DATE POSTED: Wednesday, 2023-02-22
WRITTEN AT: O’Brien, FL
SCRIPTURE FROM: 2 Chronicles 5:13-14
TRANSLATION: New Living Translation (NLT)
BIBLE TEXT: 13 The trumpeters and singers performed together in unison to praise and give thanks to the Lord. Accompanied by trumpets, cymbals, and other instruments, they raised their voices and praised the Lord with these words: “He is good! His faithful love endures forever!” At that moment a thick cloud filled the Temple of the Lord. 14 The priests could not continue their service because of the cloud, for the glorious presence of the Lord filled the Temple of God.
OBSERVATION: Although we seldom refer to the House of God today as ‘The Temple of God’, yet I feel like we could deduce from today’s Scripture that this ‘Temple’ must be comparable, at least in some ways, to our current day churches and/or sanctuaries and/or worship centers. Of course, we no longer go through the animal sacrifices as the early believers did, because we have Jesus as our one and only sacrifice for the sin of those who have sought Him and accepted His sacrifice. However, I feel like we should look closer at some of the things taught to us by our ancestors that have been lost, and no longer considered important in today’s worship centers.
APPLICATION: As we begin this study, I would encourage you perform an internet search for ‘Church Names’. In an effort to appease the unsaved, it would appear that more and more churches are trying to avoid the names of Jesus, God, Church, Temple, House of God, Bible, and/or Worship from their name. Could it possibly be that these might be keywords that the unsaved will try to avoid. I will leave the conclusion on that up to you, but I don’t believe this is something that our ancestors would have passed down to us. Rather, it seems more of a marketing trick to get people in the door. I would think that if we want to present something better/different or even unique to the unsaved, it would be in our worship of God and the trinity that is unique to our Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Should the world want change, then let it begin with the name of our meeting place. I acknowledge that the aforesaid is totally off, from what I first felt when I read this Scripture, so I can only assume that the Holy Spirit wanted that said. In the Old Testament, we hear a lot about the gruesome sacrifices made by the people of God as they sought forgiveness of sin, healing, etc. But God wanted us to know about the extent that David went to in trying to build an awesome temple for the Ark of the Covenant; how God told David to hold off on his effort because this was something He had planned for Solomon to do; and now in this chapter, how Solomon gave this effort everything he had. Although the architecture was ‘out of this world’, I love the following about the first Worship experience in the new Temple. Notice:
- No expense spared – To walk in some rooms located at some of today’s churches, you might assume that the original builders sought after the cheapest material and had only one thing in mind: ‘how cheaply can we build this place?’. I will immediately ask forgiveness of those who fought hard to at least erect their own house of worship without borrowing money, or at least trying to meet an established budget. But Solomon went to a great extent to seek help in order to build the very best right at the outset. Having said this, yet I must share that having walked into a religious based theme park and seeing gold (looking) fixtures in the bathroom, made me uneasy about extravagant spending in light of world needs. Unfortunately, I don’t know where we would draw the line, but I do know the One who could guide us!
- Many instrumentalists joined the already large choir and musicians – try taking a survey about the number of folk learning to play an instrument these days, and especially for the purpose of playing them in a church. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if the hundreds of musicians who played at Solomon’s Temple of God didn’t spend hours learning their instruments especially for the purpose of playing for the honor of God.
- The presence of the Lord was obvious – It seems like God responded in a very powerful way when His temple was filled with people who took particular interest in knowing His heart, seeing His face, and desiring to know His perfect will for their lives. I trust that today’s church leaders will also seek to know God, see Him work through them to reach the hearts of His people and teach them His truth. Professionals can assemble a great order of service, as they were taught by seminarians, and attendees will marvel at the good order and how it met every standard they ever saw in a church service, but unless the power of God is permitted to permeate the hearts of God’s people, they will be disappointed that they only attended another meeting, and so might God also feel that way, while wishing that His children had instead met to seek His face and know Him better.
Friends, I was a Worship Leader in a small church for a number of years, and I am still convicted on whether I depended on God enough to lead His people into praise and worship through me – His servant. So, although it may seem that I am centered on our dedicated worship leaders today, please know that while God may be challenging them on their leadership, I believe that the Holy Spirit may be especially challenging each of us on the job we do in preparing for worship, and on educating ourselves to take an active role on helping to lead our respective churches into true and meaningful worship. I pray that one day, our worship services will be so filled with the presence of God that He will take control of our meeting while leaders, instrumentalists and all others assume their rightful role in worshipping and pleasing Almighty God with our worship.
BLESSING(S) NOTED: God responded to the worship of His people in a way that only God could. We might use smoke machines, but I don’t believe it could ever trick folk into thinking that it represents God’s holy presence. It seems reassuring to me that God WILL show up, when His people seek to worship Him and not just get caught up in a moment created by professional worship leaders.
PRAYER: Oh Lord, our Lord, how majestic is Your name in all the earth! When we recognize the awesome God that You are, I believe we will truly worship You when we seek You and submit ourselves to You, even when there may be a Worship Leader present. Thankfully You made it evident to Your saints gathered in Your Temple that Solomon built. Because we still seek to worship You, we can only believe that You will be present for us also when we meet with purpose in our hearts and a mind dedicated to worshipping and serving You, oh Lord. But please Lord, help us to do our part in preparation for meeting with the King of all kings and Lord of all lords. May You find us faithful each and every day, so that our hearts will always be filled with Your glory, and our worship of You evident in times alone with You, for I believe that a heart that praises its Master, will be best prepared to also praise You when we meet corporately with other believers. You are Lord, and You are King over everything on earth and in Heaven. Oh, that Your children will honor and worship You as we sing Your praises each day. Please help us to be an incentive for the lost to also seek Your face and honor Your name. AMEN!
FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog might indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. You may also visit me on Spotify and listen to Nuggets while you’re out and about. I would encourage you to find a church home near by your home, and attend as frequently as you could. Get to know God, and allow His people to encourage and strengthen you in your Christian walk, while making every effort to be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!