The Shekinah Glory
7 Now when Solomon had finished praying, fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices, and the glory of the Lord filled the house. 2 The priests could not enter into the house of the Lord because the glory of the Lord filled the Lord’s house. 3 All the sons of Israel, seeing the fire come down and the glory of the Lord upon the house, bowed down on the pavement with their faces to the ground, and they worshiped and gave praise to the Lord, saying, “Truly He is good, truly His lovingkindness is everlasting.”
4 Then the king and all the people offered sacrifice before the Lord. 5 King Solomon offered a sacrifice of 22,000 oxen and 120,000 sheep. Thus the king and all the people dedicated the house of God. 6 The priests stood at their posts, and the Levites also, with the instruments of music to the Lord, which King David had made for giving praise to the Lord—“for His lovingkindness is everlasting”—whenever [a]he gave praise by their [b]means, while the priests on the other side blew trumpets; and all Israel was standing.
7 Then Solomon consecrated the middle of the court that was before the house of the Lord, for there he offered the burnt offerings and the fat of the peace offerings because the bronze altar which Solomon had made was not able to contain the burnt offering, the grain offering and the fat.
The Feast of Dedication
8 So Solomon observed the feast at that time for seven days, and all Israel with him, a very great assembly who came from the entrance of Hamath to the brook of Egypt. 9 On the eighth day they held a solemn assembly, for the dedication of the altar they observed seven days and the feast seven days. 10 Then on the twenty-third day of the seventh month he sent the people to their tents, rejoicing and happy of heart because of the goodness that the Lord had shown to David and to Solomon and to His people Israel.
That had to be quite the sight, with so many offerings that the bronze altar could not contain them. And in this day and age, we’d think it a bloody mess, but it wasn’t about that. In that culture, there wasn’t much for “currency”, instead they brought the produce of the land and their herds. So the sacrifice was really about the goodness of God, and the people bringing their offerings as a token of appreciation. Think about that, as much as they gave that day, it was but a token of what God had done for them.
Even in our lives, we can never give as much to God as what he has given us. Put another way, we can never out-give God. Whether rich or poor, just the fact that Jesus gave himself for us, and that he chooses to dwell with and in us, is no small thing. Anything else we have is just gravy on top by comparison.
God isn’t done giving though, it’s in his nature, and he wants it to be part of who we are also. That’s why we get such great satisfaction in giving cheerfully, because he has wired it into us. Kind of cheating, but that’s the way he did it 🙂 So while we can’t ever give more than a “token”, we should give generously when we do.