Sunday, September 15. 2 Chronicles 5 – 8

David Selman observes the following about what we have in chapter five:

“With the temple preparations which David began as far back as 1 Chronicles 22:2 now completed (5:1), the story of the building of the temple reaches its climax. The account occupies three chapters, 5:2–7:22, and is in three phases: (a) the ark and the cloud of God’s presence occupy the temple (5:2–14); (b) Solomon gives praise to God and prays to him (6:1–42); (c) God responds with fire and a message of hope (7:1–22).

“The Chronicler has made a number of brief but important additions to the comparable material in Kings (e.g. 5:11b–13a; 7:12b–15). This expansion contrasts with his treatment of the building work (chs. 3–4) where the earlier account was reduced by almost 50%, confirming that the Chronicler’s real interest is in what the temple signifies. These chapters therefore are not so much about the temple of God as the God to whom the temple belongs. There is no better illustration of this than 5:13c–14, where the priests are unable to carry out their expected duties because of the overwhelming effect of God’s glorious presence. In other words, as soon as the temple is opened for business, all the carefully planned ceremonies and services have to be suspended because God takes over the entire building for himself. The temple is to be for God’s glory, not for that of human beings . . .”

I think this last observation of tremendous importance. The Church (the temple of God today) is not for us – though certainly within its fellowship we find strength to become as God would have us to be – but rather for the glory of God. If we will keep this in mind, it will keep us from seeing the Church as a place where we expect service – and good service at that. Rather, it is the place where God’s glory is seen. We must not get in the way.