The Temple is ready. The Ark is placed within it. And now Solomon presents it to the people as the House of God.
The last time we were together we read about the reunification of the Ark of the Lord with the Tabernacle. The pieces from the first Tabernacle were not put in place in the new Temple but their new representations were. The Tabernacle was taken down and stored within the Temple and the services that were conducted in the Tabernacle were now to be done in the Temple. Likewise, the services that happened at the Tent containing the Ark would move to the Temple. The original Ark is not replaced by another but placed instead in the Temple; reuniting all aspects of worship of the Lord together again.
It was a VERY special day when the Temple was given to the Lord and to the people. We read today of Solomon presenting the Temple to the people as the completion of the promise God made to his father David.
The Temple was not a work of Solomon’s hubris but of a promise made to his father being fulfilled. Solomon also knew that the magnificent work standing before him and the people was not a testament of his strength but of God’s promise. GOD made this feat possible. GOD provided the wisdom for this project, even in the designs David passed on to Solomon. GOD provided the prosperity for his people to contribute so freely to this expensive endeavor. GOD moved the hearts of His people to desire this along with David. And GOD provided the peace for His people so they could focus on this momentous task.
During the years of wandering in the desert, rule by the judges, and government by Saul and David God had not established a place to be called His own. His Tabernacle still moved about as the people did. But David longed to change that. He wanted to build a permanent place for the Lord. A place where the people could always look to and KNOW that God could be found there. Kind of like the door to Heaven.
I believe it was probably even more than that in David’s heart. Yes, he wanted a place where the people could always go to find God. But he wanted to give God something tangible from his own heart. What can you give the God of the universe that He doesn’t already have? How can you say ‘Thank You’ and really have it mean something beyond words. By giving to Him something that means everything to you too.
David spent a good many years of his life ‘homeless’. He was on the run from Saul for years. He had no permanent home. He moved to wherever he could find safety. Even when he settled in Ziklag he was not ‘home’. It was a temporary state. Not until he was made king over Israel and took the town of Jerusalem did he find a place to call ‘home’ for himself.
David’s search for ‘home’ ended when Hiram built him a place to call his own. Here, David found personal rest for himself. No, things weren’t always smooth once his ‘house’ was built but he knew he had somewhere to return to when things calmed down. Even when he ran from Absalom he left someone to watch over his house. He planned to return home.
David wanted to give God that same permanency. A place that would stand as His home for all time. He knew God was too big to be contained by brick and mortar but he wanted to give God the same thing He gave David. A home of His own.
God was pleased with David’s desire. Solomon tells us so today. “The Lord said to David my father, ‘Whereas it was in your heart to build a house for My name, you did well that it was in your heart’” (verse 8). God wouldn’t let David build Him a house because David’s hands were stained with blood but He would honor David’s desire by letting Solomon, his son, carry out his deepest dream. God would have a ‘home’ and a place to call His own.
Do you ever wonder why David chose Jerusalem as his city? Or why he wanted to build God a home there? Could it be that God planted both those desires in his heart to begin with? Jerusalem, or Salem as it was known in the time of Abraham, was the city where Melchizedek. We are told in Psalms 110:4 and Hebrews 5:6 that Jesus is a priest after the order of Melchizedek. Hebrews 7 tells us much more about Melchizedek and the words describing him are only a fraction of all that Jesus becomes. And Melchizedek’s home was Salem/Jerusalem. So by allowing or directing David’s heart towards the city of Jerusalem, the kingdom of Melchizedek was ‘coming home’. Without knowing it, David was setting the stage for Jesus’ work as our High Priest.
Melchizedek is the only king I know of in the Bible that “served” an individual instead of requiring “service” from others. In Genesis 14:17-24 we see both the king of Sodom and Melchizedek come out to greet Abram. The king of Sodom came to receive his men back from the hand of Abram. But Melchizedek came out to bless Abram in the name of the Lord. He brought bread and wine to refresh Abram’s troops. Jesus, our High Priest was/is the ultimate ‘Servant King’ in that He gave up His life for us. No wonder God willingly made this His home here on earth.
Father God, thank You that I don’t have to go to one specific place on earth to meet with You. With Jesus’ work, You make my heart Your home instead. Jesus wrote His name on my heart as surely as You put Yours on the Temple Solomon built. Keep working on my heart so it truly reflects Your glory and majesty. Thank You that I can come to You wherever I am and whatever time I want to. THANK YOU also for building that desire in me!