It’s passages like this that make even my heart sing! The palpability of worship truly inspires. We know moving the Ark of the Covenant is serious business to be done in just the right way prescribed by God. Rather than fear, the people rejoiced.
With the temple construction complete, it was time to move God’s presence back in. Only after the arrival of the Ark could the temple be truly finished. The work King David had initiated was fulfilled. In readings to follow, Solomon will pray and dedicate the space. For now, we’ll focus on worship!
The timing couldn’t have been more appropriate. The Festival of Shelters, also known as the Feast of Tabernacles or Sukkot, is when Jewish people gathered to remember God’s provision in the wilderness, memorializing God’s holy dwelling place in the Tabernacle there, and to look forward to the coming Messiah. Interestingly, the first sacrifices the Chronicler’s contemporaries returning from exile would have made on their newly rebuilt altar were during the same festival!
As a worship leader, I especially enjoy giving thanks to God with band mates, each of us playing a different instrument. Here we can almost hear all of the different instruments playing together to bring honor and tribute to God for his faithfulness. A true celebration of God’s presence was made using these instruments.
How did God respond? We’re told the glory of the LORD filled the space. What a sight to behold that must have been! I’ve not personally ever witnessed God’s presence in a cloud like this, but the Bible speaks of other times God revealed himself in a similar manner. While in the wilderness, Exodus 16:10 tells us, “And as Aaron spoke to the whole community of Israel, they looked out toward the wilderness. There they could see the awesome glory of the Lord in the cloud.” A little later, in Exodus 40:34 we read, “Then the cloud covered the Tabernacle, and the glory of the Lord filled the Tabernacle.”
Some New Testament examples include Luke 21:27, “Then everyone will see the Son of Man coming on a cloud with power and great glory.” Also, in Revelation 1:7, “Look! He comes with the clouds of heaven. And everyone will see him—even those who pierced him. And all the nations of the world will mourn for him. Yes! Amen!”
I was reminded of the Revelation verse just last evening when one of the girls in our youth group from the orphanage had chosen that as her focus verse for the week. She was impressed by how Jesus would be recognized by all, yet those who don’t have a relationship with Jesus would grieve and lament.
Suffice it to say, that the glory of the LORD will be the most beautiful thing to behold. I am ready to see the clouds of heaven descending, aren’t you?
Let’s pray. Father God, king of the universe and ruler of all things, I love you. I look forward to the day when you will return in all your glory. Until that day, may worship be on my lips as I go through my day. Replace my fears and doubts with the assurance of your grace and mercy. Use me to help others find you. Show me those who are seeking your glory. In Jesus’ name. Amen.