Solomon builds temple following God's plan

2/19/2008

By Charles Westbrook

March 2
The Ark Comes To Jerusalem
Purpose: To think about how we prepare ourselves for worship.
Bible Lesson: I Chronicles 15:1-28
Key Verse: “David assembled all Israel in Jerusalem to bring up the ark of the  Lord to its place, which he had prepared for it.” — I Chronicles 15:3

First and Second Chronicles were intend to be one book. The first nine chapters cover the genealogy of Adam and David, and the rest tell David’s story and how he lived.

In I Chronicles, David and Solomon tried to move the ark of the covenant. On the first try, Uzzah was struck dead. David tried to have it moved to Jerusalem. The person who touched the ark was struck dead by God. Fearful of what might happen, David left the ark where it was.

Then David called all the chiefs to go to the ark and help him bring it to Jerusalem.

After David built himself a house, he built a house for the ark. The ark was carried by the Levites on their shoulders just the way God instructed.

David ordered the chiefs to make music after the ark had been carried inside. Songs of faith were played, and they made loud sounds of joy. The tribes gathered by the thousands.

We read that David oversaw the worship services. The writer shows us that these actions were the will of God. We should ask ourselves if we are making an effort to follow God. If you were asked to help carry something for God, would you?

All Israel watched the ark come into town. There were parades and other celebrations going on. Everyone saw it come in, and the people celebrated. 

March 9
God’s Covenant With David
Purpose: To understand the importance of covenants in aligning our dreams with the will of God.
Bible Lesson: I Chronicles 17:1, 3-4, 6-15
Key Verse: “I took you from the pasture, from following the sheep, to be ruler of my people Israel; and I have been with you wherever you went, and have cut off all your enemies before you; and I will make for you a name, like the name of the great ones of the earth.” — I Chronicles 17:7-8

After David had settled in his new house, he was living a good life in a palace while the ark of the covenant was outside. The Lord told his people that they needed to be ready to start building a house for it.

The Lord said that David was to lead the people into the Promised Land. He told them what they needed. The Lord told David what he wanted him to say. God wanted to listen to David and see what he was going to do, but David waited to do God’s will and purpose.

So David built buildings for himself and pitched a tent for the ark. He told the people that no one could carry the ark except the Levites. God was angry when the leaders of the Levites did not carry the ark like they were told. The Levites carried the Ark, and God went with them, telling them where to go.

When the ark arrived, there was music from horns and trumpets showing their joy as they entered into the city.

They put the ark in David’s tent, and the entire nation offered brunt offerings as sacrificed. Seven bulls and seven rams were offered as a sacrifice. At that time David blessed the crowds in the name of the Lord.

How would you act if God asked you to help carry the ark. Would you being willing? God has a plan for you.

March 16
God Calls Solomon To Build The Temple
Purpose: To affirm the call of God in discovering our role in his will.
Bible Lesson: I Chronicles 28: 5~10 - 2~21
Key Verse: “Take heed now, for the Lord has chosen you to build a house as the sanctuary; be strong, and act.” — I Chronicles 28:10

 In our scripture, the Lord calls on Solomon to build the temple. At that time, the tribe of Judah ruled, and among all the children, God chose Solomon to build the temple. Solomon was ready and eager to take on the job. He knew that it would be a large job, but he knew that the Lord was going to help him. Solomon’s father David was please with his son.

David gave Solomon the instructions on how to build the temple and courtyards. He told Solomon to get to know the Lord and depend on him for help. David told Solomon that if he followed the Lord’s commands, he would have good land and other treasures.

David gave Solomon everything he needed to build the temple. Solomon was to build the temple, courtyards, inner rooms and a large sanctuary. The Lord told Solomon that he would be him throughout the building process.

David also gave firm instructions on how much gold and silver should be used in the temple and courtyard. He wanted things just right for the Lord. Solomon followed what David had told him to do. The king also gave Solomon instructions on the duties of the priests.

Solomon also wanted instructions to take care of the table and chair at the Lord’s Table which will be used for worship and sacrifice. Everything was done for the Lord. Solomon was doing the Lord’s will. The table was not to be used for anything other than worship or to offer a sacrifice.

As they built the temple, they learned to follow what God said. They depended on the Lord’s help to get the job done.

March 23
Fulfillment Of  God’s Promise
Purpose: To illustrate that the promises of God make possible the fidelity of believers.
Bible Lesson: II Chronicles 6:12-17; Luke 24
Key Verse: “Now the Lord has fulfilled his promise that he made; for I have succeeded my father David, and sit on the throne of Israel, as the Lord promised, and have built the house for the name of the Lord, the God of Israel.” — II Chronicles 6:10

The temple has been completed and the Lord has kept his promise by making David a king. David and those who helped him placed the ark inside the temple. Then David spread his hands and dedicated it to Lord.

Solomon prayed, thanking God for all his help and dedicating the ark to God. He thanked those who helped him. After he dedicated it, he knelt down and prayed again to the Lord, praising his holy name. He prayed, saying that there was no other that would keep his promises as God did.

He said the Lord kept his promise by blessing David and his people. Solomon then asked God to give him his promise. God did, making him king over his people. David discovered that God does keep all of his promises to his people and those who obey and love him.

Solomon praised the Lord for answering prayer. Finally they had a place to worship. David and Solomon both praised the Lord for everything he had done for them. We all need to kneel to God and thank him for what he does for us. We need to be like Solomon and do as God wants us to do.

God gives us so much, and many times we don’t even thank him. He supplies us with everything we need and much more.

God also promised to send his son to die on the cross. We have freedom from sin if we believe in him.

When we read the scriptures we can see where God made a promise of sending his son so that we can have everlasting life. Jesus Christ made promises that he kept for us.

March 30
Josiah Renews The Covenant
Purpose: To reflect on the recovery of true faith through the rediscovery of God’s word.
Bible Lesson: II Chronicles 34:15, 18-19, 25-27, 29, 31-33
Key Verse: “The king stood in his place and made a covenant before the Lord, to follow the Lord, keeping his commandments, his decrees and his statutes with all his heart and all his soul, to perform the words of the covenant that were written in the book.”—  II Chronicles 34:31

At the age of eight, Josiah became king of Jerusalem and ruled for 31 years. He wanted to serve the Lord in everything he did. He served and followed the Lord, using as his example his ancestor David. During his 12th year as king, he wanted to purify both Jerusalem and Judah by destroying and tearing down all idols.

The high priest Hikiah was recording the money that was collected in the Lord’s house. As he worked, he found a copy of the Book of the Law of the Lord. He reported his discovery to the court secretary. He turned over everything he had found to Shaphan, the court secretary. When the king had been told this he tore his clothes. The king asked to speak to the Lord about this. He wanted to know what the scroll said.

The Lord’s anger had been poured out because his commands had not been obeyed. The Lord said that the city and the people would be destroyed because the people had started worshiping pagan gods instead of him.

The Bible says that the Lord was angry with the people of the city but he declared that he would not destroy the city or the people if they humbled themselves, asking his forgiveness.

The Lord saw that the people were sorry. They had not heard the covenant that the Lord had given them to live by.

The king summoned all the leaders from Judah and Jerusalem and read to them everything that was in the covenant. As he read people were pledging to obey the Lord, and turn to him and worship him. The king promised to do better at keeping the words of the covenant and to obey the Lord in everything.

So Josiah removed all idols. Throughout the rest of his life, they did not turn away from the Lord. They learned to worship and love him.

Westbrook is a member of and serves on staff at Pearl UMC.