Other comments on this day's readings can be found here.
Reading 1 - 2Ch 8
"Following the establishment of the temple and palace, King
Solomon engaged on a tremendous building activity in Israel (vv 1-6). It is a
token of the labour that will be accomplished in the reign of Messiah throughout
the land of the future. Then the Law of Domination was established: vv 7-10. The
marriage of Pharaoh's daughter was conducted in pomp and ceremony: v 11.
Arrangements were made for temple worship: vv 12-18.
"Solomon established, possibly for the first time, the full
order of worship as required under the Law. In the wilderness, much of the
sacrificing was not carried out, the Law specifying many things to be done when
'in the land' (Exo 23:19,26; Lev 19:9,23; 23:10; 25:2; Num 15:2,18). Meanwhile,
a great degree of allowance was permitted in the days of probation (Deu 12:8,9).
Circumcision was omitted (Jos 5:5). But once in the Land, the wars of Joshua
would have interfered with the establishment of full worship. The 'place' had
not then been defined (Deu 12:11) although some went up to the tabernacle (1Sa
1:3). The anarchy of the times of the Judges -- similar to today -- would
suggest this was far from a general rule. The closing days of Eli and the
ministry of Samuel saw the ark separated from the tabernacle, so that the Day of
Atonement could not be kept. The days of Saul saw the ephod in the hands of a
fugitive priest, so that the high priest was absent from the people. But now, in
the times of Solomon, for the first time 'the place' is defined, the ark united
with the most holy, and the full order of worship commenced. So it will be in
the Millennial Kingdom" (GE Mansfield).
Reading 2 - Eze 43:2,4
"And I saw the glory of the God of Israel coming from the
east. His voice was like the roar of rushing waters, and the land was radiant
with his glory... The glory of the LORD entered the temple through the gate
facing east" (Eze 43:2,4).
The "glory of the LORD" had departed the temple and the city
by degrees, as seen much earlier by Ezekiel (Eze 9:3; 10:4,18,19; 11:23). The
departure had signified that God's favor was being removed from His people and
His nation, preparatory to the destruction brought by Nebuchadnezzar and the
But now the same "glory" is seen returning -- which must
surely mean a reversal of previous fortunes, and a time when Israel returns to
God's favor! In its later fulfillment, this points to the return of Christ --
his second coming, when he comes back to Jerusalem, by way of the mount of
Olives, east of the city. Apparently the prophet Zechariah saw this: "Then the
LORD will go out and fight against those nations, as he fights in the day of
battle. On that day his feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, east of
Jerusalem" (Zec 14:3,4). And the angels who witness Christ's ascension (from the
mount of Olives: Acts 1:12) seem to allude to this also, when they tell the
apostles: "This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come
back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven" (Acts 1:11).
In the Last Days, there is, too, the promise of special
"kings" coming from the east, and back to the city of God (Rev 16:12). This may
possibly refer to the glorified saints returning to the city of their "birth"
(see Psa 87!), as the embodiment of the immortalized "Body of Christ". And this
will be the ultimate, and most glorious, fulfillment of this prophecy!
Reading 3 - John 10:7
"I tell you the truth, I am the gate for the sheep" (John
A traveler in the Middle East tells this story: "We reached a
high ridge overlooking the village of Bethlehem. There we found a sheepfold, and
went right in to inspect. It was not long before the owner appeared -- a
veteran, like Moses, with a long beard. 'This is your sheepfold?' my friend
" 'And is this where the sheep sleep?' -- pointing to a rough
shelter thrown up against the rock in a corner.
" 'But you have no gate to the fold; how do you close them up
"The old man looked at us as if we ought to have known better.
'I am the door,' he said with emphasis; and, gathering his loose robe tight
about his ankles, he was down in a moment, squatting in the doorway, back
against one post, feet against the other, his knees drawn up and clasped by his
weather-beaten old hands. Gently he bowed his head and closed his eyes, as many
a time he had closed them to catch a few hours' sleep under the starlight. 'I am
the door,' he repeated. 'I keep watch here at night. If thieves or wild beasts
attempt to enter, they have to tackle me first. I have never lost a lamb from
the fold.' "