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Solomon built a glorious permanent Temple in Jerusalem

September 19, 2023
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Daily Scripture

1 Chronicles 28:2-3, 5-10, 20, 1 Kings 8:22-30

1 Chronicles 28
2 Then King David stood up and said:
Listen to me, my relatives and my people. I wanted to build a temple as the permanent home for the chest containing the LORD’s covenant, our God’s footrest. But when I prepared to build it, 3 God said to me, You must not build a temple for my name, because you are a military man and you’ve shed blood.

5 And from all the many sons the LORD has given me, he has chosen my son Solomon to sit on the throne of the LORD’s kingdom over Israel. 6 He said to me: Your son Solomon will build my temple and my courtyards, for I’ve chosen him to become my son even as I myself will become his father. 7 I’ll establish his kingdom forever if he remains committed to keeping my commands and case laws as he does now.
8 So now, in the presence of all the LORD’s assembly and with God as our witness, carefully observe all the commands of the LORD your God, so that you may hold on to this good land and pass it on to your children forever. 9 As for you, Solomon, my son, acknowledge your father’s God and serve him with enthusiastic devotion, because the LORD searches every mind and understands the motive behind every thought. If you seek him, he will be found by you; but if you abandon him, he will reject you forever. 10 Now then, since the LORD has chosen you to build a temple for him as the sanctuary, work hard.

20 “Be strong and courageous,” David said to his son Solomon. “Get to work. Don’t be afraid or discouraged, because the LORD God, my God, is with you. He’ll neither let you down nor leave you before all the work for the service of the LORD’s temple is done.

1 Kings 8
10 When the priests left the holy place, the cloud filled the LORD’s temple, 11 and the priests were unable to carry out their duties due to the cloud because the LORD’s glory filled the LORD’s temple.

22 Solomon stood before the LORD’s altar in front of the entire Israelite assembly and, spreading out his hands toward the sky, 23 he said:
LORD God of Israel, there’s no god like you in heaven above or on earth below. You keep the covenant and show loyalty to your servants who walk before you with all their heart. 24 This is the covenant you kept with your servant David, my father, which you promised him. Today, you have fulfilled what you promised. 25 So now, LORD, Israel’s God, keep what you promised my father David, your servant, when you said to him, “You will never fail to have a successor sitting on Israel’s throne as long as your descendants carefully walk before me just as you walked before me.” 26 So now, God of Israel, may your promise to your servant David, my father, come true.
27 But how could God possibly live on earth? If heaven, even the highest heaven, can’t contain you, how can this temple that I’ve built contain you? 28 LORD my God, listen to your servant’s prayer and request, and hear the cry and prayer that your servant prays to you today. 29 Constantly watch over this temple, the place about which you said, “My name will be there,” and listen to the prayer that your servant is praying toward [or regarding] this place. 30 Listen to the request of your servant and your people Israel when they pray toward this place. Listen from your heavenly dwelling place, and when you hear, forgive!

Daily Reflection & Prayer

Some 450 years after Israel created the desert sanctuary, they were a settled people. King David dreamed of replacing the time-honored tent with a permanent Temple. At God’s direction, the actual task of building the splendid Temple in Jerusalem fell to David’s son Solomon. After finishing the building, the king led a solemn dedication, and had the priests bring all of the sacred objects from the Tabernacle into the Temple. God honored the newly built Temple by filling it with his glory.

  • In what ways was the Temple David dreamed and Solomon built a good “fit” for the conditions in which Israel lived then, as the moveable Sanctuary tent had been for the conditions when Moses led Israel out of Egypt? What do you learn about God’s grace, God’s willingness to meet us where we are, as you read of God’s presence hallowing two such very different places of worship?
  • At the Temple dedication, Solomon said to God, “I have indeed built you a lofty temple as a place where you can live forever” (1 Kings 8:13). Sadly, that Temple did not last anywhere close to “forever.” Babylonian soldiers burned it some 400 years later (2 Kings 25:8-9). Does that history mean it was a “waste” to build the Temple? Why does it matter that we give our best today to provide spaces God can use to advance God’s kingdom, to fit today’s needs and conditions?
Prayer

Lord, how awesome it must have been to see your glory fill that majestic Temple so tangibly! I pray that you will fill my life, and my church, with your glory even if in quieter, more “ordinary” ways. Amen.

GPS Insights

Brandon Gregory

Brandon Gregory

Brandon Gregory is a volunteer for the worship and missions teams at Church of the Resurrection. He helps lead worship at Leawood's modern worship services, as well as at the West and Downtown services, and is involved with the Malawi missions team at home.

Quick disclaimer on this post. I’m actually not a pastor, nor do I have a real theological background. I’m a manager at a large advertising agency. So, while there are countless spiritual lessons and analogies about leaving a legacy, I’m going to mix my metaphors a bit and use some of my business prowess to explain things in a different way that might be meaningful to some.

This may alienate some younger readers, but do you remember Blockbuster Video? Once the undisputed king of movie nights, the giant movie rental company has fallen, and now only a single store remains in Bend, Oregon. (If you still have your old Blockbuster card in your wallet and will be in Oregon anytime soon—and if you still have a DVD player hooked up—you might pay them a visit. I’m sure they’re lonely.) 

Even if you don’t remember their movie rental dynasty, chances are you have what put them out of business: a streaming service. Specifically, Netflix was the final nail in the coffin for Blockbuster. Netflix is the N in FAANG: five of the biggest players in the stock market, and it’s a financial giant. Comparing Netflix and Blockbuster seems silly today, but what many don’t know is that Blockbuster didn’t have to stick to movie rental stores. In fact, when Netflix was in its fledgling early years, they actually made a pitch to the CEO of Blockbuster to buy them out, saying that Netflix could be the online branch of Blockbuster. The Blockbuster CEO laughed them out of his office.

What does this mean for Church of the Resurrection? Well, first of all, we already have an online branch, so don’t worry about that. The point that any church could learn from Blockbuster’s complete failure to adapt to a changing world is that every entity, no matter how large, has to evolve to meet people where they’re at. It doesn’t matter how great of an organization you are—if the people you need to reach can’t reach you, the organization has no future.

Resurrection has been fantastic about that with our online service, which was able to quickly meet the needs of many who were isolating during the pandemic. I am also very close to the recovery ministry here, and that’s another area that has adapted and grown in tremendous ways to meet the very tangible needs of many people. I say this to lend some credence to Resurrection’s ability and aptitude for changing their approach when people change. When people in our community have needed God, we’ve been willing to be Blockbuster or Netflix, or anything else we can think of, to allow more people access to our resources and services.

Things like technology, buildings, and equipment are tools, and they’re tools that enable us to meet the needs of people in our community and beyond. They’re tools that can help us in surprising ways—how many congregants in 2019 could have predicted that the online branch of Resurrection would be the only branch open in one year? They’re also tools that can help others, both now and tomorrow.

Pastors are usually pretty delicate with capital campaigns, but as we established, I’m not a pastor. My family is giving to the capital campaign because we like what we see and experience through Resurrection. It allows us to grow closer to God, our friends, and each other, and like I said, I’ve made use of Resurrection’s recovery services as well. We’re giving because we want other people to experience what we have here. In no way is giving going to make you a more spiritual person whom God loves more than those stingy non-givers, and there is no promise of prosperity for generous givers. Instead, we give just because we believe in the church and want to see it succeed. If you’re able, and if you similarly want to see others experience at Resurrection what you have, consider donating as well.

(Click here if you’d like to respond to Brandon’s “not a pastor” invitation.)

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Scripture quotations are taken from The Common English Bible ©2011. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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