*Good Friday evening! It is late, but I wanted to get this post online. I hope you have had a great day.

"In the four hundred and eightieth after the Israelites had come out of Egypt, in the fourth year of Solomon's reign over Israel...he began to build the temple of the Lord." ( I Kings 6:1)

Notice the timing. It has been 480 years since the Israelites left Egypt. If you recall while the Israelites were in the desert God "resided" with them in a tent. (The tabernacle) Well, it has now been over 400 years since God first entered the Tent. God is still in the Tent. It was King David that wanted to build God a permanent dwelling. If David had a house of cedar, so should God. But, David was not allowed to build the temple. Why? Because the temple was to be a place of peace built by a man of peace. David had blood on his hands.

"The cloud filled the temple of the Lord...Then Solomon said, 'The Lord has said that he would dwell in the dark cloud; I have indeed built a magnificent temple for you, a place for you to dwell forever.'" (I Kings 8:10b,12-13)

Yahweh is now identified with one place. God is no longer in a tent. (movable) The temple that Solomon built was a magnificent structure and was the most sacred of Israel's buildings. Because it housed the ark of the covenant it was considered to be the location of Yahweh's presence among the people. (*Very important to remember going forward)

The design of the temple, with its decorations and everything about it suggest that the temple was intended to symbolize the world over which Yahweh rules. (chapter seven) The outer courtyard ( with a bowl of water) symbolized the waters of chaos. The outer room (lampstand) represented the plants, animals, and lights of the heavens. (Represented the physical world) The inner sanctum was a perfect cube covered with gold and housed the ark. (Represented the perfect dwelling place of God {Heaven}). Therefore, the temple is a symbol of the power and authority of King Yahweh over his creation.

In chapter 8:22-53 Solomon offers a lengthy prayer of dedication. The prayer recalls Yahweh's covenant commitment to the house of David, but also anticipates national disaster. There seems to be some foreshadowing of future events in this prayer. As we will later see a great disaster will befall Israel, and the temple. But, for now the temple stands; in all its glory.

Solomon's temple will forever be known for its spender and glory. This will also come into play much later on. One would think that now that this magnificent structure has been built that all will be well. Especially, since God dwells in this place. But, Israel will eventually learn a very important lesson about God and place.

This will be one of my shorter posts. I just want to keep with the theme today and not go into too much, especially since it is late. But, as I Segway into Monday's post I want to say that Solomon did more than just build the temple. What else did Solomon build, and what all did he do as king? Were these actions all popular? And remember what Samuel warned the people about when they wanted a king? Could it be that Solomon fulfills this warning? You wont want to miss Monday's post. Have a great weekend! Hope to see you Sunday as I begin a sermon series based on the old B.J. Thomas tune "Hooked On A Feeling." -Pastor Rick

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