DECEMBER 27: BEFORE THE ALTAR

BEFORE THE ALTAR

By: Darrelyn L. Tutt

"And Solomon stood before the altar of the Lord in the presence of all the congregation of Israel, and spread forth his hands toward heaven: and he said, 'Lord God of Israel, there is no God like Thee, in heaven above or on earth beneath, who keepest covenant and mercy with Thy servants that walk before Thee with all their heart ...'"
1 Kings 8:22-23
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Today's Read: 1 Kings 8
God's temple was built during the reign of Solomon at His command.
From architectural design to structural magnificence, God designed this one-of-a-kind dwelling, designated to house His holy presence.
There would be no other building like it;
There would be no greater glory ever contained within it or comparable to it.
It was divinely special.
The structure was uncommonly extraordinary with all the bells and whistles included.
From pillars, to portals, to porch ... and everything in-between and beyond, God's hand was on it and a "designated man" was appointed for the building of it.
God chose Solomon.
Hmmm ...
Solomon was the second son of Bathsheba.
The first son, conceived through adultery with David, died in infancy.
And still ...
Wonderfully and magnificently, God chose to rest His holy hand on the top of little Solomon's tender head, and select Bathsheba's "living" son to be procured with special blessing and anointing. I'm not sure why we don't make more of "this" redemptive story because, in my mind, it surges and supports the redemptive considerations and disposals of God:
It supports a declaration of His grace that marks the entrance into His throneroom.
It highlights the pillars and portals by which we enter into His presence.
It abounds and rebounds with the "after-effects" not of sin's consequences, but of restored and renewed extravagant graces.
That Solomon should, with immediacy, appear before God's altar with extended arms and hands in an open and robust prayer is the most glorious of responses to God's unfathomable and everlasting goodness.
Like Solomon, we ought to openly and suggestively lift our hands and hearts in an open manner and give God praise for the tender mercies and graces afforded us.
Solomon's early posture is a declaration and witness of his understanding of God's great and magnificent glory.
Read the story,
Reflect on the character of God in contrast to the character of man with careful consideration to David, Bathsheba, and Solomon.
Imagine the impact of God's grace on all three lives.
O how my soul loves this magnificent display and manifestation of holy love.
Be filled with wonder at the elective purposes of God ordained upon man before he was ever conceived and His full knowledge of how every man was conceived.
Let your sacrifices be offered to God without any thought to man.
Let your entire being be "taken" by the supreme mercy afforded you.
Fall on your knees,
Lift up your hands,
Exalt your God,
Worship Him.
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Three Study Suggestions:
1) With consideration of today's read, highlight and record "grace" provisions of God.
2) Reflect on the altar and Solomon's posture before it.
Whether kneeling, praying, or sacrificing ... consider his exemplary and excessively suggestive posture and offerings. How does he challenge you?
3) God is bigger than the box He gets placed in.
Acknowledge His greatness by procurring a stone with a memorable verse that reminds you of His hand on your life and give Him thanks.