1 Kings 8:1-11: The Ark of the Covenant
The Temple of Solomon as we have been seeing was an amazing architectural accomplishment. However, the One who was to dwell in the temple is more important still. 1 Kings 8:1-11 is all about God manifesting His residence in the temple. I say manifesting His residence not taking up His residence because God is omnipresent and no temple can be a house for Him. So He manifests His presence in the location of the temple to indicate that He is pleased and He will abide among His people, and the temple will be the central place of worship in Israel. The temple has been prepared and finished and now the ark must be brought and the other items of furniture must be brought from the tabernacle. Solomon made this a nation wide event. V1-2, ‘Then Solomon assembled the elders of Israel and all the heads of the tribes, the leaders of the fathers’ houses of the people of Israel, before King Solomon in Jerusalem, to bring up the ark of the covenant of the LORD out of the city of David, which is Zion.2 And all the men of Israel assembled to King Solomon at the feast in the month Ethanim, which is the seventh month.’ The seventh month which was appropriately the month that the day of atonement and the feast of tabernacles was celebrated was the month for dedicating the new temple. This festival which reminded Israel of their time living in tents, and the Lord also dwelt in a tent and wandered around with them, is a fitting time as the tent of meeting gives way to the permanent dwelling of the temple.
Today as we look at this portion we want to focus on two things, firstly, the ark of the covenant and its function in the temple. Secondly, we want to consider the nature of the covenant the ark represents.