When Men Worship

MEMORY VERSE: “Now, my God, let … thine eyes be open, and let thine ears be attend unto the prayer that is made in this place.” —II Chronicles 6:40

II CHRONICLES 5:7-14; 7:12-14

IN OUR previous lesson we learned of David’s desire to build a house for the Lord, and how God forbade him because he had been a man of war. The privilege of building the Lord’s house was given to David’s son, Solomon, whose reign was one of prosperity and peace. Even though David was not permitted to build the house, which was a picture, he and his seed were to be closely associated with the reality. The promises in this connection were referred to by the prophets as “the sure mercies of David.”—II Sam. 7:12,13; Isa. 55:3

But the picture had to foreshadow the reality, and in our selected Scripture texts for this lesson we find that the temple has been completed, and that the tabernacle, or tent of meeting, was dismantled and its contents placed in the completed temple.

In Hebrews 11:9,10 the Apostle Paul says, speaking of Abraham, “By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob … for he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.”

The transitory nature of their dwelling place was reflected in the fact that they lived in tents and recognized that they were pilgrims and strangers in the land, looking and waiting for a “better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.”—Heb. 11:16

The tabernacle or tent of meeting, which was God’s abode while the nation of Israel was in this transient state, also showed that God was waiting to establish a better country—one with foundations.

The fact that God gave Solomon permission to build a temple, and to dismantle the tent of meeting, pictured an advancement in the plan of God and a new status for the nation of Israel and the world of mankind. It pictured the point in time when “the better country, that is, an heavenly” was to be established and functioning.

The temple that Solomon built was unique in that the stones in the temple were shaped and prepared in the quarry, and they were put in their proper place in the temple without the sound of a hammer.—I Kings 6:7; Deut. 27:5,6

The true temple of God, of course, is the church. “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?” (I Cor. 3:16) “Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God; and are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; in whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: in whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.”—Eph. 2:19-22

Each member of the body of Christ is accounted as being prepared as a stone in the spiritual temple. (I Pet. 2:5) When the last member of the body has gone beyond the veil the real temple of God will have been completed, and then the reality of the dedication of the completed temple recorded in our selected Scripture can come to pass. The account states that “then the house was filled with a cloud, even the house of the Lord; so that the priests could not stand to minister by reason of the cloud: for the glory of the Lord had filled the house of God.”—II Chron. 5:13,14

This is what the world is looking for—God’s manifestation of his acceptance of the church. This same condition was pictured under another set of circumstances in the 9th chapter of Leviticus. The event recorded in this chapter is the inauguration of the priesthood, and in connection with this ceremony there were sacrifices that had to be accomplished. But after they were over the people gathered around the tabernacle in anxious anticipation, waiting for the manifestation of God showing that the sacrifices and the inaugurated priesthood had been accepted. And in verse 24 we read, “And there came a fire out from before the Lord, and consumed upon the altar the burnt offering and the fat: which when all the people saw, they shouted, and fell on their faces.” They were relieved and gratified to know that God had provided the means for their forgiveness for the ensuing year.

It is when the true temple of God is completed and made manifest to the world that men will lift their hearts to the Lord in sincere worship and praise, saying, “Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him.”—Isa. 25:9

Dawn Bible Students Association
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