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June 21, Day 173 – Worthy of His Majesty

In 1 Kings 7:23-8:21, we see in greater detail some of the furnishings that Solomon invested in the temple. In addition to the two huge “pillars” (cf., 1 Kings 7:15, ff.) – that he named “Jakin” [meaning “he establishes”] and “Boaz” [meaning “in him is strength”] (cf., 1 Kings 7:21), we see that Solomon also “made the Sea of cast metal, circular in shape, measuring about fifteen feet from rim to rim … encircled by gourds … standing on twelve bulls … with hindquarters toward the center … holding about 11,500 gallons” of water (verses 23-26). In addition, Solomon made “movable stands of bronze … engraved with lions, bulls, and cherubim … with basins, wheels, and handles” (verses 27-40). Each of these items served a specific purpose in the worship of the Lord, and all of them "were left unweighed, because there were so many” (verse 47). Added to these items were “the golden altar, lampstands of pure gold, gold floral work … and the things of silver and gold that David had dedicated” (verse 51). From our reading, we recognize that Solomon’s purpose was to present to the Lord a beautiful temple that was worthy of His majesty. In chapter 8, we see that “all the men of Israel came together” and “the priests took up the ark to its place in the inner sanctuary of the temple – the Most Holy Place” (verses 1-9). With “the whole assembly” present, Solomon “blessed them” and testified that “the LORD has kept the promise He made and the covenant with our fathers when He brought them out of Egypt” (verses 14-21). In King Solomon – the wisest man who ever lived – wisdom is present to testify about and to certify the historical truth that God keeps His promises. This is the place where God meets man, and it directs our thinking to the One to come.

In Psalm 76, Asaph tells us that “God is resplendent with light … and majestic” (verse 4). We serve a majestic God Who is completely set apart from us. He is high, lofty, and lifted up. He is wholly other than we are because He is the unique, holy, righteous, and sovereign Creator and Owner over all the universe. We are but creatures - a part of His creation. The “otherness” of God (i.e., His transcendence) establishes a vast, incomprehensible difference between Him and us, and though it is inconceivable to us, still we must recognize it and receive it as truth – if we are ever to know and worship Him properly. It is easy for us to overlook or even forget the majesty of God, but we dare not. That God is unlike man is mysterious, but His holy and righteous mystery is the very reason why He is worthy of our worship. To worship is to grant the highest adoration, honor, love, and respect to the object of one’s worship. Thus, to worship anything less that the sovereign, majestic Creator is a dishonorable perversion of both His character and the true meaning of worship. In His wisdom and in His Word, God has warned us for our own benefit not to forget His majesty because doing so is an unwitting attempt to violate God’s holy character - which is inviolable. Such forgetfulness actually desecrates and destroys the inherent dignity of man who is the only creature made in God’s image. Man’s misdirected worship breaches a spiritual law that results in disaster.

In Acts 13:42-14:7, we see that the people of the synagogue in Pisidian Antioch invited Paul and Barnabas to come back “the next Sabbath, and almost the whole city gathered to hear the Word of the Lord” (verses 42-44). We see that “the Gentiles were glad and honored … and believed” (verse 48). What a joyous occasion that must have been! However, as the “Word of the Lord spread, the Jews stirred up persecution against them” (verses 49-50). Thus, “Paul and Barnabas shook the dust from their feet in protest … and went to Iconium” (verse 51). In chapter 14, we see almost a repeat of the same situation there – they “spoke effectively, a great number believed, but the Jews there stirred up the Gentiles … and plotted to mistreat and stone them” (verses 1-5). Notably, we see that persecution didn’t stop them; “they were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit” (cf., Acts 13:52). Interesting that persecution was the stimulus for church growth.

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