Teaching Wisdom to Our Children (Pt 15)

Teaching Wisdom

God gives us an interesting example of a teacher and master craftsman in the Book of Exodus. His name was Bezaleel and he was from the Tribe of Judah. We can learn much about choosing the right teachers for our children and being the right teachers for them.

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Teaching Wisdom to Our Children – Part 2

Last week we began a special series about teaching wisdom to our children. Given the fact that knowledge currently “doubles” about every 12 months, our children will know more than any previous generation. However, another fact is that wisdom to use the growing volume of  knowledge is diminishing rapidly.

King Solomon of Israel was the world’s wisest man. When he spoke, people listened. They were amazed at his combination of knowledge, understanding and wisdom.

“And God gave Solomon wisdom and exceedingly great understanding, and largeness of heart like the sand on the seashore. Thus Solomon’s wisdom excelled the wisdom of all the men of the East and all the wisdom of Egypt. For he was wiser than all men—than Ethan the Ezrahite, and Heman, Chalcol, and Darda, the sons of Mahol; and his fame was in all the surrounding nations. He spoke three thousand proverbs, and his songs were one thousand and five. Also he spoke of trees, from the cedar tree of Lebanon even to the hyssop that springs out of the wall; he spoke also of animals, of birds, of creeping things, and of fish. And men of all nations, from all the kings of the earth who had heard of his wisdom, came to hear the wisdom of Solomon.” 1 Kings 4:29-34 (NKJV)

A good place to begin teaching wisdom to our children is through the words of Solomon and his father, King David.

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Romans – The Gospel of God (Part 15)

SAMSUNG“Paul, a bondservant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated to the gospel of God which He promised before through His prophets in the Holy Scriptures, concerning His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who was born of the seed of David according to the flesh, and declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead.” Romans 1:1-4

Paul, like other Christian Apostles, makes a strong case for Christ’s eternal position as the Son of God. Paul appealed to Christ’s birth, death and resurrection. Those who claim that Paul never spoke or wrote about the Virgin Birth of Christ apparently missed this verse in Romans 1 where he declares that Jesus Christ was “born of the seed of David according to the flesh.” In his second letter to Timothy, Paul repeated his affirmation of the Virgin Birth – “Remember that Jesus Christ, of the seed of David, was raised from the dead according to my gospel.” (2 Timothy 2:8) It’s important to note that in both Romans and 2 Timothy, Paul connected Christ’s birth to His resurrection. Both of these truths are at the core of Christianity.

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Romans – The Gospel of God (Part 12)

SAMSUNG“Paul, a bondservant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated to the gospel of God which He promised before through His prophets in the Holy Scriptures.” Romans 1:1-2

What did Paul refer to when he wrote about the “Holy Scriptures?” Paul used the word “Scripture” 15 times in his letters, and Luke used the word in reference to Paul’s ministry four times in the Book of Acts. So, what “scriptures” did they mean?

Paul referred to the Scriptures twice in his letters as “holy” – Romans 1:2 and 2 Timothy 3:15. What does that mean when placed before the word “Scriptures?” Let’s see what God has for us today.

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On A Journey Of Thanksgiving

What should our response be to God’s continual provision and protection? Thanksgiving! God has called His people to be thankful in all we do and say. It’s at the heart of how we should respond to God in our lives “in everything.”

Here’s a brief journey of thanksgiving, beginning with Israel after God freed them from slavery in Egypt and continuing until the day we are all together in Heaven under the eternal care of our Heavenly Father.

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Showing The Kindness of God

Kindness of God

What does it mean to show the kindness of God to another person? Let me tell you a story.

Israel’s King David had come to a point in his reign where he had defeated his enemies on all sides and had a strong system of controls in place to keep war from breaking out again – at least for awhile. That gave David time to consider other important matters in his life as king.

“Now David said, ‘Is there still anyone who is left of the house of Saul, that I may show him kindness for Jonathan’s sake?” 2 Samuel 9:1

David remembered his covenant with Jonathan from many years before. Jonathan was the son of King Saul and David’s best friend. Saul hated David and tried to kill him many times, so David is on the run from Saul. That’s when David and Jonathan made a covenant with each other.

“Therefore you shall deal kindly with your servant, for you have brought your servant into a covenant of the LORD with you. Nevertheless, if there is iniquity in me, kill me yourself, for why should you bring me to your father?’ But Jonathan said, ‘Far be it from you! For if I knew certainly that evil was determined by my father to come upon you, then would I not tell you?’ Then David said to Jonathan, ‘Who will tell me, or what if your father answers you roughly?’ And Jonathan said to David, ‘Come, let us go out into the field.’ So both of them went out into the field. Then Jonathan said to David: ‘The LORD God of Israel is witness! When I have sounded out my father sometime tomorrow, or the third day,and indeed there is good toward David, and I do not send to you and tell you, may the LORD do so and much more to Jonathan. But if it pleases my father to do you evil, then I will report it to you and send you away, that you may go in safety. And the LORD be with you as He has been with my father. And you shall not only show me the kindness of the LORD while I still live, that I may not die; but you shall not cut off your kindness from my house forever, no, not when the LORD has cut off every one of the enemies of David from the face of the earth.’ So Jonathan made a covenant with the house of David, saying, Let the LORD require it at the hand of David’s enemies.” 1 Samuel 20:8-16

This was the covenant King David was remembering years later. Saul, Jonathan and two other brothers were killed in battle. Another brother, Ishbosheth, was murdered as he slept. David wondered if there was anyone left in the house of Saul that he could show kindness to “for Jonathan’s sake.”

If Samuel 9 was a play, there would be three main actors on stage: King David, Ziba and Mephibosheth. The theme of the play would be the kindness of God. David’s desire to show kindness to the house of Saul led to the introduction of the next character in the play, Ziba.

“And there was a servant of the house of Saul whose name was Ziba. So when they had called him to David, the king said to him, ‘Are you Ziba?’  He said, ‘At your service!’ 2 Samuel 9:2

If Ziba seems a little too anxious to serve and please King David, we will learn later that he was the type of person who looks out for himself and stabs others in the back when it benefits him. But he does help David learn about Mephibosheth, the only remaining son of Jonathan, David’s dear friend from his youth.

“Then the king said, ‘Is there not still someone of the house of Saul, to whom I may show the kindness of God?’ And Ziba said to the king, ‘There is still a son of Jonathan who is lame in his feet.’ So the king said to him, ‘Where is he?’ And Ziba said to the king, ‘Indeed he is in the house of Machir the son of Ammiel, in Lo Debar.” 2 Samuel 9:3-4

We now meet the next character in our play, Mephibosheth, the son of Jonathan and grandson of Saul. Mephibosheth was only five years old when his father, grandfather, and two uncles were killed in battle. The woman who took care of Mephibosheth believed they were in great danger, so she grabbed Mephibosheth and began to run, but she dropped Mephibosheth and he was seriously injured. He was crippled in both feet for the rest of his life.

Ziba told David he could find Mephibosheth in the city of Lo Debar. That was located many miles to the northeast of Jerusalem in a barren area of northern Gilead – a great place to hide from someone who might want him dead – like King David. David sent for Mephibosheth and Jonathan’s son traveled to Jerusalem to appear before the king.

“When Mephibosheth son of Jonathan, the son of Saul, came to David, he bowed down to pay him honor. David said, ‘Mephibosheth!’ ‘Your servant,’ he replied. ‘Don’t be afraid,’ David said to him, ‘for I will surely show you kindness for the sake of your father Jonathan. I will restore to you all the land that belonged to your grandfather Saul, and you will always eat at my table.’ Mephibosheth bowed down and said, ‘What is your servant, that you should notice a dead dog like me? Then the king summoned Ziba, Saul’s servant, and said to him, ‘I have given your master’s grandson everything that belonged to Saul and his family. You and your sons and your servants are to farm the land for him and bring in the crops, so that your master’s grandson may be provided for. And Mephibosheth, grandson of your master, will always eat at my table.” (Now Ziba had fifteen sons and twenty servants.) Then Ziba said to the king, ‘Your servant will do whatever my lord the king commands his servant to do.’ So Mephibosheth ate at David’s table like one of the king’s sons. Mephibosheth had a young son named Mica, and all the members of Ziba’s household were servants of Mephibosheth. And Mephibosheth lived in Jerusalem, because he always ate at the king’s table, and he was crippled in both feet.” 2 Samuel 9:6-13

What David did was unusual for an ancient king. He showed kindness to a potential heir to his throne, and not just the kindness of not killing Mephibosheth. David returned all of Saul’s land to Mephibosheth, told Ziba to farm the land for Mephibosheth and bring in the crops, and invited Mephibosheth to eat at the king’s table every day! King watchers would have seen David’s actions as foolish and risky. Mephibosheth was safely tucked away in a barren land many miles from Jerusalem, but David returned him to the property of his grandfather Saul which was only five or six miles from David’s palace. And – Mephibosheth would have daily access to the palace because that’s where he would eat his meals. But David was not thinking about himself. He wasn’t thinking about what others might think. David just wanted to show the kindness of God to the house of Saul “for Jonathan’s sake.”

What was this “kindness” that would cause a king to open himself to ridicule and danger? The Hebrew word for kindness is chesed and is used three times in 2 Samuel 9: verses 1, 3 and 7.

Verse 1 – “Now David said, ‘Is there still anyone who is left of the house of Saul, that I may show him kindness for Jonathan’s sake?”

Verse 3 – “Then the king said, ‘Is there not still someone of the house of Saul, to whom I may show the kindness of God?

Verse 7 – “So David said to him, ‘Do not fear, for I will surely show you kindness for Jonathan your father’s sake, and will restore to you all the land of Saul your grandfather; and you shall eat bread at my table continually.”

Chesed is a very difficult word to translate into other languages. That’s because it had a very special meaning to the people of Israel – it was used for the covenant relationship God had with them. Defining it fully would mean understanding what the word meant to God and to the people of Israel through centuries of relationship. God asked one primary thing of Israel and that was to worship Him and Him only. Israel was not to bow down and worship any other gods. So, what did Israel do over and over again for hundreds of years? The people bowed down and worshiped other gods – the very thing God told them not to do. What did God do? He loved them with an everlasting love. That love included chastening, but always ended with forgiveness and a welcome back. The centuries of God’s faithfulness to His covenant with Israel brought deep meaning to the word chesed. God’s love for Israel is the highest example of unfailing love to an undeserving people. It was a love that would not give up.

Bible translators have always had difficulty coming up with a word in their language to define the full meaning of chased, which is used almost 250 times in the Old Testament. The majority of the uses of the word are found in the Book of Psalms. Some of the English words used to translate chesed are “love, unfailing love, great love, loving-kindness, mercy, pity, and grace.” The Greek word charis carries forward a key idea of the kindness of God: it is kindness without cause. The people of Israel did nothing to cause God to love them. In fact, they did everything possible for God to despise them and cast them away forever. The Lord’s kindness toward Israel through centuries of their disobedience is surely the epitome of kindness without cause.

God’s kindness is getting what you don’t deserve, and not getting what you do deserve. That’s also a good definition of God’s grace toward all of us. All of us who are Christians have received what we do not deserve – and have not received what we did deserve. I am a former atheist and fully aware of just how far away from God I used to be. I know my former way of believing and living and have no doubt that God has granted me the greatest gift that can be given – forgiveness and eternal life. I deserve death and hell – instead, God has given me life and Heaven. I would call that not getting what I deserved and getting what I do not deserve. Praise the Lord!

The kindness of God toward His chosen people demonstrates the deep nature of His moral character. We know that God is Eternal, Almighty, All-knowing, Everywhere Present, and Unchangeable, but that doesn’t tell us about His moral character. What kind of Almighty God is He? The Bible teaches that God is “holy, righteous, just, truthful, loving, good, kind, gracious, merciful, and faithful.” That’s Who He is and God cannot be anything but Who He is. Everything God believes and wants and wills and does is based on His moral character. You will never find God being unholy, unrighteous, or unjust. You will never find God lying, being unloving, evil, unkind, ungracious, merciless, or unfaithful. He cannot be those things because they are not part of His perfect moral character. God’s kindness toward His chosen people will always be consistent with Who He is.

I mentioned earlier that the majority of uses of the word chesed are in the Psalms. Here are three examples of how David and other writers of the Psalms used the word.

Psalm 25:6-10 (Psalm of David)

“Remember, O LORD, Your tender mercies and Your lovingkindnesses,
For they are from of old. Do not remember the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions;
According to Your mercy remember me, For Your goodness’ sake, O LORD. Good and upright is the LORD;
 Therefore He teaches sinners in the way.
 The humble He guides in justice, 
And the humble He teaches His way.
 All the paths of the LORD are mercy and truth,
 To such as keep His covenant and His testimonies. For Your name’s sake, O Lord, Pardon my iniquity, for it is great.”

Psalm 36:5-10 (Psalm of David)

“Your mercy, O LORD, is in the heavens; Your faithfulness reaches to the clouds. 
Your righteousness is like the great mountains;
 Your judgments are a great deep; O LORD, You preserve man and beast. How precious is Your lovingkindness, O God!
 Therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of Your wings.
 They are abundantly satisfied with the fullness of Your house,
 And You give them drink from the river of Your pleasures. For with You is the fountain of life; In Your light we see light. Oh, continue Your lovingkindness to those who know You,
 And Your righteousness to the upright in heart.”

The chapter that uses the word chesed most is Psalm 136. It has 26 verses and the word is used once in every verse. However, before we look at the Psalm let me tell you a story about it. We don’t know who wrote this Psalm, but we do know that it was very special to the people of Israel. Here’s how we know.

When King Solomon (David’s son) was dedicating the temple and the priests carried the Ark of the Covenant into the Most Holy Place in the temple, the Shekinah glory of God filled the house of the Lord. What did the priests and the people do? They sang from Psalm 136. Many years later, when Jehosophat was King of Judah (Judah and Israel were divided kingdoms at that time), a great army of Ammonites, Moabites and Edomites gathered to attack Judah. King Jehosophat was afraid and prayed to God for wisdom about what to do. God told the king and the people of Judah to take their praise and worship team into battle and leave the army behind. God was going to win the battle for Judah as they sang songs of praise to His Name. What Psalm did they repeat as they marched toward the battlefield? Psalm 136. What happened in battle that day? The armies of the Ammonites, Moabites and Edomites killed each other so that no one escaped. King Jehosophat and the people of Israel spent three days gathering the spoils of war from the battlefield.

Now, let’s read Psalm 136 and remember the greatness of God and His chesed (mercy) that endures forever.

Psalm 136

“Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever. Oh, give thanks to the God of gods! For His mercy endures forever. Oh, give thanks to the Lord of lords! For His mercy endures forever: To Him who alone does great wonders, For His mercy endures forever; To Him who by wisdom made the heavens, For His mercy endures forever; To Him who laid out the earth above the waters, For His mercy endures forever; To Him who made great lights, For His mercy endures forever— The sun to rule by day, For His mercy endures forever; The moon and stars to rule by night, For His mercy endures forever. To Him who struck Egypt in their firstborn, For His mercy endures forever; And brought out Israel from among them, For His mercy endures forever; With a strong hand, and with an outstretched arm, For His mercy endures forever; To Him who divided the Red Sea in two, For His mercy endures forever; And made Israel pass through the midst of it, For His mercy endures forever; But overthrew Pharaoh and his army in the Red Sea, For His mercy endures forever; To Him who led His people through the wilderness, For His mercy endures forever; To Him who struck down great kings, For His mercy endures forever; And slew famous kings, For His mercy endures forever— Sihon king of the Amorites, For His mercy endures forever; And Og king of Bashan, For His mercy endures forever— And gave their land as a heritage, For His mercy endures forever; A heritage to Israel His servant, For His mercy endures forever. Who remembered us in our lowly state, For His mercy endures forever; And rescued us from our enemies, For His mercy endures forever; Who gives food to all flesh, For His mercy endures forever. Oh, give thanks to the God of heaven! For His mercy endures forever.”

Christian, God loves you with an unfailing love. His loving-kindess is always with you, around you, behind you, and before you. You walk every day in His chesed – His loving-kindness. Whether you are experiencing great spiritual highs like King Solomon and the people of Israel at the dedication of the temple – or great spiritual lows like King Jehosophat and the people of Judah who faced horrific enemies with only a song in their hearts and simple faith in God, the kindness of God is with you.

And let us not forget what brought us here – King David’s desire to show God’s kindness to the house of Saul for Jonathan’s sake. Who can you show the kindness of God to this week? Think beyond your friends and those who are easy and safe to show kindness. Take a risk like David did. Who in your life needs an extraordinary demonstration of the kindness of God? May we all have a week like we’ve never had before as we receive and show the chesed, the amazing kindness of God.

In Christ’s Love and Grace,

Mark McGee

GraceLife Ministries

“Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.”

The Temple of the Living God

Worship Words

We’re sharing this week about the amazing history (His Story) of the worship of the Almighty God! We’ve seen that God developed worship to be both personal and corporate. We’ve seen that God created angels and humans for the purpose of worship and fellowship. Worship began in Heaven with angels and continued on earth with humans. That worship began in families and eventually grew into the corporate worship of the nation of Israel.

We saw the stunning details of the Tabernacle Israel built in the desert for God to dwell with His people. The Lord gave special wisdom to the artisans of Israel to build the Tabernacle. They followed God’s direction for building it to the exact pattern He gave to Moses on Mt. Sinai. When Moses and the people of Israel completed building and erecting the Tabernacle, the great Cloud of God covered the Tabernacle of Meeting, “and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle.” (Exodus 40:34) The Cloud of God was above the Tabernacle by day and fire was over it by night. in the sight of all the people of Israel.

The use of the Tabernacle for sacrifice and worship continued for hundreds of years, traveling from one place to another, until the day finally came when it was replaced by the permanent Temple of God in Jerusalem.

“So all the work that Solomon had done for the house of the LORD was finished; and Solomon brought in the things which his father David had dedicated: the silver and the gold and all the furnishings. And he put them in the treasuries of the house of God. Now Solomon assembled the elders of Israel and all the heads of the tribes, the chief fathers of the children of Israel, in Jerusalem, that they might bring the ark of the covenant of the LORD up from the City of David, which is Zion. Therefore all the men of Israel assembled with the king at the feast, which wasin the seventh month. So all the elders of Israel came, and the Levites took up the ark. Then they brought up the ark, the tabernacle of meeting, and all the holy furnishings that were in the tabernacle. The priests and the Levites brought them up. Also King Solomon, and all the congregation of Israel who were assembled with him before the ark, were sacrificing sheep and oxen that could not be counted or numbered for multitude. Then the priests brought in the ark of the covenant of the LORD to its place, into the inner sanctuary of the temple, to the Most Holy Place, under the wings of the cherubim. For the cherubim spread their wings over the place of the ark, and the cherubim overshadowed the ark and its poles. The poles extended so that the ends of the poles of the ark could be seen from the holy place, in front of the inner sanctuary; but they could not be seen from outside. And they are there to this day.” 2 Chronicles 5:1-9

God waited to reveal His plans for a permanent home on earth until King David took Jerusalem from the Jebusites and made it the capital city of Israel. God blessed David and gave him many great military victories against the enemies of Israel. Then, the Lord gave David the desire to build a permanent House for God.

“Now it came to pass when the king was dwelling in his house, and the LORD had given him rest from all his enemies all around, that the king said to Nathan the prophet, ‘See now, I dwell in a house of cedar, but the ark of God dwells inside tent curtains.’ Then Nathan said to the king, ‘Go, do all that is in your heart, for the LORD is with you.” 2 Samuel 7:1-3

However, God had other plans. He told the prophet Nathan to tell David that he would not build a permanent Place for God. That would be for David’s son to do. That man was Solomon.

“Now Hiram king of Tyre sent his servants to Solomon, because he heard that they had anointed him king in place of his father, for Hiram had always loved David. Then Solomon sent to Hiram, saying: You know how my father David could not build a house for the name of the LORD his God because of the wars which were fought against him on every side, until the LORD put his foes under the soles of his feet. But now the LORD my God has given me rest on every side; there is neither adversary nor evil occurrence. And behold, I propose to build a house for the name of the LORD my God, as the LORD spoke to my father David, saying, ‘Your son, whom I will set on your throne in your place, he shall build the house for My name.” 1 Kings 5:1-5

Those words of King Solomon to King Hiram were the beginning of one of the greatest building projects ever completed on earth – Solomon’s Temple – and we know exactly when it began.

“And it came to pass in the four hundred and eightieth year after the children of Israel had come out of the land of Egypt, in the fourth year of Solomon’s reign over Israel, in the month of Ziv, which is the second month, that he began to build the house of the LORD.” 1 Kings 6:1

King Solomon placed tens of thousands of Israelites and more than 100,000 aliens living in Israel into the service of building God’s Holy Temple. It took seven years to complete. You’ll find the great details of this amazing building project in 1 Kings 5 – 6 and 2 Chronicles 2 – 5. Even though King David was not allowed to build the Temple, he did organize the structure of the people who would serve God in the Temple (1 Chronicles 23 – 24).

  • They included new responsibilities for the Levites along with a new division into three groups: Gershonites, Kohathites and Merarites. Their duty was to help the sons of Aaron in the service of the Temple, in the courts and in the chambers, in the purifying of all holy things and the work of the service of the House of God. You can read the specifics in 1 Chronicles 23.
  • The Priests (sons of Aaron) were divided into groups and each had the duty of serving in the Temple for one day. They were chosen by lot and numbered 24. You can read more about their duties in 1 Chronicles 24.
  • 4,000 Israelites were involved in Temple worship as singers. 288 were musicians ministering to God with a variety of instruments, including harps, stringed instruments, cymbals and horns. They were divided into 24 groups. You can read more about them in 1 Chronicles 25.
  • 4,000 Israelites served as gatekeepers to guard the four gates to the Temple. More on that in 1 Chronicles 26. We also read about officials and judges over Israel outside of Jerusalem, the structure of Israel’s army, the 12 monthly captains, the chief officers of the 12 tribes and the special officials and counselors to the king in 1 Chronicles 26 and 27.

We learn much about God’s intentions in building the Temple in the Book of 2 Chronicles. The first 4 chapters are details of exactly how God wanted His Temple to look and the amazing work that went into building it to the Lord’s specifications. Chapter 5 shows King Solomon meeting with the elders of Israel and all the heads of the tribes for the purpose of bringing up the Ark of the Covenant, the Tabernacle of Meeting, and all the holy furnishings to the Temple.

What a scene it was! As you read this stunning account, imagine what it would have been like to be there that day. See it, hear it, feel it, smell it, taste it – experience the Glory of God as He moved from the Tabernacle into His Temple.

“So all the elders of Israel came, and the Levites took up the ark. Then they brought up the ark, the tabernacle of meeting, and all the holy furnishings that were in the tabernacle. The priests and the Levites brought them up. Also King Solomon, and all the congregation of Israel who were assembled with him before the ark, were sacrificing sheep and oxen that could not be counted or numbered for multitude. Then the priests brought in the ark of the covenant of the LORD to its place, into the inner sanctuary of the temple, to the Most Holy Place, under the wings of the cherubim. For the cherubim spread their wings over the place of the ark, and the cherubim overshadowed the ark and its poles. The poles extended so that the ends of the poles of the ark could be seen from the holy place, in front of the inner sanctuary; but they could not be seen from outside. And they are there to this day. Nothing was in the ark except the two tablets which Moses put there at Horeb, when the LORD made a covenant with the children of Israel, when they had come out of Egypt. And it came to pass when the priests came out of the Most Holy Place (for all the priests who were present had sanctified themselves, without keeping to their divisions), and the Levites who were the singers, all those of Asaph and Heman and Jeduthun, with their sons and their brethren, stood at the east end of the altar, clothed in white linen, having cymbals, stringed instruments and harps, and with them one hundred and twenty priests sounding with trumpets—  indeed it came to pass, when the trumpeters and singers were as one, to make one sound to be heard in praising and thanking the LORD, and when they lifted up their voice with the trumpets and cymbals and instruments of music, and praised the LORD, saying: For He is good, For His mercy endures forever,’ that the house, the house of the LORD, was filled with a cloud, so that the priests could not continue ministering because of the cloud; for the glory of the LORD filled the house of God.” 2 Chronicles 5:4-14

What happened next gives us great insight into the Purpose God had for His Temple in Jerusalem.

“Then Solomon spoke: ‘The LORD said He would dwell in the dark cloud I have surely built You an exalted house, And a place for You to dwell in forever.’  Then the king turned around and blessed the whole assembly of Israel, while all the assembly of Israel was standing. And he said: ‘Blessed be the LORD God of Israel, who has fulfilled with His hands what He spoke with His mouth to my father David, saying, ‘Since the day that I brought My people out of the land of Egypt, I have chosen no city from any tribe of Israel in which to build a house, that My name might be there, nor did I choose any man to be a ruler over My people Israel. Yet I have chosen Jerusalem, that My name may be there, and I have chosen David to be over My people Israel.’ Now it was in the heart of my father David to build a temple for the name of the LORD God of Israel. But the LORD said to my father David, ‘Whereas it was in your heart to build a temple for My name, you did well in that it was in your heart. Nevertheless you shall not build the temple, but your son who will come from your body, he shall build the temple for My name.’ So the LORD has fulfilled His word which He spoke, and I have filled the position of my father David, and sit on the throne of Israel, as the LORD promised; and I have built the temple for the name of the LORD God of Israel. And there I have put the ark, in which is the covenant of the LORD which He made with the children of Israel.” 2 Chronicles 6:1-11

The Temple of God has an amazing history – sometimes glorious – sometimes tragic. King Solomon, who loved God so much, gave in to the passions of his flesh and allowed the worship of other gods in Israel. The nation fell into great sin against God and the Lord allowed the Temple to be destroyed by invading armies – the people of Israel taken into captivity. God returned some of His people to the land of Israel and they rebuilt the Temple. That was the Temple we read about in the Gospels – the Temple of Jesus’ time on earth. However, Israel sinned greatly against God by rejecting Jesus as their Messiah and the armies of Rome destroyed the Temple and led most of Israel’s population into captivity. The Temple has not been rebuilt to this day – but it will be.

So, what were the Tabernacle and Temple all about? They were about the worship of the Holy God of Heaven. God “dwelled” with His people day and night, in their sight. He was their Covenant God. The Tabernacle and Temple were a constant reminder of God’s saving Israel from slavery in Egypt and providing for them in the Promised Land. They were also prophetic of the coming of God’s Son to be the Sacrifice for the sins of Israel and the world and to be Glorified above every name that is named in Heaven or on earth. The Tabernacle, and each of the two Temples, looked “forward” to the coming of Christ to save His people from their sins.

What about the Church today? How does God want us to worship Him now? Join us for our next study – The Church of the Living God.

Blessings!

In Christ’s Love and Grace,

Mark McGee

GraceLife Ministries

“Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.”