God’s glory

June 20, 2020

Scripture Readings

In 1 Kings 7, we read that Solomon completed God’s temple – a fulfillment of God’s promise to David (1 Kings 8:14-21). The temple’s furnishings were full of symbolism. For example, the 12 oxen are placed in threes to the north, east, south and west at the base of “the Sea” (1 Kings 7:25).  Here, oxen possibly represent strength and power (Prov. 14:4).  The number 12 symbolizes divine perfection of government (e.g. 12 apostles, 12 tribes of Israel), while 3 symbolizes divine perfection (e.g. Trinity, Jesus rose 3rd day). Combined, they represent “The divine government in strength/power on all sides.” There are more treasures to discover for the one who digs!

Moving to 1 Kings 8, the Ark was then placed under the wings of the cherubim (1 Kings 8:6) in the inner sanctuary, the Most Holy Place. Cherubim surround God’s throne (Ez. 1:4-28, 10: 3-22) and signify the presence of God (Ps. 80:1). Their figures even reveal aspects of Jesus! 

They have four wings and faces – lion, ox, man and eagle. Interestingly, their faces symbolically correlate with how the Gospel writers represented Jesus. Matthew spoke of Jesus as King (lion), Mark of Jesus as a servant (ox), Luke of Jesus as a human (man), and John of Jesus as a God (eagle).

After the priests exited the Most Holy Place, God’s glorious presence filled the temple in a thick cloud (1 Kings 8: 10-11), and all preparations and plans went out the door. Why? Because nothing was needed with God’s glory present.  God’s glory also came like a cloud when the Israelites received the ten commandments. Unfortunately, their response was self-focused and of fear (read Ex. 19:16, 20:18-21) versus Moses’ and Joshua’s (Ex. 32:17) responses, which were God-focused and of faith as they obeyed God and drew nearer to him in the blind journey up a cloud-covered mountain.

Reflection:

Am I more consumed by “the service” – plans/preparations/work (e.g. ministry, business, school, family, relationships, past-times, etc.) or by being in God’s glorious presence?  

In the “cloud” of his glorious presence, will I choose to respond in fear or faith?

Which aspect(s) of my body (mind, soul, spirit) – God’s temple – do I need to allow his glorious presence to fill?

 

Jackie Wu

Wife of one, mother of five and devoted follower of Jesus