Day 12

God’s Presence Fills the Temple

from the reading plan

1 Kings 8:1-13, 1 Kings 8:22-53, 2 Chronicles 7:1-3, Revelation 11:19

Today, we read about how Solomon and the elders of Israel escorted the ark of the covenant into the temple. There were people everywhere, and the priests then took over and carried the ark into the Holy Place—the inner sanctuary. And then when they withdrew, a cloud appeared, and it was so overwhelming that “the priests were not able to continue ministering, for the glory of the LORD filled the temple” (1Kings 8:11). Can you imagine? Everyone was gathered, and there was an expectation of the priests to immediately begin their work. But things didn’t go according to their plan because the glory of the Lord filled the temple and overwhelmed them all.

The temple was a constant reminder of God’s glory and presence. I imagine someone traveling down the road into the city of Jerusalem to then look up and see the temple dominating the cityscape, thinking, “Yahweh is with us here.”

I don’t know about you, but this passage makes me think a lot about Jesus. I think about how He referred to Himself, saying, “Destroy this temple, and I will raise it up in three days” (John 2:19). I remember how Philip asked Jesus to show them the Father, and Jesus responded by boldly telling them that anyone who had laid eyes on Him had also seen the Father (John 14:9). In John 17, He goes on to pray what is known as the High Priestly Prayer, starting with “Now, Father, glorify me in your presence with that glory I had with you before the world existed” (v.5). When we look at the living, breathing person of Jesus, who walked the dusty roads of Israel, we are also seeing the glory of God.

Jesus is the glory of God on full display in flesh and blood. We see the glory of His wisdom in how to navigate this world as a human. We see the glory of His kindness to the marginalized. We see the fullness of His glory in His love for sinners as He died in our place on the cross. And we see the fullness of His glory in the King, who conquered sin and death, making us citizens of His eternal kingdom of love and joy and peace.

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