Hey guys, thanks stopping by and visiting! I am glad you like this site. Please go to my Facebook and like me there. I look forward to seeing you!
Sunday School is a vital part of any ministry. In it, one is able to experience a deeper knowledge of God’s Word. Here at “Word For Life Says,” I want to help you help others. Below you will find resources to help you prepare for your upcoming lessons and my personal summary notes that I use when teaching. May God bless you!
“God’s People Worship in the Temple”
2 Chronicles 7:1-9
PDF Lesson Print Out is now Located at the Bottom of the Lesson. Please Scroll Down, Click and Enjoy! Blessings.
Please Note: All lesson verses and titles are based on International Sunday School Lesson/Uniform Series ©2014 by the Lesson Committee, but all content/commentary written within is original tounless properly quoted/cited. I am glad you like to read my personal summary notes that I use when teaching, but as always you are encouraged to do your own studies as well. Blessings!)
The temple; that sacred place where Solomon, on his knees, prayed the favor of God toward all that looked toward the city of Jerusalem, toward the temple, to be upon them (1 Kings 8). Though the heavens cannot contain God (1 Kings 8:27), King Solomon recognizes the temple is that special place where He allows His name to dwell (1 Kings 8:29).
During the dedication prayer of the original temple (last week’s lesson), much of Solomon’s supplication was in regard to God and the temple: that His eyes may be open toward the temple day and night (1 Kings 8:29); that the prayers and supplication of the people would be heard when they pray toward this place (1 Kings 8:30); that God would judge oaths taken in the temple (1 Kings 8:31-32); that God would forgive their sins and redeem them from the suffering of their sins when they prayed in the temple (1 Kings 8:33-36); in times of famine, pestilence and sickness; whatever supplication, when hands are raised toward the temple, that God would forgive and act (1 Kings 8:37-40).
The temple was to even become a source for the foreigner (1 Kings 8:41-43). Prayer was also offered for times of battle. When one is engrossed in war, they were to look toward the city, the temple and pray (1 Kings 8:44-45). In times of captivity, when the people came to themselves, they were to pray toward the city, the temple, and God would hear from heaven and maintain their cause and forgive (1 Kings 8:46-53).
The temple was holy. The temple is where the people associated the presence of God to be. And, the temple was to be the central place of worship for the people.
In today’s lesson, we examine how the people worshipped in the temple after King Solomon’s prayer of dedication.
2 Chronicles “Now when Solomon had made an end of praying, the fire came down from heaven, and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices; and the glory of the Lord filled the house. And the priests could not enter into the house of the Lord, because the glory of the Lord had filled the Lord’s house. And when all the children of Israel saw how the fire came down, and the glory of the Lord upon the house, they bowed themselves with their faces to the ground upon the pavement, and worshipped, and praised the Lord, saying, For he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever.”
Worship is essential to the Christian faith. Like the air we breathe, the heart and the life that has been transformed by His Spirit should automatically flow in and out with praise. Just a single thought of Him should spark an energy of worship that cannot be contained.
In whatever form it takes, be it through song or playing instruments, be it through writing or bowing oneself before His presence, or lifting hands and raising eyes toward heaven, all true worship is spirit-based (compare John 4:24) and should be the natural reaction of a child of God at His moving in their life and circumstances.
It was William Temple who said, “Worship is the submission of all our nature to God. It is the quickening of conscience by His holiness, the nourishment of the mind with His truth, the purifying of the imagination of His beauty, the opening of the heart to His love, the surrender of the will to His purpose,” (Quote Source: ChristianQuotes).
And, as we see the events from today’s lesson unfold and the glory of God just take over the place, we find the people of God in this surrendering pose of worship, in the temple, before God.
Last week’s lesson went into great detail about King Solomon’s prayer of dedication. The actual prayer went past the confinements of the printed text last week as he continued to pray for the people, the land, and that God would hear and forgive when their transgressions carried them away (as noted from 1 Kings 8 in the introduction).
Making one final plea of favor before ending his dedicatory prayer, Solomon prays, “O LORD God, turn not away the face of thine anointed: remember the mercies of David thy servant,” (2 Chronicles 6:42).
After voicing those final words before God and before the people, when “Solomon had made an end of praying,” the next thing that occurs really is awe-inspiring and gave undeniable proof that God was there with His people.
“Fire came down from heaven, and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices.” Imagine standing there in the court as the king is praying or surrounding the walls outside the temple when suddenly, out of nowhere, fire cracks through the sky to land where the offerings are and licks up every bit of it.
This event is reminiscent of other events where God manifested His approval for His people or acceptance in what was occurring in such a manner. At the dedication of the tabernacle, after Aaron “lifted up his hand toward the people, and blessed them…” we are told, as “Moses and Aaron went into the tabernacle of the congregation, and came out, and blessed the people: and the glory of the LORD appeared unto all the people… there came a fire out from before the LORD and consumed upon the altar the burnt offering…” (Leviticus 9:22-24).
Both events are so similar in nature. Prayer was made. Blessings given. People are offering sacrifices and burnt offerings. Dedications are taking place and God is giving His stamp of approval over it all by accepting what was offered and allowing His glory to fill those places.
Fire from heaven is also what proved who was the real God before the people when Elijah challenged the prophets of Baal (see 1 Kings 18:38) and it was the way God accepted David’s sacrifice after he sinned in numbering Israel (1 Chronicles 21:26).
This event was a true God-event for no other can get His people’s attention and answer in the same fashion as the one and only true God who can answer and approve in the form of “fire… from heaven.”
After that we are told, “the glory of the LORD filled the house.” Again, this historical event is not a one-time deal. God has manifested His presence before the people in such a way during previous events. There was a time when the glory of the Lord came upon Mount Sinai and God was like a devouring fire in the eyes of the people (see Exodus 24:16-17). At other points in their history, God showed up in such a way and His glory took over that even the priest could not stand to minister there (see 1 Kings 8:11 and 2 Chronicles 5:14).
And, this is what we see happening as God’s glory showed up here in today’s lesson. As at those other times, after Solomon’s prayer, God’s glory saturated the building and “the priests could not enter into the house of the LORD, because the glory of the LORD had filled the LORD’s house.” The awesomeness of God’s presence came in such a way that even those who were set apart for the work of God’s house couldn’t enter in.
Oh, what would that have been like see, hear, and feel the manifestation of God in such a way?! When God’s glory shows up it makes a difference in the environment. He overtakes everything around Him and makes His presence known.
Historically, God is verifying and re-verifying who He is with and among His people. The events taking place here after Solomon’s prayer of dedication give the people undeniable proof, as in times past, that this is truly the work of God, this is His temple, His presence is with them, therefore they respond in the only appropriate way they can – they worship!
When the people saw everything that was transpiring before them – the fire and the glory – they did they only thing they could do. They worshiped!
We are told, “They bowed themselves with their faces to the ground upon the pavement, and worshipped, and praised the LORD.” Wow! The immediate reaction of the people testifies to the extreme awesomeness of all they witnessed before them. As Solomon, in last week’s lesson, put himself in proper position before God, so to do the people. They humbled themselves in recognition of the great God they serve, and their attitude was to glorify Him (compare to Moses’ response before the God in Exodus 34:8). They acknowledged His majesty. They lowered themselves to lift Him up!
And, what came out of their mouths was praise! If the “heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handiwork,” (Psalm 19:1), can the people be silent through all they are witnessing? No! What is burgeoning in their hearts is spilling out through their mouths and they are praising God! In their praising, they are declaring, “For he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever.”
“He is good!” The Bible says, “Good and upright is the LORD,” (Psalm 25:8). It tells us, “For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations,” (Psalm 100:5). In other places we read, God is good (see Psalm 100:5; Nahum 1:7; Matthew 19:17) and God does good (see Psalm 119:64; Genesis 1)! That’s who He is.
And, what He does is show “mercy!” As noted in last week’s lesson: Mercy is His love compassionately acting on behalf of people to remain faithful to them even when they don’t deserve it, especially while in covenant relationship with them. “But the mercy of the LORD is from everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children’s children,” (Psalm 106:1).
I have a lot of favorite psalms but by far one of my top favorites is Psalm 118. This is one I cling to and often go back to for times when I need encouragement. It starts off giving a brief history of the goodness of God in the life of His people because “his mercy endureth forever.” Then, this beautiful psalm moves to an even more beautiful declaration of God’s promises for those who put their trust in Him. There is not a verse in this Psalm that I don’t like. It even ends with another, “For his mercy endureth for ever,” (Psalm 118:29; compare to Psalms 136).
Here, the people, too, are declaring the praises of God in the temple because they know they are standing there and worshiping that day because of what God has done in their lives; because “his mercy endureth for ever!”
2 Chronicles 7:4-7 “Then the king and all the people offered sacrifices before the Lord. And king Solomon offered a sacrifice of twenty and two thousand oxen, and an hundred and twenty thousand sheep: so the king and all the people dedicated the house of God. And the priests waited on their offices: the Levites also with instruments of musick of the Lord, which David the king had made to praise the Lord, because his mercy endureth for ever, when David praised by their ministry; and the priests sounded trumpets before them, and all Israel stood. Moreover Solomon hallowed the middle of the court that was before the house of the Lord: for there he offered burnt offerings, and the fat of the peace offerings, because the brasen altar which Solomon had made was not able to receive the burnt offerings, and the meat offerings, and the fat.”
The dedication of this temple goes beyond just the prayer of King Solomon. The people, along with the king, “offered sacrifices before the Lord,” as a part of their worship and they pulled out all the stops to honor God in the proper way and to make this dedication as glorious as it can be (compare 1 Kings 8:62, 63). They gave God the best, and they did it in abundance.
In honor of their love and commitment toward God, at this dedication, numerous sacrifices were brought in as an offering to God. I can only imagine the overflow of all they were feeling in their hearts being manifested in the number of offerings they presented before God.
This is a day many heard about for years. Now that the temple is complete, it’s hard to hold the praise back. It cannot be contained. The king and the people are overjoyed in their worship as proven by what they offer when they “dedicated the house of God.”
This dedication was not an ordinary dedication. This was for God. This temple was to honor Him, and they were off to a good start. With 22,000 oxen and a 120,000 sheep, the people honored God in their hearts through the undertaking and participating in of this great sacrifice.
They let their worship not only be seen through what they gave, but they let it be heard through what they played. In attendance were also the “priests” and “Levites” in their proper positions to function in their “office.” With the Levites bearing “instruments of musick of the Lord, which David the king had made to praise the Lord,” (compare 1 Chronicles 15:16-21; 16:42) to go along with the voices of praise going up, and the priests bearing “trumpets” that could be “sounded… before them, and all Israel stood,” this worship service was coming into full swing. The atmosphere is charged with praise for God!
Music is powerful and can be a tremendously awesome expression of praise and worship. Music is not a foreign concept in the Bible. As a matter of fact, music and songs are wrought throughout the entire Bible. The psalmist exhorts us to “Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands. Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing,” (Ps. 100:1-2). When the Assyrians were prophesied to be destroyed, Isaiah 30:29 emphatically declares, “Ye shall have a song!”. When Paul and Silas prayed and sang praises, the earth quaked and prison doors were opened (Acts 16:25-26). After the Last Supper, “they had sung a hymn,” (Mk. 14:26). James said, “Is any merry? let him sing psalms,” (Ja. 5:13).
Musical instruments are employed throughout the Bible in the form of tambourines (Exodus 15:20), harp (Psalm 98:5), trumpets (Leviticus 25:9), and others (2 Samuel 6:5). Instrumental pieces with or without words are seen all over God’s word and the use of them cannot be negated now or in our future. “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God . . .” (1 Thessalonians 4:16; emphasis mine).
God loves the celebration of praise!
David understood this being the praiser that he was. So, not only did he “praise by their ministry,” but he made sure instruments and people were put into place in order to support the worship services of God.
Moving forward with this service of dedication and worship, King Solomon also had to consecrate or “hallowed the middle of the court that was before the house of the LORD… because the brazen altar… was not able to receive the burnt offerings.” The number of offerings given, as stated earlier, were numerous and abundant. Too much for the altar to contain. Therefore, Solomon designates and sanctified this middle area of the court in order to receive everything that was brought before God in worship during this time of celebration. For not only were the animals being offered for the “burnt offerings,” too was there what was designated for the “fat of the peace offerings” and the “meat offerings” which consisted of grains/cereal (compare Numbers 19:14-15).
2 Chronicles 7:8-9 “Also at the same time Solomon kept the feast seven days, and all Israel with him, a very great congregation, from the entering in of Hamath unto the river of Egypt. And in the eighth day they made a solemn assembly: for they kept the dedication of the altar seven days, and the feast seven days.”
In these two verses, we see two celebrations going on. Verse 9 tells us “they kept the dedication of the altar seven days, and the feast seven days” with the “eighth day” being “made a solemn assembly.”
Those first “seven days” were geared toward the “dedication of the altar.” Since this week’s lesson is still revolving around the same background of last week’s lesson, we must note again, that this time of celebration for this “feast” is, in fact, the “Feast of the Tabernacles” or “booths,” also referred to as Succoth/Sukkot, and in Exodus 23:16 it is called “The Feast of Ingathering,” (compare 1 Kings 8:1-12, 65).
According to Leviticus, when God ordained this feast and relayed the information to Moses on its proper keeping, we see that this feast was, in fact, a “feast of seven days,” (the fifteenth day to the twenty-first day of this seventh month called Tishrei or Tishri which occurs during Autumn, September or October, depending on the calendar cycle) and on the “eighth day they made a solemn assembly,” or as it is called in Leviticus, “a holy convocation” (read Leviticus 23:33-43 or click over to the previous published lesson “The Feast of Tabernacles (Booths)” which covers this feast in great detail).
With the requirement of all males to be in attendance in Jerusalem during this mandated feast celebration, there was there “a very great congregation.”
People from all over the region, with borders ranging from “Hamath unto the river of Egypt,” or from the northern borders of the land all the way down to the southern borders of their territory (click here for map). This was a holy and grand celebration in every sense of the word, and it always should be when God’s people worship in the temple.
We must never lose sight of, diminish, or bring down to our level the glory and honor He deserves. Our lives; our worship is not our own. We are to be just as dedicated to Him as that temple was for we are now the temple where He dwells (1 Corinthians 6:19-20), and in that, we ought to worship Him accordingly.
When we come before Him we are to have a devoted mindset and a devoted heart. Our worship is to be as bountiful and freely given as any sacrifice that was offered before the Lord in the Old Testament. We are to be open vessels not only ready to receive from Him but also ready to pour out in the praise He deserves.
Standard Print PDF: God’s People Worship in the Temple Sunday School Lesson Summary Standard Print
Below are activities to support this week’s lesson. Enjoy!
Draw the Scene: God’s People Worship in the Temple Draw the Scene
Memory Verse: God’s People Worship in the Temple Memory Verse
Below are Activities/Links/Resources to support this week’s lesson. (These activities are from last week’s lesson along with previous lessons that may cover related materials.) Enjoy!
“The Dedication of the Temple Teacher’s Guide” (Coming from the parallel chapter of 1 Kings 8, this lesson brings some fun moments your students won’t soon forget like “Hop to the Temple Game” and “Instruments of Praise.” Enjoy!)
“Solomon’s Temple Craft” (This is an easy, quick, and printable activity for students to put together used to accompany this week’s lesson. Enjoy!)
“Solomon’s Temple Printable Puzzle” (Activity and coloring page all in one. Print out on card stock and have students color the picture. Cut out the puzzle pieces along the lines and now they have their own puzzle to put together. Remember to take plastic baggies for the students to put their pieces in. Enjoy!)
“Temple Dedication Service Activities” (Here you will find great information and activities to really bring out this lesson including a sign language memory verse idea found on page 6, for your students to learn. Enjoy!)
“The Glory Returns to the Temple Activity Ideas” (Although this is for a different lesson the materials and ideas can be applied here. This is more or less a teacher’s guide in different ways to present this lesson. Enjoy!)
“A Heart of Worship” from Ministry to Children
“Praising God with Your Hands” from Ezinearticles.com
“I Will Praise God” Coloring Page from Twistynoodle.com
“Praise the Lord” Coloring Page from Church House Collection
“When We Praise God” Coloring Page from Hem of His Garment
Some of my favorite and easy activities and crafts from other lessons on this site that may be useful for this lesson as well. Enjoy!
“Marshmallow Temple/Church”: Yup!!! That’s what I said. Give students some marshmallows and some toothpicks and let them at it!!! They can build their own temple/church, and when they are done – YUMMY TREAT!!!! How cool is that! This is sooo easy (something teachers need) and your students will love it! Enjoy!
“Build a Church” from Artist Helping Children. (This is an easy idea. If you want to do a project but have no time except to print something out, than this is the way to go. Don’t forget to use cardstock. Print out front and back, decorate and assemble. Enjoy!)
“Making a Joyful Noise Instruments” Making a joyful noise with instruments is also shown in our lesson today. Below are ideas to praise God with instruments. Enjoy!
“How to Make Musical Instruments for Kids” from Ehow.com
“Homemade Kazoo Craft” from Preschool Crafts for Kids (Below is a sample done by my daughter 🙂 ):
“Water Bottle Shakers” from Thecraftingchicks.com (Decorate outside any way you wish and fill with beads, beans or whatever. Very easy project to help the children “Praise the Lord!” Again, done by my daughter 🙂 ):
“Straw Pan Flute” from Classic-play.com