"Now the LORD has fulfilled His word which He spoke; for I have risen in place of 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.1 Kings 8:20(NASB)
The dedication of God's Temple was the crowing achievement of Solomon's reign and a glorious time in Israel's history. A detailed description of its construction and furnishings; its decorations and the building materials used, are given in the early chapters of first Kings. The huge laver, supported by twelve bronze oxen; the ornamental pillars at the entrance; the table of gold; the lamp-stand of pure gold and many other beautifully fashioned articles were completed, and the Ark of the Covenant was finally brought, with much joy, from the City of David to Mount Zion.. just before its dedication on the Feast of Tabernacles.
David had planned to build a temple for the Lord but being a man of war disqualified him, and the responsibility had to be passed to his son, Solomon, who was a man of peace. Finally, the Temple was built, and the time arrived for it to be dedicated to the Lord. A great national holiday was called and the priests and Levites processed to the Temple, accompanying the sacred Ark of God, which contained the two tablets of stone on which were written the 10 commandments.. together with a great number of sheep and oxen - prepared as a sacrificial offering to the Lord.
As soon as the Ark, which is a type of the divine Person of the Lord Jesus Christ, was correctly positioned, the veiled glory of the Lord descended from heaven, like a dark cloud that filled the House. It must have been a most glorious sight, at which point king Solomon stood up to consecrate the magnificent Temple of the Lord, by offering prayer and praise to His holy name.
The king blessed the whole assembly of Israel and began to recount the history of God's people, reminding them how the Lord had brought them out of Egypt and promised them an inheritance. He discussed how his father desired to build a house to honour the Lord but was halted by God, Who graciously transferred the responsibility to Solomon.
Before commencing his memorable prayer of dedication, Solomon concluded his opening statement by saying, "So the LORD has fulfilled His word which He spoke, for I have risen in place of my father David and sit on the throne of Israel - as the LORD promised. I have built the house for the name of the LORD, the God of Israel".
Solomon's monologue places a strong emphasis on the faithfulness and justice of God... and His people, Israel, were to reflect those godly attributes and maintain fellowship with their heavenly Father, based on the Mosaic Covenant.
Today, in the dispensation of Grace, the Church has become the Temple of God, and we can approach His throne of grace anywhere and at any time. However, in the days of Israel, the Temple was the sacred spot where God would meet His people through a priestly mediator. It was to be a place of prayer and praise for all people. It was to be the one place where sacrificial offerings were made to the Lord.
The dedication of God's Temple was perhaps the high-point of Israel's history - which is more correctly called His Story, but from Abraham onwards, the one unchanging fact is the goodness, grace, long-suffering and faithfulness of God to all His people - for even when we become faithless, HE remains faithful.
God kept His promises to the patriarchs and to the nation of Israel... not because of their goodness nor for their glory. He did it for His own name's sake. God is good and gracious; long-suffering and kind.. and will faithfully fulfil all His promises to both Israel and the Church... not for our glory, but for HIS glory. Just as God fulfilled the promises He made to David and Solomon, so we can be confident that He will accomplish all He has purposed in our lives - for He is the same yesterday, today and forever - praise His holy name.
Heavenly Father, thank You for the Word of truth and for the many examples of your goodness, grace and faithfulness to Your people - both the nation of Israel and the Body of Christ. Thank You that You are fulfilling the word You spoke to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and David and that Your promises will never fail - for You are the same yesterday, today and forever. We thank You that Jesus is coming back to sit on the throne of David as Scripture reveals. In the meantime, help me to live and work to Your praise and glory - through the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit, in Jesus name I pray, AMEN.