Entertaining the Presence Part 1.5 (1 Kings 8, 2 Chronicles 5)
Key verse 1 Kings 8:10 & 2 Chronicles 5:13-14
Why is it important to have this level of God’s presence?
• First, it is just such a beautiful scene. I think we would all want to be there.
• Second, it’s widely reported that church attendance in America is in a steady decline.
• Third, transformation, surely the priests in this story were transformed from this encounter with God.
• Fourth, chains being broken, the presence always does that.
• Fifth, being identified as the people of God. See Exodus 33:16
So now let’s ask why did the presence come here in 1 Kings like it did? At least three reasons
1. Response: God was responding to their preparation, praise, worship and honor.
o Last week we looked in detail at all the preparations leading up to this scene.
• In the parallel account in 2 Chronicles 5:11 it also says the priests consecrated themselves.
o This involved cleaning and wearing certain clothing, more preparation.
It’s important to note that this wasn’t works.
• God didn’t show up because of the works they had done.
• The extravagance of the Temple was an outward representation of Solomon’s heart.
• In 2 Chronicles 5:12 the praise and worship begins. Playing instruments and singing
o A lot more practicing and preparing, this didn’t happen by chance.
Another thing to note here: It says the presence and the glory came after the priests left the Holy Place
• It would be too much for them. Exodus 33:20 says that no one may see God and live.
• It happened this way so that it could only be God, not the priests or a formula.
So, what does this look like for us today?
• In the OT era everything was external.
• But now in the NT things tend to be more internal
• Our preparation now is a matter of heart.
o Practical ways to prepare
Prayer, Confessing, Honor, Fasting
o I think our preparations need to start at least on Thurs.
• Our preparation still has an external nature in the costliness
o As we prepare, is our “external giving sacrifice” something that will attract heavenly fire?
o Examples: Our tithes and offerings, time and service to the church and the people of God.
• More benefits: As we press into preparing there are other benefits
• The preparation alone can be a tool against the temptations to skip church for entertainment.
• Preparing early can also help with those Sunday morning gremlins.
• We also need to be deliberate and make a plan. Good intensions fade quickly.