I was reading in the book of 2 Chronicles Chapter 5 in the Old Testament of the Bible. The passage of scripture was talking about the time when Solomon had built a house for the Lord. This was the temple of God that would eventually be the home for the ark of the covenant, which is the place where God would come and sit on the Mercy Seat and the high priest would minister to the Lord in the Holy of Holies.
2 Chronicles 5:1 (KJV) 1 Thus all the work that Solomon made for the house of the LORD was finished: and Solomon brought in all the things that David his father had dedicated; and the silver, and the gold, and all the instruments, put he among the treasures of the house of God.
As you can see in the first verse, the temple was furnished with very expensive materials such as gold and silver. There were instruments and treasures as well as many other fine materials and items found in the temple of God, such as alters of brass and copper and candelsticks made of pure gold. In todays currency this building would have been a multi-million dollar complex.
2 Chronicles 5:2-5 (KJV) 2 Then Solomon assembled the elders of Israel, and all the heads of the tribes, the chief of the fathers of the children of Israel, unto Jerusalem, to bring up the ark of the covenant of the LORD out of the city of David, which is Zion.
3 Wherefore all the men of Israel assembled themselves unto the king in the feast which was in the seventh month.
4 And all the elders of Israel came; and the Levites took up the ark.
5 And they brought up the ark, and the tabernacle of the congregation, and all the holy vessels that were in the tabernacle, these did the priests and the Levites bring up.
After reading the next few verses you can see that Solomon, upon completion of the temple, called together the elders to discuss bringing the ark of the covenant to the temple from the city of David. As you can see there was not one ceremony, celebration, sacrifice, feast or anything held in the temple until the ark was brought in.
2 Chronicles 5:6-7 (KJV) 6 Also king Solomon, and all the congregation of Israel that were assembled unto him before the ark, sacrificed sheep and oxen, which could not be told nor numbered for multitude.
7 And the priests brought in the ark of the covenant of the LORD unto his place, to the oracle of the house, into the most holy place, even under the wings of the cherubims:
Solomon and the multitude gathered before the ark of the covenant (the presence of God) and offered sacrifice. This was a type and shadow of the cross of Jesus Christ because Jesus had to be crucified before the Holy Spirit could come on the day of Pentecost. Solomon had to offer a sacrifice, a temporary covering for sin before the ark could be moved. Once the priest moved the ark to the temple, it was placed in the holy place just as the Lord commands. In todays church we need to have respect and reverence for the divine presence of God. The Holy Spirit wants residence in our inner most being.
John 7:38 (KJV) 38 He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.
The Holy Spirit present in your life, will always spring forth out of you like a fountain that never runs dry. The Holy Spirit will give life, nourishment, saturation, growth, and heals everything it touches just like Ezekial saw in his vision of waters that issued out from the tabernacle.
2 Chronicles 5:10 (KJV) 10 There was nothing in the ark save the two tables which Moses put therein at Horeb, when the LORD made a covenant with the children of Israel, when they came out of Egypt.
Its amazing that inside the ark was two tables of stone which Moses had placed there at Horeb. This was the Law of God, which was fulfilled by Jesus Christ 2000 years ago when he died on the cross and was raised from the dead on the 3rd day. I am also intrigued by the covenant that God made with Israel when they came out of Egypt. Basically its a promise of a great inheritance (Land of Milk & Honey) when they came out of the bondage of sin (Egypt is an example of sin). Today my friend, Jesus had made you a promise that he alone is God and he has made a way of escape for you. The book of John tell us that the theif comes to steal, kill, and destroy, but Jesus came to give life more abundantly.
2 Chronicles 5:11-14 (KJV) 11 And it came to pass, when the priests were come out of the holy place: (for all the priests that were present were sanctified, and did not then wait by course:
12 Also the Levites which were the singers, all of them of Asaph, of Heman, of Jeduthun, with their sons and their brethren, being arrayed in white linen, having cymbals and psalteries and harps, stood at the east end of the altar, and with them an hundred and twenty priests sounding with trumpets:)
13 It came even to pass, as the trumpeters and singers were as one, to make one sound to be heard in praising and thanking the LORD; and when they lifted up their voice with the trumpets and cymbals and instruments of musick, and praised the LORD, saying, For he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever: that then the house was filled with a cloud, even the house of the LORD;
14 So that the priests could not stand to minister by reason of the cloud: for the glory of the LORD had filled the house of God.
The last few verses give us a picture of how true worship must take place. The priest understood that the presence of the Lord was necessary to have true worship. The priest could have carried out temple duties, but without the ark it would have been in vain.
In today's church world we have the biggest and the best facilities, entertainment, and coffee shops have been the drive of church growth. We have passed out surveys trying to marry the modern church into the world. I believe that the Lord has shown us all through the bible that lives are changed, not by starbucks, or basketball teams, or how you dress, but lives are changed only by the presence of God. My friend, we need a revival to sweep through our Land and begin to burn out the flesh-driven churches and once again begin to embrace the divine presence of God through the moving and operation of the Holy Spirit. Who care if we have big buildings and paved parking, who cares if we have padded pews and the highest quality video and audio, who cares if we have day-care and parents night out. What I want to know is this: Does God Show Up and Show Out In Your Church!! We Need The Glory Again!!!