Term 1 – Week 10

Big Idea – God fulfilled his promises when King Solomon built the ‘House of the Lord’.

1 Kings 6-8




The story of the building of the temple begins with reference to the Exodus (1 Kgs 6:1). It’s the only event in the bible that is dated in terms of the number of years from the exodus, meaning we have reached a climactic moment in history of the people of Israel. What began with their redemption from slavery in Egypt 480 years earlier was about to reach the goal of a physical ‘house of the Lord’. God’s people, living peacefully in God’s place, under his rule and in His presence (1see Exodus 15:17-18; Deut 12:10-11). The time had now come, for the Lord to provide a dwelling place for his Name because He had given them ‘rest from all your enemies’ (2 Sam 7:11; 1 Kgs 5:4-5). 

During the construction of the temple, ‘The word of the Lord came to Solomon’ (1 Kgs 6:11), and the Lord wanted to discuss the temple. The Lord said to Solomon that if you obey me, then I will establish my word to you, which was promised to David, and I will dwell2 among the people of Israel and not forsake them (vv.12-13). It’s a picture of a restored garden of Eden, where what was lost by the disobedience of Adam and Even would once again be enjoyed as God’s people live under the good rule of an obedient king. God would dwell among his people and not forsake them. 1 King 8 is the very high point of the Old Testament. Solomon’s great building works had now been completed (7:51) and the Lord came to permanently dwell amongst his people. On that day, the Lord fulfilled his great promises. 

The Fulfilment (8:1-11) 

The nation of Israel assembled3 before their king in order to bring the ark of the covenant up from its temporary place in the city of David to its permanent residence in the house built for it (2 Sam 7:2, 11, 13). The bringing up of the ark signified the fulfilment of God’s promise to David. It meant the promise of rest had become a reality and that the kingdom of Solomon was indeed the kingdom of the promised son of David. This was a big moment for Israel.  

They assembled for King Solomon ‘at the feast in the month Ethanim (v.2), which is the Feast of Booths/Tabernacles. It commemorated the tent-dwelling days when the people of Israel were in the wilderness (Lev 23:33-43; Deut 16:13-15), but this feast would mark the day when the wandering was finally over and even the ark itself would no longer dwell in a tent, but would be brought to ‘its place’ (v.6). It commemorated the fulfilment of the Lord’s promise. 

The priests carried the ark, the tent of meeting (tabernacle) and the sacred furnishings up to the temple. The king (and the entire assembly of Israel) made sacrifices to the Lord (v.5) because God’s people cannot be in the God’s presence and enjoy his promises fulfilled without atonement for their sins (2 Samuel 6:9, 13). Then the priests brought the ark to its place in the inner sanctuary of the temple, the Most Holy Place, and put it beneath the wings of the cherubim (v.6), its permanent place. The box was empty except for the two stone tablets (v.9), which bore the very words of God, the covenant he made with his people at Horeb. Then the priests left and the glory of the Lord filled the house of the Lord (v.10).  

Although the temple was greater than the tent (it was supposedly permanent!), Solomon and Moses experienced the same thing At Sinai, the cloud covered the tent and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle, so Moses was unable to enter (Ex 40:34-35). In Jerusalem, the cloud covered the temple and the glory filled it, so the priests were unable to enter (v.11). This was a big moment for Israel. 

The Explanation (8:12-21) 

Solomon now speaks, first to God (vv.12-13) and then to the people (vv.14-21) explains what was going on.  

  1. Solomon speaks to God. He understands that God has spoken and fulfilled his promise to dwell with his people (see Deut 5:22). He also understood that the house he built was the place where God would permanently reign4 (v.13). 
  1. Solomon speaks to the people and shows them how this event is the fulfilment of God’s promises. He sums up the significance of this event in verses 20-21. 

Solomon’s house was a fulfilment of God’s promises, but it was only a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however is found in Christ (Col 2:17). King Solomon and all those who followed failed to obey God & keep his commands so eventually God’s judgment fell on Jerusalem, the glory of the Lord departed (Ezek 10:1-5) and the ‘House’ of Solomon was finally destroyed in 586BC (Jeremiah 52; 2 Kings 25). A second but inferior ‘house’ was built when the Jewish people returned from their exile in Babylon about 537BC (Ezra 3:8-13; 6:13-18), but that was replaced by King Herod in about 20BC. The true temple is the Lord Jesus Christ. He became flesh and made his dwelling (tabernacled) among us and we have seen his glory (John 1:14). In Jesus himself, the greater son of David, God’s promise became a visible, tangible and solid reality. Through Jesus, the essence of Eden is restored and surpassed! What was lost by the disobedience of Adam and Eve is once again enjoyed, as God’s people live under the good rule of an obedient king. Amazingly, Christians even become part of the true temple – living stones (1 Peter) filled with the Spirit! (1 Corinthians 6) 

Memory Verse

1 Samuel 16:7b

The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart. 


A Very Special Tent (Ben Pakula)YouTube

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Dundonald Kids

Dundonald Kids is the team led by our Children's Minister Natasha Small that aims to partner with parents in growing young disciples of Christ.

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