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Day 147 – Temple Worship


Thoughts and Reflection

In today’s reading, we learn how God responds to Solomon’s prayer of dedication to the Temple. God demonstrates the power of his presence by sending fire down from heaven. The Temple is essential because the presence of the Lord will be there and it is where the people will worship. We must worship God in the manner he wants us to worship him. The Lord tells Solomon that he will be with him, as he was with David if he follows him. If he should serve other gods, he will be plucked from the land.

Solomon does not follow the Lord’s wish. He takes foreign women as his wives and instead of bringing them into the covenant, he allows them to continue to worship their false gods. This opens Solomon up to idolatry. God desires obedience. Even though he is the wisest man in Israel, he is unwilling to be obedient to the Lord. There is only one way to love God – obey and love our neighbor.

About This Project

For the year 2022, I decided that my New Year’s Resolution was to read the whole Bible following the Bible in the Year plan presented by Fr. Mike Schmitz. It is a big and bold undertaking. You can follow along by subscribing. Feel free to look at previous day’s post and comment. It’s something we can all learn from together!

Daily Readings

1 Kings 5

1 Solomon was overlord of all the kingdoms from the River to the territory of the Philistines and the Egyptian border. They brought tribute and served him all his life long.

2 The daily provisions for Solomon were: thirty measures of fine flour and sixty measures of meal,

3 ten fattened oxen, twenty free-grazing oxen, one hundred sheep, besides deer and gazelles, roebucks and fattened poultry.

4 For he was master of all Transeuphrates — of all the kings of Transeuphrates from Tiphsah to Gaza — and he enjoyed peace on all his frontiers.

5 Judah and Israel lived in security, everyone under his vine and his fig tree, from Dan to Beersheba, throughout the lifetime of Solomon.

6 And Solomon had four thousand stalls of horses for his chariots and twelve thousand cavalrymen.

7 These administrators provided the food for Solomon and for all those who were admitted by him to the royal table, each for the period of a month; they ensured that nothing was wanting.

8 They also provided the barley and straw for the horses and draught animals, where required, each according to the quota demanded of him.

9 God gave Solomon immense wisdom and understanding, and a heart as vast as the sand on the sea-shore.

10 The wisdom of Solomon surpassed the wisdom of all the sons of the East and all the wisdom of Egypt.

11 He was wiser than anyone else, wiser than Ethan the Ezrahite, than the sons of Mahol, Heman, Calcol and Darda; his fame spread to all the surrounding nations.

12 He composed three thousand proverbs, and his songs numbered a thousand and five.

13 He could discourse on plants from the cedar in Lebanon to the hyssop growing on the wall; and he could discourse on animals and birds and reptiles and fish.

14 Men from all nations came to hear Solomon’s wisdom, and he received gifts from all the kings in the world, who had heard of his wisdom.

15 Hiram king of Tyre sent an embassy to Solomon, having learnt that he had been anointed king in succession to his father and because Hiram had always been a friend of David.

16 And Solomon sent this message to Hiram,

17 ‘You are aware that my father David was unable to build a temple for the name of Yahweh his God, on account of the wars waged on him from every side, until Yahweh put his enemies under the soles of his feet.

18 But now Yahweh my God has given me peace on every side: not one enemy, no calamities.

19 I propose, then, to build a temple for the name of Yahweh my God, in accordance with what Yahweh told my father David, “Your son whom I shall place on your throne to succeed you will be the man to build a temple for my name.”

20 So now have cedars of Lebanon cut down for me; my servants will work with your servants, and I shall pay for the hire of your servants at whatever rate you fix. As you know, we have no one as skilled in felling trees as the Sidonians.’

21 When Hiram heard what Solomon had said, he was delighted. ‘Now blessed be Yahweh,’ he said, ‘who has given David a wise son to rule over this great people!’

22 And Hiram sent word to Solomon, ‘I have received your message. For my part, I shall supply you with all you require in the way of cedar wood and juniper.

23 Your servants will bring these down from Lebanon to the sea, and I shall have them towed by sea to any place you name; I shall discharge them there, and you will take them over. For your part, you will see to the provisioning of my household as I desire.’

24 So Hiram provided Solomon with all the cedar wood and juniper he wanted

25 while Solomon gave Hiram twenty thousand kor of wheat to feed his household, and twenty thousand kor of pure oil. Solomon gave Hiram this every year.

26 Yahweh gave Solomon wisdom as he had promised him; good relations persisted between Solomon and Hiram, and the two of them concluded a treaty.

27 King Solomon raised a levy throughout Israel for forced labour: the levy numbered thirty thousand men.

28 He sent these to Lebanon in relays, ten thousand a month; they spent one month in Lebanon and two months at home. Adoram was in charge of the forced labour.

29 Solomon also had seventy thousand porters and eighty thousand quarrymen in the mountains,

30 as well as the administrators, officials who supervised the work, three thousand three hundred of them in charge of the men employed in the work.

31 At the king’s orders they quarried huge stones, special stones for the laying of the temple foundations, dressed stones.

32 Solomon’s workmen and Hiram’s workmen and the Giblites cut and assembled the wood and stone for the building of the Temple.

2 Chronicles 7

1 When Solomon had finished his prayer, fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices; and the gloryof Yahweh filled the Temple.

2 The priests could not enter the Temple of Yahweh, because the glory of Yahweh filled the Temple of Yahweh.

3 When all the Israelites saw the fire come down and the glory of Yahweh resting on the Temple, they bowed down on the pavement with their faces to the earth, worshipping and praising Yahweh with ‘For he is good, for his faithful love lasts for ever!’

4 Then the king and all the people offered sacrifices before Yahweh.

5 King Solomon offered a sacrifice of twenty-two thousand oxen and a hundred and twenty thousand sheep; and thus the king and all the people dedicated the Temple of God.

6 The priests stood in their places, as did the Levites with Yahweh’s musical instruments which King David had provided, to render ‘Give thanks to Yahweh, for his faithful love lasts for ever!’ whenever David offered praise to their accompaniment. Opposite them, the priests blew trumpets, while all Israel stood. 

7 Solomon also consecrated the middle part of the court in front of the Temple of Yahweh; for that was where he presented the burnt offerings and the fatty parts of the communion sacrifices, since the bronze altar which Solomon had made could not hold the burnt offering, the oblation and the fatty parts.

8 And then Solomon and with him all Israel from the Pass of Hamath to the Torrent of Egypt — a very great assembly — celebrated the feast for seven days.

9 On the eighth day they held the assembly, for they had devoted seven days to the dedication of the altar and seven days to the feast.

10 On the twenty-third day of the seventh month Solomon dismissed the people to their homes, rejoicing and happy of heart over the goodness which Yahweh had shown to David, to Solomon and to his people Israel.

11 Thus Solomon finished the Temple of Yahweh and the royal palace, and he successfully concluded everything that he was of a mindto do in the Temple of Yahweh and in his own palace.

12 Then Yahweh appeared to Solomon in the night and said, ‘I have heard your prayer and have chosen this place for myself as a house of sacrifice.

13 If I shut the heavens so that there is no rain, or if I command the locusts to devour the country, or if I send pestilence among my people,

14 if my people who bear my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my presence and turn from their wicked ways, then I willlisten from heaven and forgive their sins and restore their country.

15 Now and for the future my eyes are open and my ears attentive to prayer offered in this place,

16 for now I have chosen and consecrated this Temple, for my name to be there for ever; my eyes and my heart will constantly be there.

17 And if, for your part, you walk before me as your father David did, and do everything that I have commanded you to do, and keep my laws and my ordinances,

18 I shall make your royal throne secure, as I covenanted with your father David when I said: You will never lack for a male to rule in Israel.

19 But if you turn away and forsake my laws and commandments which I have laid down for you, and go and serve other gods and worship them,

20 then I shall uproot them from the country which I have given them, and shall disown this Temple which I have consecrated for my name and make it a proverb and a byword among all the peoples.

21 And at this once-exalted Temple, everyone who passes by will be appalled, and will say, “Why has Yahweh treated this country and this Temple like this?”

22 And the answer will be, “Because they deserted Yahweh, the God of their ancestors, who brought them out of Egypt, and adopted other gods and worshipped and served them; that is why he has brought all these disasters on them.” ‘

2 Chronicles 8

1 At the end of the twenty years which it took Solomon to build the Temple of Yahweh and his own palace,

2 and to rebuild the towns which Huram had given him and settle them with Israelites,

3 Solomon mounted an expedition against Hamath-Zobah and captured it.

4 He also fortified Tadmor in the desert and all the storage towns which he had built in Hamath.

5 He also built Upper Beth-Horon and Lower Beth-Horon as fortified towns with walls and gates and bars,

6 also Baalath and all Solomon’s storage towns, all the towns for his chariots and horses, and everything which Solomon was pleased to build in Jerusalem, in the Lebanon and throughout the territory under his rule.

7 All those who survived of the Hittite, Amorite, Perizzite, Hivite and Jebusite peoples, who did not belong to Israel-

8 those of their descendants still remaining in the country, whom the Israelites had not exterminated, these Solomon levied for forced labour, as is still the case today.

9 Solomon did not, however, impose forced labour on the Israelites for his work — for they were soldiers, his senior officers and his chariot and cavalry commanders.

10 There were two hundred and fifty of King Solomon’s officials in charge of the foremen who supervised the people.

11 Solomon moved Pharaoh’s daughter up from the City of David to the palace which he had built for her. ‘I must not be responsible’, he said, ‘for a woman living in the palace of David king of Israel, for these buildings to which the ark of Yahweh has come are sacred.’

12 Thereafter, Solomon made burnt offerings to Yahweh on the altar of Yahweh which he had built in front of the portico,

13 in accordance with the regular prescriptions for burnt sacrifice as commanded by Moses, on the Sabbaths, New Moons and the three annual feasts; the feast of Unleavened Bread, the feast of Weeks and the feast of Shelters.

14 Following the prescriptions of his father David, he assigned the orders of priests to their duties and the Levites to their tasks of praise and of assisting the priests in accordance with day-to-day requirements; as also the gatekeepers in their various orders to each gate- for cush was the command of David, man of God.

15 Nor was there deviation on any point from the king’s command as regards the priests, the Levites or even the storehouses.

16 Thus, all the work was over which Solomon had put in hand when the Temple of Yahweh was founded until it was finished. The Temple of Yahweh was complete in every detail.

17 Solomon then mounted an expedition to Ezion-Geber and Elath on the sea-coast of Edom.

18 Huram sent him ships through his agents, as well as experienced sailors, who went to Ophir with men in Solomon’s service, where they took on four hundred and fifty talents of gold, which they brought back to King Solomon.

Psalm 66

1 [For the choirmaster Song Psalm] Acclaim God, all the earth,

2 sing psalms to the glory of his name, glorify him with your praises,

3 say to God, ‘How awesome you are! ‘Your achievements are the measure of your power, your enemies woo your favour,

4 all the earth bows down before you, sings psalms to you, sings psalms to your name.

5 Come and see the marvels of God, his awesome deeds for the children of Adam:

6 he changed the sea into dry land, they crossed the river on foot. So let us rejoice in him,

7 who rules for ever by his power; his eyes keep watch on the nations to forestall rebellion against him.

8 Nations, bless our God, let the sound of his praise be heard;

9 he brings us to life and keeps our feet from stumbling.

10 God, you have put us to the test, refined us like silver,

11 let us fall into the net; you have put a heavy strain on our backs,

12 let men ride over our heads; but now the ordeal by fire and water is over, you have led us out to breathe again.

13 I bring burnt offerings to your house, I fulfil to you my vows,

14 the vows that rose to my lips, that I pronounced when I was in trouble.

15 I will offer you rich burnt offerings, with the smoke of burning rams. I will sacrifice to you bullocks and goats.

16 Come and listen, all who fear God, while I tell what he has done for me.

17 To him I cried aloud, high praise was on my tongue.

18 Had I been aware of guilt in my heart, the Lord would not have listened,

19 but in fact God did listen, attentive to the sound of my prayer.

20 Blessed be God who has not turned away my prayer, nor his own faithful love from me.


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