1 Kings 8:6-11 (KJV)
6 And the priests brought in the ark of the covenant of the Lord unto his place, into the oracle of the house, to the most holy place, even under the wings of the cherubims.
7 For the cherubims spread forth their two wings over the place of the ark, and the cherubims covered the ark and the staves thereof above.
8 And they drew out the staves, that the ends of the staves were seen out in the holy place before the oracle, and they were not seen without: and there they are unto this day.
9 There was nothing in the ark save the two tables of stone, which Moses put there at Horeb, when the Lord made a covenant with the children of Israel, when they came out of the land of Egypt.
10 And it came to pass, when the priests were come out of the holy place, that the cloud filled the house of the Lord,
11 So that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud: for the glory of the Lord had filled the house of the Lord.
Solomon spent seven years building the temple. This was taxing both financially and politically. Thousands in Israel were forced to labor causing many to resent the King. When it was completed it was covered in gold that was ornately crafted uniquely for the temple. It was the most expensive building ever built. The worth of the building in todays money would be about $216,603,576,000. Yet, at completion it was an empty building. The entire project would have been in vain if the Ark of the Covenant were never moved in.
The bringing of the ark did not happen as the priests expected. When priests took the ark out of the tabernacle and brought it to the new temple, they carefully set it down in the Holy of Holies and removed the bars for carrying. Upon leaving the hily place they intended on ministering in the temple afterward. However, God had other plans. When the priests left the holy place a cloud of the glory of the Lord filled the entire temple. This tangible presence of God made them unable to minister.
This is a tremendous picture of what happens at salvation. Before we trust Christ as our Savior, we are empty. We may look good on the outside, but we lack the one real thing that completes us. When we trust Christ as our savior He not only moves in, but he fills us with His presence. His presence fills the chasms from pains and failures in our past. He takes us from an empty house to a temple of God. His presence makes all the difference.
While God’s presence stayed at the temple the cloud of the glory of God didn’t. Like all people do they began to forget of what God did for them. As we are around the Christmas season, maybe it’s a good time to look inward. Have we thanked God for his presence in our lives? Have we asked him to make his presence evident in our lives lately? If you have never trusted Jesus as your Savior there is no better day than today.
1 Kings 8:6-11 (KJV)