This week’s Haftarah portion is taken from 1 Kings 7:51-8:21. Listen in as Dr. Jeffery Myers unwraps what it means to be a "dwelling place" -- a Tabernacle (Mishkan) -- for Adonai.
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Lion of Judah Speaks: Haftarah Portion - 1 Kings 7:51-8:21
Lion of Judah Ministries
Dr. Jeffery L. Myers
Let us begin by quoting from Ex. 25:8 where Adonai commanded the Israelites, “They are to make me a sanctuary, so that I may live among them”. In John 1:14, John speaks of Yeshua, “The Word became a human being and lived with us”. The word “dwelled” from the Greek “skene” derives from the Hebrew “mishkan”, showing us that Yeshua made His tabernacle with His people. Therefore, through Yeshua, HaShem did dwell with His people. We see this in the Tabernacle of Moses, Tabernacle of David and the Temple of Solomon.
In I Kings 8, the Temple is complete and Solomon assembles all the leaders of Israel, heads of the tribes, chiefs of the paternal clans of the people of Israel, to bring the ark of the covenant for Adonai out of the City of David. It was time for the dedication of the Temple and the glory of HaShem to enter His holy house.
The dedication of the Temple was a day to be remembered in Israel’s history. Significant things took place on this great day and such became the seal of YHVH’s favor on the house built for His name, crowned with His glory and presence. The things that took place on this dedication day point to and become prophetic of something that finds its fulfillment in Yeshua and His Body.
In I Kings 8:1,2 we see that this special dedication of the Temple took place in the Feast of the 7th month, the Feast of Tabernacles or Feast of Sukkot. Solomon could have dedicated the Temple in the Feast of Pesach, unleavened Bread in the first month or he could have done it in the 3rd month during the Feast of Pentecost, Shavuot. But he was undoubtedly directed by Adonai to dedicate it in the Feast of Sukkot, the Feast of the 7th month.
The revelation of the Tabernacle of Moses was given relative to the Feast of Shavuot. But it is the Feast of Tabernacles that seals the dedication of the Temple of Solomon. Passover, or Unleavened Bread took place in the 1st month of the sacred year (Ex. 12). It commemorated Israel’s deliverance from the bondage of Egypt by the power of YHVH. It is the foundational month of their experiences with Adonai their Yah. Shavuot took place in the 3rd month of the sacred year. This day commemorated Israel’s reception of the Torah of Yah, moral, civil, and ceremonial instructions at Mt. Sinai. Tabernacles took place in the 7th month of the sacred year. It commemorated their deliverance from Egypt, their journey through the wilderness into the land of promise. It was the consummation of months.
The Feast of Sukkot (Tabernacles) was the ultimate of these three feasts. Israel kept the Feast of Tabernacles only in Canaan land, not Egypt or the wilderness. Solomon dedicated the Temple in this festival month. The restored Temple was dedicated in the Feast of Sukkot according to Haggai 2:9. Neh. 8:17, and Ezra 3. Yeshua taught significant truths in the month also in John 7:37-39, which says, “Now on the last day of the festival, Hoshana Rabbah, Yeshua stood and cried out, “If anyone is thirsty, let him keep coming to me and drinking! Whoever puts his trust in me, as the Scripture says, rivers of living water will flow from his inmost being! (Now he said this about the Spirit, whom those who trusted in him were to receive later—the Spirit had not yet been given, because Yeshua had not yet been glorified.)”
In the dedication of the Temple in this month we discover that the feast of the 7th month is stamped with the number 7. Solomon was 7 years in the building of the Temple, the Temple was dedicated in the 7th month, a time of preparation of the people over the first 7 days of the 7th month was the day of blowing of trumpets. All of this was sealed by the descent of the glory-fire and presence of YHVH. This crowning event, the descending of the Shekinah filled the Temple with the glory of HaShem. The glory has now come to dwell in and over the Temple so that all could see and know His Presence. This is happening only because YHVH’s people were obedient in preparing a place for Him.
In our pluralistic society, we have unwittingly fallen prey to the “spirit of the times” – we have begun to think that there is a little bit of good in all things, in all modes of thinking. We’re hesitant to teach and more hesitant to believe that Yah is the Yah of separation, that He refuses to dwell among the rebellious and wayward, among the spiritual harlotry of man-made religion. Consider Isa. 57:15; “For this says the high and exalted One Who lives forever, whose name is Holy, “I will dwell on a high and holy place, and also with the contrite and lowly of spirit in order to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite.” Isa. 66:2 says, “For My hand made all these things, through all these things came into being, declares Adonai.” But to this one I will look, to him who is humble and contrite of spirit, and who trembles at My Word.”
YHVH does not wait for people to be perfect to take up His abode with them. He rather provides redemption for them, and then asks for humble and contrite hearts- hearts that tremble at His Word, meaning that there is a ready spirit of obedience toward YHVH. “Just as He commanded, so they did” – this is an essential element of preparing a place for HaShem’s presence.
For the Father, nothing is more beautiful than His Son, Yeshua. If you want to be near the Shekinah, find the Son, for the Father and the Son dwell together as one. Would our hearts be fashioned as a place for His Presence? Then we must be conformed to the image of His Son.
How are we conformed to the image of Yeshua? We must desire to become like Yeshua which means a desire to live out the Torah not by the letter devoid of the Ruach, but by the Ruach through whom the letter will be followed in a spirit of humility and love. Nothing, is more anti-Torah than to fail to be conformed to the pattern of Yeshua in His Torah observance.
The people who are prepared for the Shekinah are people who are ready to be led by the Shekinah. It is one thing to sacrifice and prepare for the presence and another thing to commit yourself to following wherever the Presence of YHVH leads. When the glory fell in the Temple, the cloud filled the house, so that, because of the cloud, the cohanim could not stand up to perform their service; “for the glory of Adonai filled the house of Adonai”. How wonderful to experience such a tangible presence? But we can, if we just prepare a house for Him to dwell in our hearts, our lives allowing His presence to lead us and guide us, helping us with decisions of our lives as we walk in obedience. Through the eyes of faith, we are led by the Ruach Hakodesh. To the extent that the presence of YHVH dwells with us, to that extent we can be assured of His guidance in life and in life’s decisions.
In closing, let’s consider Prov. 3:5,6; “Trust in Adonai with all your heart.And do not lean on your own understanding.In all your ways (halachah) acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.”May His glory-fire fall on each of us and may that fire be a witness of His presence in our lives! Shalom Alecheim!