Bible Readings and Devotion for August 1, 2020
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Devotion for August 1, 2020
By Pastor David Tinker
In our chapter today from First Kings we have read about the specifics of the construction and design of the First Temple in Jerusalem. This was built under the direction of King Solomon during the early years of his reign. \
Central to all of this was the purpose of this building. It was to be the central connection point between the Lord and his people. The symbolic presence of the Lord, the Ark of the Covenant, was to be place in the innermost chamber of the Temple. The Ark of the Covenant was the sacred box or ark which contained three sacred objects.
The 2nd copy of the tablets of the Ten Commandments – the originals were destroyed in the wrath following the people making the false idol of the Golden Calf. This is noted in Exodus 32.
A jar of the Manna. This was the edible, bread like substance which was provided to the Hebrews as food during their forty years in the wilderness. This was first provided in Exodus 16.
Aaron’s Staff, which had miraculously sprouted buds long after it had dried. We read about this in Numbers 17.
Each of these reminded the people of God’s gracious provision of the Word and Law, their daily bread, and spiritual leadership. God was with the people through these loving means, and he was with the people as he dwelled in the Temple among the people in Jerusalem.
The Temple was a temporary measure and a reminder of the greater sanctuary in Heaven. We read in Hebrews 8:5, “They (the Temple Priests) offer worship in a sanctuary that is a sketch and shadow of the heavenly one; for Moses, when he was about to erect the tent, was warned, “See that you make everything according to the pattern that was shown you on the mountain.””
The new and eternal connection with God is worked out through what Jesus has done for us. We are given a new Temple, Priest and Sacrifice in Jesus. By God’s Mercy we are made into temples of the Holy Spirit, as St. Paul notes in 1 Corinthians 3:16-17, “Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy that person. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple.” God sets up a dwelling place in us, so that wherever we are, God is with us. Wherever we worship God in Spirit and Truth, God is with us. Jesus teaches us that, “For, in fact, the kingdom of God is among (or within) you.” Luke 17:21. Each person of faith in Jesus is, in this earthly life, by God’s grace, the redeemed dwelling place of God the Holy Spirit.
In the end, the heavenly dwelling place and the earthly dwelling place will be with God’s people. In Revelation 21:3b, St. John receives the revelation of God saying, “See, the home of God is among mortals. He will dwell with them; they will be his peoples, and God himself will be with them…”
Until that day, we get the joyful opportunity to be with God, as he is with us, every day. We get to be the earthly model of the heavenly dwelling place of God. Because of this, we have the calling to honor the Lord by living out his will for us.
1 – to love God with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength.
2 – to love our neighbors as ourselves.
3 – to love one another in the community of faith
4 – to tell the world of what God has done for us in Jesus Christ.
Into your hands, almighty God, we place ourselves: our minds to know you, our hearts to love you, our wills to serve you, for we are yours. Into your hands, incarnate Savior, we place ourselves: receive us and draw us after you, that we may follow your steps; abide in us and enliven us by the power of your indwelling. Into your hands, O hovering Spirit, we place ourselves: take us and fashion us after your image; let your comfort strengthen, your grace renew, and your fire cleanse us, soul and body, in life and in death, in this world of shadows and in your changeless world of light eternal, now and forever. Amen
Prayer from Evangelical Lutheran Worship. Copyright © 2020 Augsburg Fortress. All rights reserved.