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minister May 22, 23 Chronological Bible Study

Timeline. Map. Go to today’s Bible reading: 1Kings 8:1-66; 2Chronicles 5:1- 7:10; Psalm 132; 1Kings 9:1-9; 2Chronicles 7:11-22 (note: since this is a two day study it is suggested that the Bible reading be completed May 22 and the Bible study be read May 23)

Dedication and Responsibility

People dedicate their houses of worship, their businesses or other organizations, their vehicles, their lives, and even the lives of their children to the LORD. This is a laudable thing that we all admire. Because we dedicate them to the LORD, he has a responsibility to bless us, doesn't he? Do we have any personal or corporate responsibilities after the dedication? Let us see what we may learn from King Solomon and the dedication of the temple he had built.

Dedication

When the building of the temple was complete, Solomon placed all the furnishings for the temple in their proper places. Then he had the Ark of the Covenant and the Tent of Meeting and all the articles within that tent brought to Mt. Moriah, the site of Solomon's temple. He then had the ark installed in the Most Holy Place in the temple. Previously appointed Levites sang songs of praise at the installment of the Ark of the Covenant, a symbol of the presence of God. As they finished singing, the glory of the LORD filled the temple so that they could not stand in his presence.

After installing the Ark, Solomon offered a prayer of dedication. What did he say? Did he praise the designers and planners? No, the designer was God. Did he praise the supervisors and laborers? Perhaps privately, but in public Solomon praised God because God is faithful and helped Solomon build the temple. He kept his promise to David that his son would build a temple for Him. Solomon then made some requests of God. First, he wanted God to give him a lasting kingdom as he promised David. Second, although God is transcendent, even above the universe, Solomon requested that the LORD hear from heaven, his dwelling place, and forgive whenever anyone in Israel sinned and repented, praying toward the temple (a symbol of the place of his presence). Solomon knew that he and all his people were sinners, and that they need forgiveness. Solomon even wanted foreigners in the land to be heard when they sought the LORD by praying toward His temple.

Responsibility

What was the response of the LORD to the dedication prayer of Solomon? God said he would bless the nation of Israel for obedience, but if they forsook him, God would allow the temple to be destroyed (1Kings 9:1-9). At first they obeyed and were blessed, but in future lessons we will see that God's judgment would come upon them for disobedience. Today the Dome of the Rock, a Muslim mosque, resides there or immediately south of there. It is a testimony, not only of the Muslim faith, but of Israel's disobedience.

Do worshippers of the true God, i.e., Christians, have a temple today? Yes, our bodies are temples where the Spirit of God dwells. We are to glorify God in our bodies and our spirits, which belong to him (1Corinthians 6:19-20). We are not to grieve the Holy Spirit by our attitudes, what we say, or by what we do (Ephesians 4:30). God's desire for all men is that they come to repentance (2Peter 3:9). He wants his Spirit to also dwell in them. “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved,” (Romans 10:13, NIV).

As Israel had the responsibility of maintaining the temple and their spiritual lives, we also have personal responsibility to maintain the things we dedicate to the LORD. If we dedicate a building to the LORD, we are responsible for its care. If we dedicate a vehicle for the LORD's work, we need to maintain that vehicle. If we dedicate ourselves to the LORD, we need to be faithful in Bible study, prayer, and service to our God. If we dedicate our children to the LORD, then we are responsible to teach them the Word and the ways of God in our daily lives. We are further responsible to discipline them with love, to take them with us to church and Sunday School (or other children's church ministries), and to lead them in discipleship and outreach. The dedication of things or people to the LORD is very admirable, but it must not stop there. Most blessings from God are conditional upon our obedience. Do you have a personal relationship with God? (more...). Are you obedient?

Lessons to live by:

•  The dedication of things or people to the LORD is good and very admirable, but it must not stop there. Most blessings from God are conditional upon our obedience.

•  We have personal responsibility to maintain the things and our own relationship that we dedicate to the LORD. Our obedience and careful attention to these matters leads to blessing both now and in the future.

Today's Bible Memory Verse:

1Corinthians 6:19-20

Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body. (NIV)

praying girl Write a private prayer response to today’s Bible study:

Please send your comments to mtbiblestudies@gmail.com

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