2 Chronicles 5:1-14
Tuesday, 06 December 2022
“…and the priests could not perform their service because of the cloud, for the glory of the LORD filled the temple of God.” -2 Chronicles 5:14
Solomon’s temple was the first of three temples that God’s nation built in its long history. Though David wanted to build it, God did not permit him as he was unqualified, having been a man of war (1Chron.28:3). So the plans that God gave David, he passed it on to his son Solomon who took seven years to complete this grand building— the finished structure being a dazzling sight. Yet for all its beauty, Solomon in his godly wisdom, knew that no man-made building could contain God, as heaven itself could not contain Him (2Chron.6:18).
In our reading, with the temple completed, it was being made ready for dedication. Solomon ordered all the treasures dedicated by his father, as well as the furnishing to be brought into the house of God. The Levites brought up the ark, the tabernacle of meeting, and all the holy furnishings that were in the tabernacle into the temple. This was a solemn occasion for the children of Israel. They had never built a permanent place of worship until this time as they had worshiped only in a portable tent called the tabernacle of God. When the temple was dedicated, the Lord demonstrated His approval in an exciting way.
It was a magnificent scene we see through Vs.11-14. On the day of inaugurating the temple, all priests participated in the services regardless of their priestly divisions. There were also sacrifices of animals which they offered as part of their worship and adoration on this occasion. Worshippers of today are not required to sacrifice animals in order to worship God; but they are commanded by God to sacrifice something far more valuable—their whole self. Paul said, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service” (Rom. 12:1). A child of God makes a full surrender to the Lord. In essence, we are to give God the sacrifices of our time, energy, talents, and even our finances for His service.
2Chron.5:13 illustrates that 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, declaring: “For He is good, For His mercy endures forever,” that the house of the Lord was filled with cloud, so that the priests could not continue ministering because of the cloud. This cloud was none other than the Shekinah glory of God. In a sense, the cloud both revealed and concealed the glory of God, which is too awesome for human eyes to see.
Therefore, as and when we come into His presence, we need to praise God for His goodness and mercy towards us. God deserves our praise simply because He hasn’t dealt with us according to what we deserve. Psalm 103:10 “He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities.” Again in Lamentations 3:22 “It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.” More than everything, we need to praise God today for the great salvation He has granted through faith in Christ.
However, the temple was ‘no guarantee’ to reveal His presence all the time. God had promised to live among the Israelites forever and the temple was God’s “dwelling place/ inhabitance” in their midst, but it was conditional that they had to remain faithful to Him. We see in history how it was looted and destroyed when they were unfaithful. The Bible says, “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked…” (Gal.6:7). This applies to anyone who walks away from God; His presence leaves their lives. Let’s remain faithful to Him!
Life Application: “Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name; worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness.” (Psalm 29:2)