wherefore God . . . [has] highly exalted Him . . . That at the Name of Jesus every knee should bow (Philippians 2:9-10).

Word Studies:

8:2 Ethanim = September/October; 8:37 blasting = blight; 8:47 bethink themselves = learn their lesson.

Prayer Needs:

Government Officials: Gov. Argeo Cellucci (MA), Gov. Jim Geringer (WY), and Rep. Jack Kingston (GA) · Pray for your Pastor · Country: Cameroon (15 million) in west-central Africa · Major languages: English and French · Pressure on Christians from authorities and Muslims · 28% Roman Catholic; 23% Muslim; 18% animism, divination, and animal sacrifices; 14% Protestant · Prayer Suggestion: Ask the Lord to help you teach His Word to your children; it will give guidance and instruction as they go through life (Proverbs 6:20-23).

Optional Reading: Acts 25

Memory Verse for the Week: Psalms 119:165

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