“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” (I Kings 8:10-11, NLT).
“Then Solomon prayed, ‘O Lord, You have said that You would live in a thick cloud of darkness. Now I have built a glorious Temple for You, a place where You can live forever!’ Then the king turned around to the entire community of Israel standing before him and gave this blessing:
‘Praise the Lord, the God of Israel, who has kept the promise He made to my father, David. For he told my father, ‘From the day I brought my people Israel out of Egypt, I have never chosen a city among any of the tribes of Israel as the place where a Temple should be built to honor My Name. But I have chosen David to be king over My people Israel.’
Then Solomon said, ‘My father, David, wanted to build this Temple to honor the Name of the Lord, the God of Israel. But the Lord told him, ‘You wanted to build the Temple to honor My name. Your intention is good, but you are not the one to do it. One of your own sons will build the Temple to honor Me.’
‘And now the Lord has fulfilled the promise He made, for I have become king in my father’s place, and I now sit on the throne of Israel, just as the Lord promised. I have built this Temple to honor the Name of the Lord, the God of Israel. And I have prepared a place there for the Ark, which contains the covenant that the Lord made with our ancestors when He brought them out of Egypt’” (I Kings 8:12-21).
Solomon and the rest of the Israelites saw for themselves that Yahweh inhabited the Temple. Solomon was also wise enough to realize that the Temple was the fulfillment of God’s plan, not Solomon’s or David’s or any other human being’s.
Then Solomon reminded the people about the contents of the Ark: “the covenant that the Lord made with our ancestors when He brought them out of Egypt.” Israel’s deliverance from slavery in Egypt may have been 500 years before, but it was a mighty act of God too big not to remember. It was also too important not to intentionally incorporate reminders into their lives.
If you know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, you, too, were delivered from slavery. And however long it’s been since you allowed Him to make that change in your life, you know when it happened. You may not be able to recite the date and time, but you vividly recall yourself pre-Jesus, don’t you?
The miracle of personal deliverance should never grow dim. Christ’s great sacrifice should never be shrugged off as old history. It’s been close to forty years since the day I received Jesus’ free gift of redemption and I will never forget what an enormous and immediate change He made in me.
Because of that change, I can say with the apostle Paul: “Whatever I am now, it is all because God poured out His special favor on me…” (I Corinthians 15:10a). And if you know Him as your Lord, you can claim this passage for your life, too.
Copyright © 2013
Judy Woodward Bates