Key Passage: 1 Kings 8:61 “Let your heart be completely devoted to the Lord our God.”
Big Picture Question: What did King Solomon build? King Solomon built a temple for God.
Christ Connection: God is holy. Only the priests could go into God’s special place in the temple, and they had to follow special rules because they were sinful. Jesus took away our sing when He died on the cross. When we know and love Jesus, we talk to God on our own.
This week’s story is about the fulfillment of David’s desire to build a permanent place for the ark to reside. David’s son Solomon built the temple to house the ark and the other important elements of the tabernacle, the temporary moveable house of worship for the Israelites. God had given Solomon wisdom and in the fourth year of his reign he began building the temple. Workers cut logs and stones and began to build the temple, a process that lasted seven years until it was finally completed. God promised Solomon that He, God, would inhabit the building and never abandon the people of Israel.
With the temple complete, Solomon and the Israelite leaders moved the ark of the covenant and the other holy items from Mt. Zion into the temple. Solomon sacrificed offerings before God. Once the items were placed inside the temple and the people left, a thick cloud came down on the temple and the place was filled with God’s glory!
Solomon prayed a prayer of praise and thanksgiving to God. The people witnessed Solomon’s prayer and were encouraged by his words. In the temple, only the priests could approach the glory of God. Jesus changed that situation when He came to earth. When Jesus died on the cross, the curtain in the temple was ripped, giving people direct access to God when they trust Jesus as Lord and Savior.
Family Activity: Many details of the temple in Jerusalem reminded God’s people of His awesome power, beauty, and desire to be among them. In the ark of the covenant were items showing God’s care for His people. Think together of ways God cares for your family, through both basic necessities and blessings. Take pictures, make photocopies of significant documents, and place souvenirs of special family events in a special family box to help you recall God’s goodness.
Go further: Build a house of cards, and then knock it down. Talk to your kids about Jesus’ promise to destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days (John 2:19-22). Rebuild the house of cards and explain what Jesus meant.