1 Kgs 8:1-66
On completion of the temple, Solomon arranged for the ark of the covenant to be brought from Zion, the city of David, to Jerusalem where the new temple had been built. So all the people gathered and the priest brought the ark and other vessels to the temple. The ark was placed in the most holy place, with only the two tables of stones containing the law inside it. Then something remarkable happened as the priests came out of the holy place. The whole house was filled with the cloud of the glory of God to the extent that the priests could not perform their duties. This was proof to all that God was willing to accept and allow his presence to dwell in the temple.
After this came one of the most comprehensive prayers in the old testament, as Solomon raised his voiced to pray to God and dedicate the temple to him. He recounted God’s promises to his people right from Egypt, then to his father David. He then went ahead to express his desire that the temple would continue to be a place of God presence and power. A place of solace, a place where the whole of Israel could turn to even in times of troubles, or when they have sinned. Anywhere they went in the world, they could turn towards the temple and pray, and expect the payers to be answered.
After all the prayers, Solomon blessed all the congregation, and prayed that their hearts be inclined to walk in the ways of God. They all then offered sacrifices to God, and held a great feast which lasted for fourteen days, as everyone’s heart was filled with joy and gladness for the Lord’s goodness.
Some verses to remember
vs 10-11: And it came to pass, when the priests were come out of the holy place, that the cloud filled the house of the LORD, So that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud: for the glory of the LORD had filled the house of the LORD.
vs 27: But will God indeed dwell on the earth? behold, the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain thee; how much less this house that I have builded?
vs 29: That thine eyes may be open toward this house night and day, even toward the place of which thou hast said, My name shall be there: that thou mayest hearken unto the prayer which thy servant shall make toward this place.
vs 56: Blessed be the LORD, that hath given rest unto his people Israel, according to all that he promised: there hath not failed one word of all his good promise, which he promised by the hand of Moses his servant.