The Review and Herald

1403/1902

November 16, 1905

Lessons From the Life of Solomon—No. 10

The Dedication of the Temple

EGW

Several years had been spent in the building of the temple, and at last it was complete. And now, in order that this beautiful palace might indeed be, as David had declared, a dwelling-place “not for man, but for the Lord God,” there remained the solemn ceremony of formally dedicating it to Jehovah and his worship. RH November 16, 1905, par. 1

The time chosen for the dedication was a most favorable one—the seventh month, when the people from every part of the kingdom were accustomed to assemble at Jerusalem to celebrate the feast of the tabernacles. This feast was pre-eminently an occasion of rejoicing. The labors of the harvest being ended, and the toils of the new year not yet begun, the people were free from care, and could give themselves up to the sacred, joyous influences of the hour. RH November 16, 1905, par. 2

At the time appointed, “a great congregation” from every part of the realm gathered at Jerusalem, and participated in the removal of the wilderness-tabernacle and all its holy furniture, including the ark of the testament, to the temple. RH November 16, 1905, par. 3

The hour for the dedicatory service revealed a scene of great splendor. Before the temple were assembled the hosts of Israel, and the richly clad representatives of many foreign nations. Solomon stood facing the great altar of burnt offering. The priests who had carried in the sacred furniture, came out of the holy place, and took the places assigned them in the court of the temple. The singers,—Levites “arrayed in white linen, having cymbals and psalteries and harps,”—“stood at the east end of the altar, and with them an hundred and twenty priests sounding with trumpets.” RH November 16, 1905, par. 4

“It came even to pass, as the trumpeters and singers were as one, to make one sound to be heard in praising and thanking the Lord, and when they lifted up their voice with the trumpets and cymbals and instruments of music, and praised the Lord, saying, For he is good; for his mercy endureth forever: that then the house was filled with a cloud, even the house of the Lord; so that the priests could not stand to minister by reason of the cloud: for the glory of the Lord had filled the house of God.” RH November 16, 1905, par. 5

Solomon, realizing the significance of this cloud, declared: “The Lord hath said that he would dwell in the thick darkness. But I have built an house of habitation for thee, and a place for thy dwelling forever.” RH November 16, 1905, par. 6

An Inspired Blessing

“In the midst of the court” of the temple had been erected “a brazen scaffold,” or platform, “five cubits long, and five cubits broad, and three cubits high;” and after ascending this, Solomon stood and lifted up his hands, and blessed the vast multitude before him. “And all the congregation of Israel stood.” RH November 16, 1905, par. 7

“Blessed be the Lord God of Israel,” Solomon exclaimed, “who hath with his hands fulfilled that which he spake with his mouth to my father David, saying, Since the day that I brought forth my people out of the land of Egypt I chose no city among all the tribes of Israel to build an house in, that my name might be there; neither chose I any man to be a ruler over my people Israel: but I have chosen Jerusalem, that my name might be there; and have chosen David to be over my people Israel. RH November 16, 1905, par. 8

“Now it was in the heart of David my father to build an house for the name of the Lord God of Israel. But the Lord said to David my father, Forasmuch as it was in thine heart to build an house for my name, thou didst well in that it was in thine heart:” “nevertheless thou shalt not build the house; but thy son that shall come forth out of thy loins, he shall build the house unto my name. And the Lord hath performed his word that he spake, and I am risen up in the room of David my father, and sit on the throne of Israel, as the Lord promised, and have built an house for the name of the Lord God of Israel. And I have set there a place for the ark, wherein is the covenant of the Lord, which he made with our fathers, when he brought them out of the land of Egypt.” RH November 16, 1905, par. 9

The Dedicatory Prayer

Having pronounced this blessing upon the people, Solomon knelt upon the brazen scaffold, and in the presence and hearing of all the people before him, offered the dedicatory prayer. Lifting his hands toward heaven, the king offered an earnest and solemn petition to God, while the congregation were bowed with their faces to the ground. The king pleaded: RH November 16, 1905, par. 10

“O Lord God of Israel, there is no god like thee in the heaven, nor in the earth; which keepest covenant, and showest mercy unto thy servants, that walk before thee with all their hearts: thou which hast kept with thy servant David my father that which thou hast promised him; and spakest with thy mouth, and hast fulfilled it with thine hand, as it is this day. RH November 16, 1905, par. 11

“Now, therefore, O Lord God of Israel, keep with thy servant David my father that which thou hast promised him, saying, There shall not fail thee a man in my sight to sit upon the throne of Israel; yet so that thy children take heed to their way to walk in my law, as thou hast walked before me. Now then, O Lord God of Israel, let thy word be verified, which thou hast spoken unto thy servant David. RH November 16, 1905, par. 12

“But will God in very deed dwell with men on the earth? behold, heaven and the heaven of heavens can not contain thee; how much less this house which I have built! Have respect therefore to the prayer of thy servant, and to his supplication, O Lord my God, to harken unto the cry and the prayer which thy servant prayeth before thee: that thine eyes may be open upon this house day and night, upon the place whereof thou hast said that thou wouldest put thy name there; to harken unto the prayer which thy servant prayeth toward this place. Harken therefore unto the supplications of thy servant, and of thy people Israel, which they shall make toward this place: hear thou from thy dwelling-place, even from heaven; and when thou hearest, forgive. RH November 16, 1905, par. 13

“If a man sin against his neighbor, and an oath be laid upon him to make him swear, and the oath come before thine altar in this house; then hear thou from heaven, and do, and judge thy servants, by requiting the wicked, by recompensing his way upon his own head; and by justifying the righteous, by giving him according to his righteousness. RH November 16, 1905, par. 14

“And if thy people Israel be put to the worse before the enemy, because they have sinned against thee; and shall return and confess thy name, and pray and make supplication before thee in this house; then hear thou from the heavens, and forgive the sin of thy people Israel, and bring them again unto the land which thou gavest to them and to their fathers. RH November 16, 1905, par. 15

“When the heaven is shut up, and there is no rain, because they have sinned against thee; yet if they pray toward this place, and confess thy name, and turn from their sin, when thou dost afflict them; then hear thou from heaven, and forgive the sin of thy servants, and of thy people Israel, when thou hast taught them the good way, wherein they should walk; and send rain upon thy land, which thou hast given unto thy people for an inheritance. RH November 16, 1905, par. 16

“If there be dearth in the land, if there be pestilence, if there be blasting, or mildew, locusts, or caterpillars; if their enemies besiege them in the cities of their land; whatsoever sore or whatsoever sickness there be: then what prayer or what supplication soever shall be made of any man, or of all thy people Israel, when every one shall know his own sore and his own grief, and shall spread forth his hands in this house: then hear thou from heaven thy dwelling-place, and forgive, and render unto every man according unto all his ways, whose heart thou knowest (for thou only knowest the hearts of the children of men); that they may fear thee, to walk in thy ways, so long as they live in the land which thou gavest unto our fathers. RH November 16, 1905, par. 17

“Moreover concerning the stranger, which is not of thy people Israel, but is come from a far country for thy great name's sake, and thy mighty hand, and thy stretched out arm; if they come and pray in this house; then hear thou from the heavens, even from thy dwelling-place, and do according to all that the stranger calleth to thee for; that all people of the earth may know thy name, and fear thee, as doth thy people Israel, and may know that this house which I have built is called by thy name. RH November 16, 1905, par. 18

“If thy people go out to war against their enemies by the way that thou shalt send them, and they pray unto thee toward this city which thou hast chosen, and the house which I have built for thy name; then hear thou from the heavens their prayer and their supplication, and maintain their cause. RH November 16, 1905, par. 19

“If they sin against thee (for there is no man which sinneth not), and thou be angry with them, and deliver them over before their enemies, and they carry them away captives unto a land far off or near; yet if they bethink themselves in the land whither they are carried captive, and turn and pray unto thee in the land of their captivity, saying, We have sinned, we have done amiss, and have dealt wickedly; if they return to thee with all their heart and with all their soul in the land of their captivity, whither they have carried them captives, and pray toward their land, which thou gavest unto their fathers, and toward the city which thou hast chosen, and toward the house which I have built for thy name: then hear thou from the heavens, even from thy dwelling-place, their prayer and their supplications, and maintain their cause, and forgive thy people which have sinned against thee. RH November 16, 1905, par. 20

“Now, my God, let, I beseech thee, thine eyes be open, and let thine ears be attent unto the prayer that is made in this place. Now therefore arise, O Lord God, into thy resting-place, thou, and the ark of thy strength: let thy priests, O Lord God, be clothed with salvation, and let thy saints rejoice in goodness. RH November 16, 1905, par. 21

“O Lord God, turn not away the face of thine anointed: remember the mercies of David thy servant.” RH November 16, 1905, par. 22

A Divine Token of Acceptance

As Solomon ended his prayer, a miraculous fire “came down from heaven, and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices.” The priests could not enter the temple, because “the glory of the Lord filled the house.” “When all the children of Israel saw how the fire came down, and the glory of the Lord upon the house, they bowed themselves with their faces to the ground upon the pavement, and worshiped, and praised the Lord, saying, For he is good; for his mercy endureth forever.” RH November 16, 1905, par. 23

The Closing Ceremonies

“Then the king and all the people offered sacrifices before the Lord. And King Solomon offered a sacrifice of twenty and two thousand oxen, and an hundred and twenty thousand sheep: so the king and all the people dedicated the house of God. And the priests waited on their offices: the Levites also with instruments of music of the Lord, which David the king had made to praise the Lord, because his mercy endureth forever, when David praised by their ministry; and the priests sounded trumpets before them, and all Israel stood. Moreover Solomon hallowed the middle of the court that was before the house of the Lord: for there he offered burnt offerings, and the fat of the peace-offerings, because the brazen altar which Solomon had made was not able to receive the burnt offerings, and the meat offerings, and the fat.” RH November 16, 1905, par. 24

The Feast of the Tabernacles

“Also at the same time Solomon kept the feast seven days, and all Israel with him, a very great congregation, from the entering in of Hamath unto the river of Egypt. And in the eighth day they made a solemn assembly: for they kept the dedication of the altar seven days, and the feast seven days. And on the three and twentieth day of the seventh month he sent the people away into their tents, glad and merry in heart for the goodness that the Lord had showed unto David, and to Solomon, and to Israel his people.” RH November 16, 1905, par. 25