“When the priests withdrew from the Holy Place, the cloud filled the temple of the Lord. And the priests could not perform their service because of the cloud…” (1 Kings 8:10-11).
The verses above are from the dedication of Solomon’s temple. What a day that was. The temple took seven years to build, and the result was magnificent! The finest of materials were used. Gold even covered the walls and the floor. Several items in the temple were solid gold. For the dedication, King Solomon and thousands gathered. They saw God’s glory fill the temple in the form of a cloud so thick the priests could not function.
There was a sports poster at a church with the caption: “Your children have a .029% chance of becoming professional athletes and a 100% chance of standing before God.” Someone snapped a picture of it and posted it on social media. The result was a firestorm of responses, many of which were quite negative, including “I can worship God in nature, I don’t need church!” “All you want is money!” One parent even posted, “I guarantee my children will never stand before God!” Really? How can a parent guarantee that? We will all stand before the Almighty God on the Day of Judgment and see his glory!
But can we see God’s glory now? Yes! We see God’s glory every time God’s Word is declared in its truth and purity. Nature shows the wisdom and love of God, but the beauty of God’s creation cannot declare to us God’s plan for our forgiveness. Nothing we do can earn heaven, not even our good works or our prayers. Rather, the Lord Jesus paid for our sin and defeated death and the devil. There is God’s glory, a glory we see in all its splendor in his word. We see God’s glory in believing Jesus paid for our sins and welcomes us into heaven by grace through faith.
Old Testament believers saw God’s glory in a cloud present at the Temple’s dedication. We see God’s glory in His Word, every time the gospel is proclaimed. We join with King David who proclaimed: “One thing I ask from the Lord, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple.
For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his sacred tent and set me high upon a rock” (Psalm 27:4-5).
See the glory of God – in his message of love and forgiveness for us by grace through faith!