The glorious presence of the LORD
Then the priests carried the Ark of the LORD’s Covenant into the inner sanctuary of the Temple—the Most Holy Place—and placed it beneath the wings of the cherubim. The cherubim spread their wings over the Ark, forming a canopy over the Ark and its carrying poles. These poles were so long that their ends could be seen from the Holy Place, which is in front of the Most Holy Place, but not from the outside. They are still there to this day. Nothing was in the Ark except the two stone tablets that Moses had placed in it at Mount Sinai, where the LORD made a covenant with the people of Israel when they left the land of Egypt.
When the priests came out of the Holy Place, a thick cloud filled the Temple of the LORD. The priests could not continue their service because of the cloud, for the glorious presence of the LORD filled the Temple of the LORD. (1 Kings 8:6–11)
In all the complexity and chaos of the life of Solomon, king of Israel, we must not overlook the powerful moment when the presence of the LORD fills the newly built Temple. It’s a display of beauty and power meant to remind Israel of the holiness and nearness of God. God is with his people because he loves them and claims them as his treasured possession.
Today the Church is the dwelling place of God’s spirit, his presence. See what the apostle Paul writes to the Corinthians:
Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy that person; for God’s temple is sacred, and you together are that temple. (1 Corinthians 3:16–17)
May the beauty and power of God’s presence be noticeable among us today.
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Pastor Mark loves his wife and grown children, the Word of God, and words. And coffee, chocolate chip cookies, Apple products, small video projects, and the New England Patriots.