Day 150 – The Dedication of the Temple

Thoughts and Reflection

We learn today that the Ark of the Covenant was brought into the Temple for the first time carried by priests. The Ark contained the tablets of the Ten Commandments, manna, and Aaron’s staff. At this point in history, only the tablets remain. As the Ark is brought into the holy place, the presence of God fills the Temple in a very powerful way that the priests are momentarily prevented from doing their tasks.

In Ecclesiastes, we learn that if we love money, we will never be satisfied with it. Many people make huge salaries but have no life outside of their work. They keep working harder so they make even more money. We need to examine our own lives to see if we have a similar mentality regarding anything in this world.

Is there something in your life that isn’t enough no matter how much of it you have?

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 8

1 Solomon then summoned the elders of Israel to Jerusalem to bring the ark of the covenant of Yahweh up from the City of David, that is, Zion.

2 All the men of Israel assembled round King Solomon in the month of Ethanim, at the time of the feast (that is, the seventh month).

3 When all the elders of Israel had arrived, the priests took up the ark

4 and the Tent of Meeting and all the sacred utensils which were in the Tent.

5 King Solomon and all Israel, present with him before the ark, sacrificed countless, innumerable sheep and oxen.

6 The priests brought the ark of the covenant of Yahweh to its place, in the Debir of the Temple, that is, in the Holy of Holies, under the wings of the winged creatures

7 for the winged creatures spread their wings over the place where the ark stood, forming a canopy over the ark and its shafts.

8 These were so long, however, that the ends of the shafts could be seen from the Holy Place in front of the Debir, though they could not be seen from outside. They are still there today.

9 There was nothing in the ark except the two stone tablets which Moses had placed in it at Horeb, the tablets of the covenant which Yahweh made with the Israelites when they came out of Egypt.

10 Now when the priests came out of the Holy Place, the cloud filled the Temple of Yahweh,

11 and because of the cloud the priests could not stay and perform their duties. For the glory of Yahweh filled the Temple of Yahweh.

12 Then Solomon said: Yahweh has chosen to dwell in thick cloud.

13 I have built you a princely dwelling, a residence for you for ever.

14 The king then turned round and blessed the whole assembly of Israel, while the whole assembly of Israel stood.

15 He said, ‘Blessed be Yahweh, God of Israel, who has carried out by his hand what he promised with his mouth to my father David, when he said,

16 “From the day I brought my people Israel out of Egypt I chose no city, in any of the tribes of Israel, to have a temple built where my name should be; but I did choose David to rule my people Israel.”

17 My father David had set his heart on building a temple for the name of Yahweh, God of Israel,

18 but Yahweh said to my father David, “You have set your heart on building a temple for my name, and in this you have done well;

19 and yet, you are not the man to build the temple; but your son, yet to be born to you, will be the one to build the temple for my name.”

20 Yahweh has kept the promise which he made: I have succeeded my father David and am seated on the throne of Israel, as Yahwehpromised; I have built the temple for the name of Yahweh, God of Israel,

21 and in it I have made a place for the ark containing the covenant of Yahweh which he made with our ancestors when he brought them out of Egypt.’

22 Then, in the presence of the whole assembly of Israel, Solomon stood facing the altar of Yahweh and, stretching out his hands towards heaven,

23 said, ‘Yahweh, God of Israel, there is no god like you in heaven above or on earth beneath, as loyal to the covenant and faithful in love to your servants as long as they walk wholeheartedly in your way.

24 You have kept the promise you made to your servant, my father David, as you promised him you would. Today you have carried it out by your power.

25 And now, Yahweh, God of Israel, keep the promise which you made to your servant David when you said, “You will never lack for a man to sit before me on the throne of Israel, provided that your sons are careful how they behave, walking before me as you yourself have done.”

26 So now, God of Israel, let the words come true which you spoke to your servant, my father David.

27 Yet will God really live with human beings on earth? Why, the heavens, the highest of the heavens, cannot contain you. How much less this temple built by me!

28 Even so, listen favourably to the prayer and entreaty of your servant, Yahweh my God; listen to the cry and to the prayer which your servant makes to you today:

29 day and night may your eyes watch over this temple, over this place of which you have said, “My name will be there.” Listen to the prayer which your servant offers in this place.

30 ‘Listen to the entreaty of your servant and of your people Israel; whenever they pray in this place, listen from the place where you reside in heaven; and when you hear, forgive.

31 ‘If someone has wronged his neighbour and a curse is laid on him to make him swear an oath here before your altar in this Temple,

32 then listen from the place where you reside in heaven and do justice between your servants: condemning the guilty one by making him suffer for his conduct, and acquitting the upright by rewarding him as his uprightness deserves.

33 ‘When your people Israel are defeated by the enemy because they have sinned against you, but then return to you and acknowledge your name, and pray and seek your favours in this Temple,

34 then listen from the place where you reside in heaven; forgive the sin of your people Israel, and bring them back to the country which you gave to their ancestors.

35 ‘When the heavens are shut and there is no rain because they have sinned against you, if they pray in this place and praise your name and, having been humbled by you, desist from their sin,

36 then listen from the place where you reside in heaven and forgive the sin of your servant and your people Israel — for you are constantly showing them the good way which they must follow — and send rain on your country, which you have given to your people as their heritage.

37 ‘Should there be famine in the country, or pestilence, wind-blast or mildew, locust or caterpillar; should their enemy lay siege to one of their gates; should there be any plague or any disease:

38 whatever be the prayer or entreaty of any individual aware of a particular affliction: when that person stretches out the hands towards this Temple,

39 then listen from heaven where you reside; forgive and, since you know what is in the heart, deal with each as their conduct deserves — for you alone know what is in every human heart-

40 so that they may reverence you throughout their lives in the country which you gave to our ancestors.

41 ‘Even the foreigner, not belonging to your people Israel but coming from a distant country, attracted by your name-

42 for they too will hear of your name, of your mighty hand and outstretched arm — if a foreigner comes and prays in this Temple,

43 listen from heaven where you reside, and grant all that the foreigner asks of you, so that all the peoples of the earth may acknowledge your name and, like your people Israel, revere you and know that this Temple, which I have built, bears your name.

44 ‘If your people go out to war against the enemy, on whatever missions you send them, and they pray to Yahweh, turning towards the city which you have chosen and towards the Temple which I have built for your name,

45 then listen from heaven to their prayer and their entreaty, and uphold their cause.

46 ‘When they sin against you — for there is no one who does not sin — and you are angry with them and abandon them to the enemy, and their captors carry them off to a hostile country, be it far away or near,

47 if they come to their senses in the country to which they have been taken as captives and repent and entreat you in the country of their captors, saying, “We have sinned, we have acted perversely and wickedly,”

48 and turn back to you with all their heart and soul in the country of the enemies who have taken them captive, and pray to you, turning towards the country which you gave to their ancestors, towards the city which you have chosen and towards the Temple which I have built for your name,

49 listen to their prayer and their entreaty from the place where you reside in heaven, uphold their case,

50 forgive your people for having sinned against you and for all the crimes against you of which they have been guilty, and allow them to arouse the pity of their captors so that these may have pity on them:

51 for they are your people and your heritage whom you brought out of Egypt, that iron foundry!

52 ‘May your eyes be open to the entreaty of your servant and the entreaty of your people Israel, to listen to them, whatever they ask of you.

53 For you it was who set them apart from all the peoples of the earth to be your heritage, as you declared through your servant Moseswhen you brought our ancestors out of Egypt, Lord Yahweh.’

54 When Solomon had finished offering to Yahweh this whole prayer and entreaty, he rose from where he was kneeling with hands stretched out towards heaven before the altar of Yahweh,

55 and stood upright. And in a loud voice he blessed the whole assembly of Israel.

56 ‘Blessed be Yahweh,’ he said, ‘who has granted rest to his people Israel, keeping all his promises. Of all the promises of good that he made through his servant Moses, not one has failed.

57 May Yahweh our God be with us, as he was with our ancestors; may he never desert us or cast us off.

58 May he turn our hearts towards him so that we may follow all his ways and keep the commandments and laws and ordinances which he gave to our ancestors.

59 May these words of mine, of my entreaty before Yahweh, be present with Yahweh our God day and night, that he may uphold the cause of his servant and the cause of Israel his people, as each day requires,

60 so that all the peoples of the earth may come to know that Yahweh is God indeed and that there is no other.

61 May your hearts be wholly with Yahweh our God, following his laws and keeping his commandments as at this present day.’

62 The king and all Israel with him offered sacrifice before Yahweh.

63 Solomon offered a communion sacrifice of twenty-two thousand oxen and a hundred and twenty thousand sheep to Yahweh; and thus the king and all the Israelites dedicated the Temple of Yahweh.

64 On the same day the king consecrated the middle part of the court in front of the Temple of Yahweh; for that was where he presented the burnt offerings, oblations and fatty parts of the communion sacrifices, since the bronze altar which stood before Yahweh was too small to hold the burnt offering, oblation and the fatty parts of the communion sacrifice.

65 And then Solomon and with him all Israel from the Pass of Hamath to the Torrent of Egypt — a great assembly — celebrated the feast before Yahweh our God for seven days.

66 On the eighth day he dismissed the people, who bade farewell to the king and went home joyful and happy of heart over all the goodness which Yahweh had shown to his servant and his people Israel.

Ecclesiastes 3

1 There is a season for everything, a time for every occupation under heaven:

2 A time for giving birth, a time for dying; a time for planting, a time for uprooting what has been planted.

3 A time for killing, a time for healing; a time for knocking down, a time for building.

4 A time for tears, a time for laughter; a time for mourning, a time for dancing.

5 A time for throwing stones away, a time for gathering them; a time for embracing, a time to refrain from embracing.

6 A time for searching, a time for losing; a time for keeping, a time for discarding.

7 A time for tearing, a time for sewing; a time for keeping silent, a time for speaking.

8 A time for loving, a time for hating; a time for war, a time for peace.

9 What do people gain from the efforts they make?

10 I contemplate the task that God gives humanity to labour at.

11 All that he does is apt for its time; but although he has given us an awareness of the passage of time, we can grasp neither the beginning nor the end of what God does.

12 I know there is no happiness for a human being except in pleasure and enjoyment through life.

13 And when we eat and drink and find happiness in all our achievements, this is a gift from God.

14 I know that whatever God does will be for ever. To this there is nothing to add, from this there is nothing to subtract, and the way Godacts inspires dread.

15 What is, has been already, what will be, is already; God seeks out anyone who is persecuted.

16 Again I observe under the sun: crime is where justice should be, the criminal is where the upright should be.

17 And I think to myself: the upright and the criminal will both be judged by God, since there is a time for every thing and every action here.

18 I think to myself: where human beings are concerned, this is so that God can test them and show them that they are animals.

19 For the fate of human and the fate of animal is the same: as the one dies, so the other dies; both have the selfsame breath. Human is in no way better off than animal — since all is futile.

20 Everything goes to the same place, everything comes from the dust, everything returns to the dust.

21 Who knows if the human spirit mounts upward or if the animal spirit goes downward to the earth?

22 I see there is no contentment for a human being except happiness in achievement; such is the lot of a human beings. No one can tell us what will happen after we are gone.

Ecclesiastes 4

1 Then again, I contemplate all the oppression that is committed under the sun. Take for instance the tears of the oppressed. No one to comfort them! The power their oppressors wield. No one to comfort them!

2 So, rather than the living who still have lives to live, I congratulate the dead who have already met death;

3 happier than both of these are those who are yet unborn and have not seen the evil things that are done under the sun.

4 I see that all effort and all achievement spring from mutual jealousy. This too is futility and chasing after the wind.

5 The fool folds his arms and eats his own flesh away.

6 Better one hand full of repose than two hands full of achievements to chase after the wind.

7 And something else futile I observe under the sun:

8 a person is quite alone — no child, no brother; and yet there is no end to his efforts, his eyes can never have their fill of riches. For whom, then, do I work so hard and grudge myself pleasure? This too is futile, a sorry business.

9 Better two than one alone, since thus their work is really rewarding.

10 If one should fall, the other helps him up; but what of the person with no one to help him up when he falls?

11 Again: if two sleep together they keep warm, but how can anyone keep warm alone?

12 Where one alone would be overcome, two will put up resistance; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.

13 Better a youngster poor and wise than a monarch old and silly who will no longer take advice-

14 even though stepping from prison to the throne, even though born a beggar in that kingdom.

15 I observe that all who live and move under the sun support the young newcomer who takes over.

16 He takes his place at the head of innumerable subjects; but his successors will not think the more kindly of him for that. This too is futile and chasing after the wind.

17 Watch your step when you go to the House of God: drawing near to listen is better than the offering of a sacrifice by fools, though they do not know that they are doing wrong.

Ecclesiastes 5

1 Be in no hurry to speak; do not hastily declare yourself before God; for God is in heaven, you on earth. Be sparing, then, of speech:

2 From too much worrying comes illusion, from too much talking, the accents of folly.

3 If you make a vow to God, discharge it without delay, for God has no love for fools. Discharge your vow.

4 Better a vow unmade than made and not discharged.

5 Do not allow your mouth to make a sinner of you, and do not say to the messenger that it was a mistake. Why give God occasion to be angry with you and ruin all the work that you have done?

6 From too many illusions come futility and too much talk. Therefore, fear God.

7 If in a province you see the poor oppressed, fair judgement and justice violated, do not be surprised, for over every official there watches a higher official, and over these, higher officials still.

8 But what the land yields is for the benefit of all, a king is served by the fields.

9 No one who loves money ever has enough, no one who loves luxury has any income; this, too, is futile.

10 Where goods abound, parasites abound: where is the owner’s profit, apart from feasting his eyes?

11 The labourer’s sleep is sweet, whether he has eaten little or much, but the surfeit of the rich will not let him sleep at all.

12 Something grossly unjust I observe under the sun: riches stored and turning to loss for their owner.

13 An unlucky venture, and those riches are lost; a son is born to him, and he has nothing to leave him.

14 Naked from his mother’s womb he came; as naked as he came will he depart; not one of his achievements can he take with him.

15 And something else grossly unjust: that as he came, so must he go; what profit can he show after toiling to earn the wind,

16 as he spends the rest of his days in darkness, mourning, many sorrows, sickness and exasperation.

17 So my conclusion is this: true happiness lies in eating and drinking and enjoying whatever has been achieved under the sun, throughout the life given by God: for this is the lot of humanity.

18 And whenever God gives someone riches and property, with the ability to enjoy them and to find contentment in work, this is a gift from God.

19 For such a person will hardly notice the passing of time, so long as God keeps his heart occupied with joy.

Psalm 6

1 I see another evil under the sun, which goes hard with people:

2 suppose someone has received from God riches, property, honours — nothing at all left to wish for; but God does not give the chance to enjoy them, and some stranger enjoys them. This is futile, and grievous suffering too.

3 Or take someone who has had a hundred children and lived for many years, and, having reached old age, has never enjoyed the goodthings of life and has not even got a tomb; it seems to me, a still-born child is happier.

4 In futility it came, into darkness it departs, and in darkness will its name be buried.

5 It has never so much as seen or known the sun; all the same, it will rest more easily than that person,

6 who would never have known the good things of life, even by living a thousand years twice over. Do we not all go to the same place in the end?

7 All toil is for the mouth, yet the appetite is never satisfied.

8 What advantage has the wise over the fool? And what of the pauper who knows how to behave in society?

9 Better the object seen than the sting of desire: for the latter too is futile and chasing after the wind.

10 What has been is already defined — we know what people are: They cannot bring to justice one who is stronger than themselves.

11 The more we say, the more futile it is: what good can we derive from it?

12 And who knows what is best for someone during life, during the days of futile life which are spent like a shadow? Who can tell anyone what will happen after him under the sun?

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