THE DEDICATION OF THE TEMPLE

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    [2 Chronicles:5:1-14]; [2 Chronicles:7:1-3]; [1 Kings:8:54-61]; [1 Kings:9:1-9].

    Lesson No.: 
    258
    Class: 
    Junior
    Memory Verse: 

    “I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name” (Psalm 138:2).

    Notes: 

    Mount Moriah
    Today if we could travel to the land of Palestine and visit the city of Jerusalem, one of the points of interest would be the Noble Sanctuary, in the centre of which stands the Dome of the Rock. However, to a Christian the ground on which this building stands is sacred rather than the structure, for upon that hallowed spot three great events took place.

    Mount Moriah is the name of this place. As we think of this mountain our thoughts turn to faithful Abra-ham. Who has not pictured, in his mind, Abraham, as, on the third day of his trek toward this mount, he “lifted up his eyes, and saw the place afar off.” Straight before his view rose the hill upon which his son was to be offered. Who has read the account in Genesis 22 without following, in his imagination, this man of God, and Isaac his son, back down the mount to the place where they had left the servants. Abraham had met the test in the mount of the Lord. Through this event we have a beautiful picture of salvation. (Read again Lesson No. 11 in Book 1.) Not far from this place God’s Son, Jesus Christ, was offered to take away the sins of the world.

    The second event to take place upon Mount Moriah took place during the life of David. After David had numbered the people, and, in punishment, a terrible pestilence had destroyed 70,000 men, God told David to build an altar in Ornan’s threshingfloor upon Mount Moriah. When David asked Ornan (also called Araunah,[2 Samuel:24:21]) if he might buy the threshingfloor, Ornan said he would give it to David, also the oxen and the wood. He said, “I give it all” [1 Chronicles:21:23]). But God said he would buy it for the full price as he would not offer unto the Lord burnt offerings without cost. This second sacrifice upon Mount Moriah typifies sanctification. (See Lesson No. 247.)

    The third important happening on the mount of the Lord is the dedication of Solomon’s Temple.

    Ready for Service
    Let us, in our imagination, look in upon that scene. All is in readiness. The 10 golden candlesticks, each having seven lights, the table where the shewbread is placed, the instruments of brass, the golden bowls, snuffers, basins, cups, and spoons are all in their proper place. The priests and Levites have brought up the holy vessels, which were in the Tabernacle. Solomon has brought in the silver and gold vessels which David his father had dedicated, and placed them among the treasures.

    The king has called together the elders, the heads of the tribes and the chief of the fathers of the Children of Israel, in order to bring the Ark of the Covenant to the Temple. The Levites have taken up the Ark and brought it to the new church where the priests take it into the Holiest of All and set it under the wings of the cherubims. At this time there is nothing in the Ark but the two tables of stone.

    The Service Begins
    King Solomon and all the people are offering unto God more sheep and oxen than can be counted -- giving freely unto our great God. Now from the stand we imagine we have taken in the court just outside the Temple, we see the priests coming out of the Holy Place. These men are all sanctified robed in white linen. Looking to-ward the east end of the altar we see the singers and musicians also dressed in white linen. With one accord the 120 priests blow the trumpets to which are added the harps, cymbals, and psalteries. The great choir of voices sings, “For he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever.” Something happens! The glory of the Lord fills the Temple as a cloud, so that the priests cannot perform their duties.

    The unison of a church orchestra thrills us today, as also does a well-blended choir. But only when hearts and minds are of one accord, only when there exists in the church a oneness which comes at sanctification, is it possible for the glory of the Lord to fill the house. Only then is it possible for the house to be filled with a “cloud.” How uplifting today is such a worship service!

    The King’s Prayer
    Now we see King Solomon stand upon a small platform about four and a half feet high. He talks to the people. Then he kneels, and with hands stretched toward Heaven he prays. Elaborate as the Temple is and spacious though its courts, Solomon knows that God is not confined to a building. We hear those soul-stirring words come from the lips of the wisest man: “Behold, heaven and the heaven of heavens cannot contain thee; how much less this house which I have built!” [2 Chronicles:6:18]). However, he asks that the eyes of God may be open upon this House day and night.

    The Fire from Heaven
    What an awe-inspiring scene when, at the end of the prayer, the fire came down from Heaven and burned up the offerings and sacrifices and the glory of the Lord filled the house! Down to the ground with faces on the pavement, all the people bowed and worshiped and praised the Lord. Once again the music sounded on the instruments, which David had made for this very purpose; the priests also blew the trumpets as the people rose to their feet.

    Another Visit from the Lord
    One night after the dedication services had ended and Solomon had sent the people home to their tents, the Lord again appeared to him and said that his prayer had been heard. Solomon’s joys must have been complete as he heard God’s voice speak: “For now have I chosen and sanctified this house, that my name may be there for ever: and mine eyes and mine heart shall be there perpetually” [2 Chronicles:7:16]).

    God’s Plan
    The dedication of the Temple parallels the Day of Pentecost; however, the people who lived in the days of Solomon did not receive the baptism of the Holy Ghost, for the Holy Ghost was not yet given. This scene in the Old Testament teaches us that great things were reserved for us who live in this Dispensation of the Holy Ghost. God laid the plan in the Old Testament and fulfilled it in the New.

    The Early Rain
    More than a thousand years after the dedication of the Temple, one wonderful day there were 120 gathered together in Jerusalem. The surroundings were by no means as elaborate as the Temple. The people perhaps were not adorned in white robes as were the priests in the Temple, but they wore the robes of righteousness and holiness, for they were all sanctified and all in one accord. The eleven Apostles and the mother and brothers of Jesus were there. Shortly before this, Jesus had been taken to Heaven in a cloud; but He had told these people, “Ye shall be baptised with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.” There, in that upper room, obedient to Jesus’ command, these 120 waited for the promise of the Father. Were they disappointed? No, indeed! “Suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house... And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance” [Acts:2:2-4]). This outpouring of the Spirit is known as the “Former Rain.”

    The Latter Rain
    Again, almost 2000 years after the scene in that upper room, in the city of Los Angeles, California, was found another small group of believers. Their hearts, too, were pure and white, for they were sanctified. There was no orchestra, no golden furnishings in that humble place.

    On April 6, 1906, according to God’s Word, the blessed Holy Ghost was once more poured out as on the Day of Pentecost. This was the “Latter Rain” outpouring of the Spirit, and since that time a great many have received the same Gift.

    Unlimited Consecrations
    Have you received this experience in your heart? Have you sought but as yet have not received the answer to your prayers? Examine your “temple.” Make sure that you have built upon the firm Foundation, Jesus Christ. Have you made that first trip to Mount Moriah and had the Blood applied to your heart? Then, have you gone to the Mount of the Lord again and offered that which costs you something? Has the fire fallen upon your sacrifice? Have you been given that white raiment, the robe of righteousness and holiness – sanctification? Then, have you brought the gold and silver vessels into the treasury of the Lord? It costs us deep consecrations to receive this experience. Have you made offerings and sacrifices without number, as King Solomon did?

    Is there in your heart a willingness to give freely unto God when there is an opportunity to do something for Him? It may be a small chore like dusting the furniture in the church, or the slight inconvenience of sharing your room with a saint of God traveling through your city. Perhaps God is asking you to spend more time in prayer before hurrying off to school in the morning. Or, what about that newcomer to your neighbourhood -– have you given him an invitation to your Sunday School? Why not say: “I will not offer God that which costs me nothing. I freely give it all. I will do everything God asks me to do.” If your consecrations are complete, tarry for the baptism of the Holy Ghost, sing forth His praises, “For he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever,” until the glory of the Lord fills your house and the Comforter comes to abide in your temple.

    Questions: 

    1. Describe the three trips to Mount Moriah.
    2. What does each trip to Mount Moriah signify?
    3. By whom was the Ark carried?
    4. Where was the Ark placed in the Temple?
    5. What musical instruments were used at the dedication?
    6. Did God answer Solomon’s prayer?
    7. What happened when the music sounded and the people sang?
    8. Tell of the Lord’s second appearance to Solomon by night.
    9. Make a list of some things that children and young people may do for Jesus.
    10. What punishment did God say He would send upon Israel if they turned away from Him?