Solomon conscripted thousands of construction workers, “seventy thousand porters and eighty thousand stonecutters in the mountains, not including his thirty-three hundred deputies in charge of the work” (1 Kings 5:13–16, CSB). The lavish complex cost untold billions (that’s billions with a B). David donated “3,775 tons of gold, 37,750 tons of silver, and bronze and iron that can’t be weighed because there is so much of it” (1 Chronicles 22:14, CSB).
After seven years of construction (1 Kings 6:38), the dazzling new temple was complete. As the nation gathered to dedicate the complex, King Solomon, the richest, most powerful man on the planet, humbly bowed before God. “Solomon stood before the altar of the Lord in front of the entire congregation of Israel and spread out his hands. ... (he) knelt down in front of the entire congregation of Israel, and spread out his hands toward heaven. He said: ‘LordGod of Israel, there is no God like you in heaven or on earth, who keeps his gracious covenant with your servants who walk before you with all their heart’ ” (2 Chronicles 6:12–14, CSB).
“When Solomon finished praying, fire descended from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices, and the glory of the Lord filled the temple. The priests were not able to enter the Lord’s temple because the glory of the Lord filled the temple of the Lord. All the Israelites were watching when the fire descended and the glory of the Lord came on the temple” (2 Chronicles 7:1–2, CSB).
Fire from heaven! A lightening bolt? A laser beam? A ball of fire? The glory of God! Holy Moly! “Fire descended from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices, and the glory of the Lord filled the temple!”
They bowed down on the pavement with their faces to the ground. They worshiped and praised the Lord: ‘For he is good, for his faithful love endures forever’ ” (2 Chronicles 7:3, CSB).
Centuries later... More precious than any golden-gilded brick-and-mortar, a temple was being prepared by the Master-Designer Himself. “Saul was still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord... As he traveled and was nearing Damascus, a light from heaven suddenly flashed around him. Falling to the ground, he heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul!” (Acts 9:1–4, CSB).
A living, breathing, walking, talking temple (1 Corinthians 6:19), Saul, soon-to-be Paul, was filled with God’s Glory. Light from heaven! A lightening bolt? A laser beam? A ball of fire? The glory of God!
In the presence of God’s glory, Saul ”bowed down on the pavement”... he fell to the ground!
“At the name of Jesus every knee will bow—in heaven and on earth and under the earth—and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father”(Philippians 2:9–11, CSB).