Monday after the Tenth Sunday after Trinity Sunday
Scripture: 1 Kings 7:51—8:21 (NKJV)
7:51 So all the work that King Solomon had done for the house of the LORD was finished; and Solomon brought in the things which his father David had dedicated: the silver and the gold and the furnishings. He put them in the treasuries of the house of the LORD.
8:1 Now Solomon assembled the elders of Israel and all the heads of the tribes, the chief fathers of the children of Israel, to King Solomon in Jerusalem, that they might bring up the ark of the covenant of the LORD from the City of David, which is Zion. 2 Therefore all the men of Israel assembled with King Solomon at the feast in the month of Ethanim, which is the seventh month. 3 So all the elders of Israel came, and the priests took up the ark. 4 Then they brought up the ark of the LORD, the tabernacle of meeting, and all the holy furnishings that were in the tabernacle. The priests and the Levites brought them up. 5 Also King Solomon, and all the congregation of Israel who were assembled with him, were with him before the ark, sacrificing sheep and oxen that could not be counted or numbered for multitude.
6 Then the priests brought in the ark of the covenant of the LORD to its place, into the inner sanctuary of the temple, to the Most Holy Place, under the wings of the cherubim. 7 For the cherubim spread their two wings over the place of the ark, and the cherubim overshadowed the ark and its poles. 8 The poles extended so that the ends of the poles could be seen from the holy place, in front of the inner sanctuary; but they could not be seen from outside. And they are there to this day. 9 Nothing was in the ark except the two tablets 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 came out of the holy place, that the cloud filled the house of the LORD, 11 so that the priests could not continue ministering because of the cloud; for the glory of the LORD filled the house of the LORD.
12 Then Solomon spoke: “The LORD said He would dwell in the dark cloud. 13 I have surely built You an exalted house, and a place for You to dwell in forever.” 14 Then the king turned around and blessed the whole assembly of Israel, while all the assembly of Israel was standing. 15 And he said: “Blessed be the LORD God of Israel, who spoke with His mouth to my father David, and with His hand has fulfilled it, saying, 16 ‘Since the day that I brought My people Israel out of Egypt, I have chosen no city from any tribe of Israel in which to build a house, that My name might be there; but I chose David to be over My people Israel.’ 17 Now it was in the heart of my father David to build a temple for the name of the LORD God of Israel. 18 But the LORD said to my father David, ‘Whereas it was in your heart to build a temple for My name, you did well that it was in your heart. 19 Nevertheless you shall not build the temple, but your son who will come from your body, he shall build the temple for My name.’ 20 So the LORD has fulfilled His word which He spoke; and I have filled the position of my father David, and sit on the throne of Israel, as the LORD promised; and I have built a temple for the name of the LORD God of Israel. 21 And there I have made a place for the ark, in which is the covenant of the LORD which He made with our fathers, when He brought them out of the land of Egypt.”
The Temple of the Lord was built, as the Lord had promised David. It was built by the son of David, who sat on his father’s throne, ruling over Israel. It was dedicated by the sacrifice of countless animals. The ark of the covenant was housed in it, with its Mercy Seat that was sprinkled with blood once a year, covering up the tablets of the Law inside the ark. God’s glory filled the Temple, and He promised to dwell there forever.
Solomon’s Temple is one of those prominent Old Testament shadows prefiguring the realities found in Christ. The new Temple is Christ Himself, together with all those “living stones,” believers in Christ, whom Christ has incorporated into His Body, the Church. The new Temple has been built and is still being built, as promised, by the Son of David, Who sits on His father David’s throne, ruling over the Church. The new Temple was dedicated, not by the blood of many beasts, but by the one sacrifice of Jesus’ body.
Christ is the ark of the New Covenant, Whom God set forth as a Mercy Seat by His blood. He covers the Law and forgives sins to those who look to Him in faith. All God’s glory—the Deity Himself—dwells in Christ bodily. God’s gracious presence has been located for us in Christ, and Christ in the Church, where the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed and sins are washed away. Christ Himself builds this Temple through the ministry of the Word, and unlike Solomon’s Temple, this Temple will endure forever. The gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.