21 July 2017 Bible Reading
Our reading in Second Chronicles 4 tells of the altar made for the Temple. The idea behind the Hebrew word for altar is essentially, “killing-place.” This was the place of sacrifice, the center for worship and service for the priests and the people. Just as in the tabernacle, the altar was the first main object to be met as one entered the sanctuary court. It demonstrates that God may be approached only through sacrifices. Today, we also have an altar: We have an altar from which those who serve the tabernacle have no right to eat (Hebrews 13:10). Our altar – our “killing-place” – is the cross, where Jesus died for our sins and we follow by dying unto self and living for Jesus.
2 Chronicles 4-6:11
4 Then he made an altar of brass, twenty cubits its length, and twenty cubits its width, and ten cubits its height. 2 Also he made the molten sea of ten cubits from brim to brim, round in compass; and its height was five cubits; and a line of thirty cubits encircled it. 3 Under it was the likeness of oxen, which encircled it, for ten cubits, encircling the sea. The oxen were in two rows, cast when it was cast. 4 It stood on twelve oxen, three looking toward the north, and three looking toward the west, and three looking toward the south, and three looking toward the east: and the sea was set on them above, and all their hinder parts were inward. 5 It was a hand width thick; and its brim was worked like the brim of a cup, like the flower of a lily: it received and held three thousand baths. 6 He made also ten basins, and put five on the right hand, and five on the left, to wash in them; such things as belonged to the burnt offering they washed in them; but the sea was for the priests to wash in. 7 He made the ten lamp stands of gold according to the ordinance concerning them; and he set them in the temple, five on the right hand, and five on the left. 8 He made also ten tables, and placed them in the temple, five on the right side, and five on the left. He made one hundred basins of gold. 9 Furthermore he made the court of the priests, and the great court, and doors for the court, and overlaid their doors with brass. 10 He set the sea on the right side of the house eastward, toward the south. 11 Huram made the pots, and the shovels, and the basins. So Huram finished doing the work that he did for king Solomon in God’s house: 12 the two pillars, and the bowls, and the two capitals which were on the top of the pillars, and the two networks to cover the two bowls of the capitals that were on the top of the pillars, 13 and the four hundred pomegranates for the two networks; two rows of pomegranates for each network, to cover the two bowls of the capitals that were on the pillars. 14 He made also the bases, and the basins made he on the bases; 15 one sea, and the twelve oxen under it. 16 Huram his father also made the pots, the shovels, the forks, and all its vessels for king Solomon for Yahweh’s house of bright brass. 17 The king cast them in the plain of the Jordan, in the clay ground between Succoth and Zeredah. 18 Thus Solomon made all these vessels in great abundance: for the weight of the brass could not be found out. 19 Solomon made all the vessels that were in God’s house, the golden altar also, and the tables with the show bread on them; 20 and the lamp stands with their lamps, to burn according to the ordinance before the inner sanctuary, of pure gold; 21 and the flowers, and the lamps, and the tongs, of gold, and that perfect gold; 22 and the snuffers, and the basins, and the spoons, and the fire pans, of pure gold: and as for the entry of the house, the inner doors of it for the most holy place, and the doors of the main hall of the temple were of gold.
5 Thus all the work that Solomon did for Yahweh’s house was finished. Solomon brought in the things that David his father had dedicated, even the silver, and the gold, and all the vessels, and put them in the treasuries of the house of God. 2 Then Solomon assembled the elders of Israel, and all the heads of the tribes, the princes of the fathers’ households of the children of Israel, to Jerusalem, to bring up the ark of Yahweh’s covenant out of David’s city, which is Zion. 3 And all the men of Israel assembled themselves to the king at the feast, which was in the seventh month. 4 All the elders of Israel came: and the Levites took up the ark; 5 and they brought up the ark, and the Tent of Meeting, and all the holy vessels that were in the Tent; these the priests the Levites brought up. 6 King Solomon and all the congregation of Israel, that were assembled to him, were before the ark, sacrificing sheep and cattle, that could not be counted nor numbered for multitude. 7 The priests brought in the ark of Yahweh’s covenant to its place, into the inner sanctuary of the house, to the most holy place, even under the wings of the cherubim. 8 For the cherubim spread out their wings over the place of the ark, and the cherubim covered the ark and its poles above. 9 The poles were so long that the ends of the poles were seen from the ark before the inner sanctuary; but they were not seen outside: and there it is to this day. 10 There was nothing in the ark except the two tables which Moses put at Horeb, when Yahweh made a covenant with the children of Israel, when they came out of Egypt. 11 When the priests had come out of the holy place, (for all the priests who were present had sanctified themselves, and didn’t keep their divisions; 12 also the Levites who were the singers, all of them, even Asaph, Heman, Jeduthun, and their sons and their brothers, arrayed in fine linen, with cymbals and stringed instruments and harps, stood at the east end of the altar, and with them one hundred twenty priests sounding with trumpets;) 13 when the trumpeters and singers were as one, to make one sound to be heard in praising and thanking Yahweh; and when they lifted up their voice with the trumpets and cymbals and instruments of music, and praised Yahweh, saying,
“For he is good;
for his loving kindness endures forever!”
then the house was filled with a cloud, even Yahweh’s house, 14 so that the priests could not stand to minister by reason of the cloud: for Yahweh’s glory filled God’s house.
6 Then Solomon said, “Yahweh has said that he would dwell in the thick darkness. 2 But I have built you a house of habitation, and a place for you to dwell in forever.”
3 The king turned his face, and blessed all the assembly of Israel: and all the assembly of Israel stood. 4 He said, “Blessed be Yahweh, the God of Israel, who spoke with his mouth to David my father, and has with his hands fulfilled it, saying, 5 ‘Since the day that I brought my people out of the land of Egypt, I chose no city out of all the tribes of Israel to build a house in, that my name might be there; neither chose I any man to be prince over my people Israel: 6 but I have chosen Jerusalem, that my name might be there; and have chosen David to be over my people Israel.’ 7 Now it was in the heart of David my father to build a house for the name of Yahweh, the God of Israel. 8 But Yahweh said to David my father, ‘Whereas it was in your heart to build a house for my name, you did well that it was in your heart: 9 nevertheless you shall not build the house; but your son who shall come out of your body, he shall build the house for my name.’
10 “Yahweh has performed his word that he spoke; for I have risen up in the place of David my father, and sit on the throne of Israel, as Yahweh promised, and have built the house for the name of Yahweh, the God of Israel. 11 There I have set the ark, in which is the covenant of Yahweh, which he made with the children of Israel.”
7 Or don’t you know, brothers (for I speak to men who know the law), that the law has dominion over a man for as long as he lives? 2 For the woman that has a husband is bound by law to the husband while he lives, but if the husband dies, she is discharged from the law of the husband. 3 So then if, while the husband lives, she is joined to another man, she would be called an adulteress. But if the husband dies, she is free from the law, so that she is no adulteress, though she is joined to another man. 4 Therefore, my brothers, you also were made dead to the law through the body of Christ, that you would be joined to another, to him who was raised from the dead, that we might produce fruit to God. 5 For when we were in the flesh, the sinful passions which were through the law, worked in our members to bring out fruit to death. 6 But now we have been discharged from the law, having died to that in which we were held; so that we serve in newness of the spirit, and not in oldness of the letter.
7 What shall we say then? Is the law sin? May it never be! However, I wouldn’t have known sin, except through the law. For I wouldn’t have known coveting, unless the law had said, “You shall not covet.” 8 But sin, finding occasion through the commandment, produced in me all kinds of coveting. For apart from the law, sin is dead. 9 I was alive apart from the law once, but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died. 10 The commandment, which was for life, this I found to be for death; 11 for sin, finding occasion through the commandment, deceived me, and through it killed me. 12 Therefore the law indeed is holy, and the commandment holy, and righteous, and good.
13 Did then that which is good become death to me? May it never be! But sin, that it might be shown to be sin, by working death to me through that which is good; that through the commandment sin might become exceedingly sinful.
A Prayer by David.
17 Hear, Yahweh, my righteous plea;
Give ear to my prayer, that doesn’t go out of deceitful lips.
2 Let my sentence come out of your presence.
Let your eyes look on equity.
3 You have proved my heart.
You have visited me in the night.
You have tried me, and found nothing.
I have resolved that my mouth shall not disobey.
4 As for the deeds of men, by the word of your lips,
I have kept myself from the ways of the violent.
5 My steps have held fast to your paths.
My feet have not slipped.
22 That which makes a man to be desired is his kindness.
A poor man is better than a liar.
23 The fear of Yahweh leads to life, then contentment;
he rests and will not be touched by trouble.