Solomon felt a deep need to build a special place that was designated for a careful, intentional, extended time for worship—time to talk with and listen to God. He spared no expense in time, effort, expert builders.
Why was a temple so important that he used all that time and energy? Some folks have defined worship as something we do or say to God in response His grace, gifts, and love. Solomon thought it was important to provide a special place for people to “come apart” and focus on “giving worship” in an intentional, meaningful way—a special place to do a special thing.
Read the account in 2 Chronicles 5:2-14, NLT of bringing the Ark of God to the designated space, the Most Holy Place, and how God communicated with His people.
The Ark Brought to the Temple
2 Solomon then summoned to Jerusalem the elders of Israel and all the heads of tribes—the leaders of the ancestral families of Israel. They were to bring the Ark of the Lord’s Covenant to the Temple from its location in the City of David, also known as Zion.
3 So all the men of Israel assembled before the king at the annual Festival of Shelters, which is held in early autumn.
4 When all the elders of Israel arrived, the Levites picked up the Ark.
5 The priests and Levites brought up the Ark along with the special tent and all the sacred items that had been in it.
6 There, before the Ark, King Solomon and the entire community of Israel sacrificed so many sheep, goats, and cattle that no one could keep count!
7 Then the priests carried the Ark of the Lord’s Covenant into the inner sanctuary of the Temple—the Most Holy Place—and placed it beneath the wings of the cherubim.
8 The cherubim spread their wings over the Ark, forming a canopy over the Ark and its carrying poles.
9 These poles were so long that their ends could be seen from the Holy Place, which is in front of the Most Holy Place, but not from the outside. They are still there to this day.
10 Nothing was in the Ark except the two stone tablets that Moses had placed in it at Mount Sinai, where the Lord made a covenant with the people of Israel when they left Egypt.
11 Then the priests left the Holy Place. All the priests who were present had purified themselves, whether or not they were on duty that day.
12 And the Levites who were musicians—Asaph, Heman, Jeduthun, and all their sons and brothers—were dressed in fine linen robes and stood at the east side of the altar playing cymbals, lyres, and harps. They were joined by 120 priests who were playing trumpets.
13 The trumpeters and singers performed together in unison to praise and give thanks to the Lord. Accompanied by trumpets, cymbals, and other instruments, they raised their voices and praised the Lord with these words:
“He is good!
His faithful love endures forever!”
At that moment a thick cloud filled the Temple of the Lord.
14 The priests could not continue their service because of the cloud, for the glorious presence of the Lord filled the Temple of God.
- What does this passage say to you about the importance and meaning of worship?
- How did David describe this in Psalm 26:8, NIV? (“Lord, I love the house where you live,
the place where your glory dwells.”)
- Who is your favorite friend to spend time with? Why?
- What do you most enjoy doing together?
- Do you sometimes have to make a plan?
- Would it be okay to just text or call, but never get together in person for uninterrupted time? Why or why not?
- How would your friendship change if you never got together with your friend? What if you only called or texted once in a while?
- Even though we can pray anywhere and anytime, just as we can text anywhere and anytime, are those fleeting minutes the best way to spend time with a close friend?
- What are the benefits to spending extended time in conversation with Jesus, rather than only sending up quick prayers of “help,” “wow,” and “thank you”?
- How could extended communication with Jesus help you in your everyday life?
- Would it be helpful for you to find a special place in your home where you can spend uninterrupted time with God?
Discuss with your group where you might go to spend time talking with God and listening to Him.
- When would you be most likely to go there?
- What if you went to that special place every day for just 5 minutes and listened to hear how God wanted to communicate with you?