When Goals are Reached

Key Verse: “Will God indeed dwell on the earth? behold, the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain thee; how much less this house that I have builded?”
—I Kings 8:27

Selected Scriptures:
I Kings 6:37, 38; 8:22, 27-30; 9:1-5

ISRAEL NO LONGER WAS traveling in the wilderness. They had entered the land of promise under Joshua, conquered many of their enemies under the judges, and even defeated their staunchest foes under King David. They were a kingdom now at peace under Solomon, and they desired a permanent place for their worship to be held. And so, in the 4th year of his reign, Solomon “began to build the house of the Lord.” (I Kings 6:1) It was a major undertaking, both in size, scope, and in the methods used. Of particular interest is the fact that all the stone was ‘prefabricated,’ away from Jerusalem. I Kings 6:7 says concerning this, “And the house, when it was in building, was built of stone made ready before it was brought thither: so that there was neither hammer nor ax nor any tool of iron heard in the house, while it was in building.”

Finally, after over seven years of construction, the house of the Lord was completed. (vs. 38) Solomon gathered the entire congregation of Israel together to dedicate this grand structure to the Lord. (I Kings 8:1-11) The priests placed the Ark of the Covenant in the Most Holy Place, thus signifying the presence of the Lord in their midst. Then Solomon prayed to God, thanking him for the honor and privilege of being the instrument used to build a house “for the name of the Lord God of Israel.” (vs. 20) He then acknowledged the greatness, faithfulness, and mercy of God.

In our Key Verse, Solomon asks a thought-provoking question: How is it possible for God to dwell anywhere on the earth, much less to be confined to a house such as this he had just built? Solomon knew in his heart the answer to this question, that God himself did not dwell there, but “My name shall be there.” (vs. 29) The thought in this statement is that whatever took place inside and around this Temple should be only that which would bring honor and glory to the name of God.

Jesus said to the woman of Samaria that the true worship of God did not require one to be on a mountain, or in the Temple. He said, “The hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. … But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.” (John 4:21,23) Stephen, when answering his accusers, further said, “Howbeit the Most High dwelleth not in temples made with hands; … what house will ye build me? saith the Lord: or what is the place of my rest? Hath not my hand made all these things?”—Acts 7:48-50

The message that both Jesus and Stephen conveyed was that the real worship of God takes place within each individual’s heart and mind, and is exemplified by their words and actions. Paul said: “For ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.”—II Cor. 6:16

Dawn Bible Students Association
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