2 Chronicles 5 (New Living Translation)
1 So Solomon finished all his work on the Temple of the Lord. Then he brought all the gifts his father, David, had dedicated—the silver, the gold, and the various articles—and he stored them in the treasuries of the Temple of God.
The Ark Brought to the Temple
2 Solomon then summoned to Jerusalem the elders of Israel and all the heads of tribes—the leaders of the ancestral families of Israel. They were to bring the Ark of the Lord’s Covenant to the Temple from its location in the City of David, also known as Zion. 3So all the men of Israel assembled before the king at the annual Festival of Shelters, which is held in early autumn.
4 When all the elders of Israel arrived, the Levites picked up the Ark. 5 The priests and Levites brought up the Ark along with the special tent and all the sacred items that had been in it. 6 There, before the Ark, King Solomon and the entire community of Israel sacrificed so many sheep, goats, and cattle that no one could keep count!
7 Then the priests carried the Ark of the Lord’s Covenant into the inner sanctuary of the Temple—the Most Holy Place—and placed it beneath the wings of the cherubim. 8 The cherubim spread their wings over the Ark, forming a canopy over the Ark and its carrying poles. 9 These poles were so long that their ends could be seen from the Temple’s main room—the Holy Place—but not from the outside. They are still there to this day. 10 Nothing was in the Ark except the two stone tablets that Moses had placed in it at Mount Sinai, where the Lord made a covenant with the people of Israel when they left Egypt.
At an earlier point in Israel’s history there were three items in the ark of the covenant: the golden pot containing manna (Exodus 16:33), Aaron’s rod that budded (Numbers 17:6-11), and the tablets of the covenant (Exodus 25:16). Too many moves! Perhaps you, too, have treasures that are gone but not forgotten!
11 Then the priests left the Holy Place. All the priests who were present had purified themselves, whether or not they were on duty that day. 12 And the Levites who were musicians—Asaph, Heman, Jeduthun, and all their sons and brothers—were dressed in fine linen robes and stood at the east side of the altar playing cymbals, lyres, and harps. They were joined by 120 priests who were playing trumpets. 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.
This was the cloud of glory, seen often in the Old and New Testaments, sometimes called the cloud of Shekinah glory. It is hard to define the glory of God; we could call it the radiant outshining of His character and presence. Here it is manifested in a cloud.
- This is the cloud that stood by Israel in the wilderness (Exodus 13:21-22).
- This is the cloud of glory that God spoke to Israel from (Exodus 16:10).
- This is the cloud from which God met with Moses and others (Exodus 19:9, 24:15-18, Numbers 11:25, 12:5, 16:42).
- This is the cloud that stood by the door of the Tabernacle (Exodus 33:9-10).
- This is the cloud from which God appeared to the High Priest in the Holy Place inside the veil (Leviticus 16:2).
- This is the cloud of Ezekiel’s vision, filling the temple of God with the brightness of His glory (Ezekiel 10:4).
- This is the cloud of glory that overshadowed Mary when she conceived Jesus by the power of the Holy Spirit (Luke 1:35).
- This is the cloud present at the transfiguration of Jesus (Luke 9:34-35).
- This is the cloud of glory that received Jesus into heaven at His ascension (Acts 1:9).
- This is the cloud that will display the glory of Jesus Christ when He returns in triumph to this earth (Luke 21:27, Revelation 1:7).
“We can never expect to have God in this house, or in our own houses, or in our own hearts, until we begin to praise him.”
–Charles Haddon Spurgeon
HERE is one of my most favorite hymns, sung at my wedding and I hope at my funeral, too! “Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, the King of Creation” was written in 1680 by Joachim Neander. It is a free paraphrase of Psalm 103:1-6. His lyrics, including verses which do not appear in most hymnals, follow. Neander, a German Reformed Church pastor, died at age 30 of tuberculosis.
Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, the King of creation!
O my soul, praise Him, for He is thy health and salvation!
All ye who hear, now to His temple draw near;
Praise Him in glad adoration.
Praise to the Lord, who over all things so wondrously reigneth,
Shelters thee under His wings, yea, so gently sustaineth!
Hast thou not seen how thy desires ever have been
Granted in what He ordaineth?
Praise to the Lord, who hath fearfully, wondrously, made thee;
Health hath vouchsafed and, when heedlessly falling, hath stayed thee.
What need or grief ever hath failed of relief?
Wings of His mercy did shade thee.
Praise to the Lord, who doth prosper thy work and defend thee;
Surely His goodness and mercy here daily attend thee.
Ponder anew what the Almighty can do,
If with His love He befriend thee.
Praise to the Lord, who, when tempests their warfare are waging,
Who, when the elements madly around thee are raging,
Biddeth them cease, turneth their fury to peace,
Whirlwinds and waters assuaging.
Praise to the Lord, who, when darkness of sin is abounding,
Who, when the godless do triumph, all virtue confounding,
Sheddeth His light, chaseth the horrors of night,
Saints with His mercy surrounding.
Praise to the Lord, O let all that is in me adore Him!
All that hath life and breath, come now with praises before Him.
Let the Amen sound from His people again,
Gladly for aye we adore Him.
New Living Translation (NLT) Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.