Jun. 18. Temple Furnished and Dedicated

I Kin. 7:13-8:66; II Chron. 4:1-7:11; Ps. 30:1-12

Huram, a master craftsman from Tyre was responsible for the bronze work around the temple. There were two bronze pillars eighteen feet tall and about five and one-half feet in diameter with various decorations adorning them. They were set up on each side the vestibule. A bronze Sea containing about twelve thousand gallons of water was placed at the southeast corner of the temple. Many other lavers, carts and decorations of bronze were made for the temple by Huram. The Sea and lavers were used for ceremonially washings of the priests and common people. It was also necessary to wash the sacrifices.

Upon completion of the temple, the various holy furnishings of the tabernacle were moved to the newly constructed temple of the Lord. The most notable item was the ark of the covenant placed in the Most Holy Place under the wings of the cherubim. It only contained the two stone tablets that Moses had placed in it at Mt. Horeb. Apparently, the pot of manna and Aaron’s rod that budded had been lost.

The day that the ark of the covenant was finally moved to its permanent location was joyous and full of worship to God. He was well pleased by the occasion. Just as He had acknowledged Moses’ obedience by His glory, He also honored Solomon by His glory. “…when the priests came out of the holy place, that the cloud filled the house of the Lord, so that the priests could not continue ministering because of the cloud; for the glory of the Lord filled the house of the Lord.”

Solomon first blessed the whole assembly of Israel. He related how that his father David had desired to build the temple, but had been prevented from doing so by God. The promise that God had made to David that his son would build it had been fulfilled.

As the dedication ceremony continued, Solomon stood before the people with his hands spread toward heaven and knelt in prayer to God. As all people are subject to sin, he asked God in his prayer for restoration for Israel as they would return to Him in repentance after periods of sinful living. He prayed that the temple would always be a place that the people could pray toward for God’s forgiveness.

After finishing his prayer, Solomon arose and blessed the people again and admonished them to, “Let your heart therefore be loyal to the Lord our God, to walk in His statutes and keep His commandments as at this day.” The day’s activities concluded with the offering of peace and burnt offerings. Fire came down from heaven and consumed those offerings. Those sacrifices were followed by another fourteen days of feasts given by Solomon.

“Thus Solomon finished the house of the Lord and the king’s house; and successfully accomplished all that came into his heart to make in the house of the Lord and in his own house.”

It is not certain when or by whom this psalm was written. Some have suggested that it may have been sung at the dedication of the temple of God. Its sentiments could very well have been appropriate at that time. The psalmist expressed thankfulness for God’s care during sickness and oppression. As the poem points out, recovery and victory were because of God. Likewise, construction of the temple had been delayed many years due to various reasons, but it had finally been completed, dedicated and occupied by the presence of God. Victory at last!