May 4

Luke 23:39-56

The whole crowd comes together to see the sight – the sun being darkened from noon to 3:00 p.m., the veil being torn in two, Jesus leaving His body on command as He quoted from Psalm 31:5. In fact, most of the chapter is referring to the Christ.

1 Kings 8-9

Solomon has the ark brought into the temple. In verse 8:10, it says the cloud filled the temple. The cloud is the glory of the Lord. The priests could not stand because God’s presence was manifested in that place.

In 8:22, Solomon prays a prayer of dedication of the temple to the Lord, asking God to be their God, the One who would protect them and meet their needs. The foreign nations around them had gods, too, false gods that they looked to for protection and provision as well. Why would anyone serve a false god? There is something on the inside of us that lets us know we have a need for Someone greater than ourselves. If they don’t know Him, they will make something up to worship. God wants everyone to know Him, including Israel and beyond.

Israel was a witness to other nations, a people that served Jehovah, with an opportunity to let others see His greatness. However, often the Israelites did not live for God. Not only did their sin affect their own life; but it also hindered others from outside of Israel to know Him through them. The same is true today – if we, as Christians, do not live our life for God, the world could be hindered from knowing Him through us.

Solomon blesses the assembly and then dedicates the temple for the Lord’s use only.

In chapter 9, God appears to Solomon a second time, responding to his prayer. God promises to bless Solomon if he walks uprightly, but warns them of the danger of turning away from Him and running into sin.

Today we know that Jesus removed the penalty of sin that caused us to be indebted to death and a slave of Satan; however, we should not make the mistake to think we can knowingly sin and consider it will not have a negative effect. Sin always has a negative effect, even under the new covenant. It is impossible for us to live without sin, but because of Jesus, we can humble ourselves in faith and receive His grace to live in His power and love.

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