2 CHRONICLES 4:1 – 6:42 and ACTS 6:1–15
2 Chr 4
The temple and furnishings of the temple continue to be constructed. This account is also covered in 1 Kings 7. There are quite a few differences from the furnishings of the original tabernacle that was constructed at the time of Moses. For examples we see the 10 lavers in verse 6 which would have been used for the washing of the sacrifices. There were 10 candlesticks instead of 7; the altar of brass was much more elevated than the previous one. There was a large vessel made of molten brass which was called a sea (vs 2) because of how much water could be contained. It was used for the washing of the hands and feet of the priests. Overall it was an elaborate display of internal furnishings; nothing was spared in its formation. We also see that King Hiram’s contributions were cited and completed (vs 11).
The internal work for the house of God was set and finished (vs 19). The gold, silver and brass was in such abundance in the construction of the furnishings that it could not be calculated. It again speaks of the foundation that David had left for Solomon as he assumed the throne. We have mentioned that David’s reign is a type of what will be seen in the millennium. Here with Solomon we are seeing everything new with regard to the temple and the house of God. He too will present a picture of Christ; the dedication of his house will be a picture of the New Jerusalem when it comes down from heaven after the millennial reign of Christ concludes. It is but a mere glimpse and insight as to what it will be like (Rev 22).
2 Chr 5
The construction of the house of God is now complete. The dedicated things of David were also brought in which were immense sums of gold and other valuable articles (1 Chr 22:14, 26:29). We find this account covered in 1 Kings 8:1-10. We have reflected on this portion of scripture on several occasions seeing that it has parallels to the early church at Pentecost. Below is the commentary taken from 1 Kings 8:1-10.
This is one of the most glorious chapters in the whole of the Word of God. It is the dedication ceremony of the Temple of Solomon. It is one of the benchmarks set forth for the manner of glory that will be seen in the last days. Let us pay close heed to these events and the glory that is seen because the glory that is to come in our day will be far greater. Still, one cannot help but be overwhelmed by what is seen here. This account will also be picked up when we look at 2 Chronicles 5. The key is the bringing up of the Ark out of Zion to the temple at Moriah. We see the Old Testament order of transporting the Ark as being restored due to David having passed on. He was the only king/priest among the kings. They placed the Ark within the holy of holies. It is interesting to note that the Ark at this time only contained the two tables of stone. They were minus the golden pot of manna and Aaron’s rod that budded (vs 9).
Once the priests came out of the holy place the cloud of glory filled the temple. The account in 2 Chr 5 gives a clearer picture. It mentions 120 priests with trumpets sounding forth with one accord (2 Chr 5:12-13). What a similar picture to what will later be seen in the upper room at Pentecost. The 120 gathered in one accord which paved the way for the Holy Spirit to come upon them thus birthing the early church. There was great glory evident in the upper room as well. Let’s go back to the thought of only the Law being in the Ark as it is brought into Solomon’s temple. The other two items (golden pot of manna and Aaron’s rod) are attributes of the Holy Spirit. The pot of manna speaks of hidden truths from God’s Word. Jesus spoke concerning one of the future ministries of the Holy Spirit after his death and resurrection. The Spirit of Truth will lead people into all truth. Aarons Rod that budded speaks of resurrection life. Paul wrote to Romans that if the same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead were to dwell in you He then would quicken your mortal body (Rom 8:11). This perhaps could be a reason why we do not see these items at this time. At Pentecost the Holy Spirit came upon and worked through the early church. The Holy Spirit was at work from the beginning but there is the deeper experience of being baptized in the Holy Spirit which occurred at Pentecost. The dedication of the temple of Solomon is a vivid portrayal of the glory that would descend upon the early church in the upper room. These two events even when put together will pale to the glory that will be seen in the last days. We can be sure that the person and ministry of the Holy Spirit will be prominent.
I would like to reiterate the significance of the Ark of the Covenant. It was now going to be resting in a place of permanence unlike the establishing of Moses Tabernacle where it was constructed for travel. This is one of the distinctions between Moses Tabernacle and the Temple of Solomon. There are many similarities seeing that sacrifices would still need to be made, the high priest would enter the holiest of all once a year etc but the Ark would now find Rest. There is a destination for us as believers. The road and journey of life can be long and arduous at times but there is a place of Rest. You now have a functioning king and attending priests working together in one place. It all culminates at the dedication seen here at the temple where we see the glory of God coming down at the sounding of the trumpets.
God is looking to make kings/priests unto Himself and here we see a picture of it. Sadly, it will not last long due to Solomon violating the Law of Kings. The result will be idolatry and a divided kingdom. It will be a divided kingdom that will eventually give way to intruders to Assyria in the north and then to the Babylonians to Judah in the south. For now however we see great glory in the dedicated house of King Solomon. We see a harmony of priests functioning in their appointed tasks. It is a glorious scene and one that needs to be replicated in the last days on a grander scale. Is this a picture in what we see in today’s church? It is here, at the dedication of the house of the Lord where we see both the king and priest working as God had intended. It will also be a place of great unity in the body of Christ. This view helps to give understanding to Rev 1:6, 5:10 for our day.
Rev 1:6 And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
2 Chr 6
The following is the commentary taken from 1 Kings 8:12-66.
The balance of chapter 8 is an intercessory prayer that Solomon makes before the presence of the Lord. He is overwhelmed at the glory and presence of God resulting in his praising God for His faithfulness and commitment to Israel, to David and now to his kingdom. He pleads on behalf of his people that when they sin that God would be heard when confession is made unto Him. He pleads with God to be attentive to any prayer that may come about from famine or pestilence (vs 37). Solomon recognizes the moment and he seeks to instil a reverence and holy fear before God both for him and the people (vs 40). Solomon is aware that Israel will sin and he petitions God that He would be found during such times.
In verses 46-53 Solomon prays a prayer that will have fulfilment in years to come. He speaks to a time when they would be carried away to an enemy land (vs 46). He prays that if they were to repent in the land of their captivity, confess their sin and return unto God with all their heart that they would one day be restored. He prays that they would find forgiveness and to never forget that Israel is their people and inheritance going back to the time of Moses (vs 51). All of the above happened as Israel was exiled to Babylon due to idolatry. I doubt that Solomon would have foreseen a period of 70 years for the captivity nonetheless in his intercessory prayer he touches the major points. God did restore them and they returned with a new heart and spirit (Eze 36:26).
Solomon’s prayer was one of intercession while in the temple beholding the glory of God. His petition had an effect because it came to pass along the lines in how he prayed. One of the things we will see in these last days will be prayers of strong intercession. Remember how the Lord prayed in John 17 to His Father? He pleaded with His Father that there would be the same measure of unity amongst His disciples that was seen in His relationship to His Father. The fruits of His intercessory prayer for unity were realized in about 50 days. Let us not underestimate the fruits of Solomon’s prayer at the dedication of the temple. I personally feel that it speaks to the magnitude of prayer that will come forth in the revival to come.
As one would imagine that with quick expanding growth there would be problems that would need to be addressed. One of the primary concerns was the case of the widows. It probably was not an intentional neglect seeing as to how they quickly moved to remedy the matter. One must remember that this group went from about 12 to 5000 in a very short period of time. The role of serving tables was not beneath the twelve apostles but it would have been a hindrance to their effectiveness in their service to the work of the church. This is the foundation of where we come to see the role of Deacons that serve in the church. The Apostle Paul would further address this matter when we get to his pastoral epistles. We see this to be a vital role in the overall health and forward motion of the church. It is an administerial issue which helps to ensure that widows and orphans and other needy areas of the church are covered for the overall strength and vitality of the church. The result was that they chose 7 men of good reputation who would fill this vital role. They laid hands upon them and commissioned them for this purpose. The Word continued to be preached and the church continued to multiply greatly.
The above represents a potential problem that was handled quickly and efficiently. If the undergirding elements of a church consisting of its members begins to fracture or is not supported it will affect the overall church work. This is an area the enemy seeks to attack and exploit. He knows that if he can undermine or strike at those who serve in deacon type capacities it can hinder and frustrate the thrust of the church. Deacons must see their role in this light while at the same time having leadership recognizing and appreciating the undergirding role of deacons. When a ministry work is growing there can be a tendency for a gap to develop between these two components of the church. It comes down to identity and understanding and functioning in one’s respective role. Out of these seven appointed men there is one who demonstrates faith, power and miracles. His name is Stephen and his ministry is capturing the attention of anti-church growth leaders of the synagogue (vs 9).
Stephen’s example and his teaching were making an impact and it was causing problems among those who sought to maintain the status quo. They could not counter his wisdom by which he taught. These men of the synagogue then seek to employ the same tactics that were used against Christ in trying to stop him. They found false witnesses to try and accuse him of blaspheming Moses and God. They stirred up the people consisting of elders and scribes to try and trap him into statements they considered to be blasphemous against the things of God and the law (vs 13). We saw this earlier in the preaching of Peter and John when the priests sought to try and discredit them. The same tactics and means exist today in the attacks that are coming upon the church, especially to those who are making an impact for the kingdom. We must not be taken by surprise but rather be expectant for such devices to be used.
They feel that by targeting Stephen they could go a long way in discrediting the spreading of the early church. Stephen is not one of the 12 main apostles nonetheless his ministry and his teaching were making a profound impact. Let us not forget that Stephen is one of the assigned deacons that were just deployed. Perhaps it was felt that if they could undermine and destroy Stephen’s testimony it would undermine the effort of the church at large. They bring Stephen before the council which consisted of the false witnesses, priests as well as a gathering crowd. They feel that they have enough evidence in hand against him. What they and everyone are about to hear from Stephen, the appointed deacon, is one of the best Old Testament Survey’s ever given that puts the work of God to date into perspective. It is covered in the next chapter.