Devotional Released 8/26/20
“When all the people of Israel saw the fire coming down and the glorious presence of the Lord filling the Temple, they fell face down on the ground and worshiped and praised the Lord, saying, “He is good! His faithful love endures forever!” Then the king and all the people offered sacrifices to the Lord. King Solomon offered a sacrifice of 22,000 cattle and 120,000 sheep and goats. And so the king and all the people dedicated the Temple of God.”
2 Chronicles 7:3-5
“For I have chosen this Temple and set it apart to be holy—a place where my name will be honored forever. I will always watch over it, for it is dear to my heart.”
2 Chronicles 7:16
Wow! What powerful imagery and a powerful experience for the nation of Israel. These passages describe the celebration and moment where King Solomon and Israel dedicate the first Temple built for the Lord that are detailed in 2 Chronicles 5-7 as well as 1 Kings 8-9. Before this moment above, the Bible records a prayer by King Solomon and his dedication of the Temple, where he prays bold prayers of declarations of the character of God and inviting God to dwell in the Temple.
What I love about this story and this moment is that it is an Old Testament picture of how God operates in us today. 1 Corinthians 6 says that we are the temple of the Holy Spirit, the very temple of God. If that is the case then take what God promises in 2 Chronicles 7:16 to the Israelites. Then what a promise, that God will watch over us, for our temples are dear to his heart and they are to be a place where his name is honored forever! God has always intended for our temples to bring honor to the name of the Lord forever.
Another spectacular thing that stands out to me is the glorious ceremony that proceeds this promise and the amount of sacrifice that King Solomon was moved to offer. 22,000 cattle and 120,000 sheep?! Modern day, that is a very expensive and costly gift! King Solomon not only understood the level of sacrifice required to construct something so precious to the Lord, but also knew the cost of dedicating something like this to God. There is always a high level of sacrifice required at the start of something that is meant to be holy not the Lord. If we think about that in our own lives, the cost of setting out, of starting something new in our lives and of setting it apart to the Lord always require a high cost at first.
So beloved, do not be afraid of those first encounters, those first moments of what feels like extreme sacrifice. Because in those moments is where the Lord establishes something that endures through generations.