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140-100 Thanksgiving and the Coming of the Spirit

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2 Chron 5:11-14

Thank all those who participated in the service—serving the church in music and testimony.
Two men were walking through a field one day when they spotted an enraged bull. Instantly they darted toward the nearest fence. The storming bull followed in hot pursuit, and it was soon apparent they wouldn't make it.
Terrified, the one shouted to the other, "Put up a prayer, John. We're in for it!"
John answered, "I can't. I've never made a public prayer in my life."
"But you must!" implored his companion. "The bull is catching up to us."
"All right," panted John, "I'll say the only prayer I know, the one my father used to repeat at the table: 'O Lord, for what we are about to receive, make us truly thankful.'"
We’re often ready to give thanks for the pleasant things in life but not so much when things go awry.
Joy to focus on God’s Word in the midst of a wonderful time of praise & worship.
I want to spend a few moments looking at the verses I just read from. This occasion was highly significant for Israel and truly an amazing parallel for us in church age.
I would like to help you better understand what is happening here by pointing out 3 details of these vv.

1. The Occasion of Praise

Vs 11—priests came forth from Holy Place (temple)
· Sanctified themselves without regard to divisions. Accord to 1 Chron 24—there were 24 divisions of the priesthood and as many were present they had all sanctified themselves.
Terms “sanctified” and “Holy Place” come from the same root. It refers to that which is set apart or consecrated and there were means in the OT for priests to sanctify themselves.
(by ceremonial sacrifices, washing in water, thru clothing, eating the meat of ram sacrifice, by partaking of a sin offering)
It was necessary for priests to keep ritually pure or they were forbidden from making an offering on behalf of the people. Recognizing the solemnness of the occasion, the entire priesthood was brought together and they had consecrated themselves b/c of the Temple.
What were they doing in the Holy Place? (this was restricted)
2 Chron 1-4 details Solomon’s plan to build the temple. It took 7 ½ years to build it and another 11 months before the dedication of the temple at the feast.
The construction was a mammoth task. The foreigners alone who worked on the temple numbered 153600 (2:17). Plus all the skilled laborers who worked with metal, wood and fabric.
The priests had gone up to take the Ark of the Covenant inside the Most Holy Place under the wings of the cherubim (wingspan of the 2 were 20 cubits)
2 Chron 5:2-10
The feast (vs 3) which is in the 7th month refers to the feast of Tabernacles (or Booths). 3 Jewish feasts required every Jewish male to travel to Jerusalem during that time of year. Passover and Weeks (harvest festival celebrated for 7 weeks including the Sabbath—total of 50 days—Gk Pentecost).
The Feast of Tabernacles (Booths) was so important that in OT it is simply called “the feast”. The feast lasted for 7 days beginning the 15th day of 7th month (Lev 23:34). Along with a great number of sacrifices that were required, all “native born” Jews traveled to Jerusalem and while there they lived in tabernacles or temporary huts during the feast.
Solomon thought this was the best time of year for the dedication that he waited 11 months from the completion of the temple until its dedication b/c this feast would see the most people traveling to Jerusalem.
Num 29:13-38 talk about the required sacrifices
2 Chron 5:6 too many to count (1 King 8—22000 bulls & 120000 sheep).
Priests carried the Ark of the Covenant into the temple. It was housed in a temp. tent in Jerusalem (By David) while the tent of meeting (tabernacle) was in Gibeon.
It was placed in the Holy of Holies which was the last time anyone but the High Priest could enter.

2. The Manner of Praise

Notice what happened as the priests came out—
vs 12-13
These Levitical singers were essentially 3 music ministers. Their relatives made up the skilled singers numbering 288 (24 divisions with 12 each). These 288 had oversight of the 4000 instrumentalists (1 Chron 25:7).
We’ve never seen such a remarkable choir and orchestra. 120 trumpets and singers were singing and playing in unison and with 1 voice they began to praise and glorify God.
Word “praise” Heb—hallel (hallelujah)
“glorify” yadah—to praise with thanksgiving. All the gathered Israelites were praising God and giving thanks. But for what?
1) For God’s Goodness
In essence refers to the perfection of His nature. They were thanking and praising God for what He is in Himself—essence of goodness.
Psalm 119:68 NASB95
You are good and do good; Teach me Your statutes.
Recalling the inexhaustible treasures of blessing leads us to praise God.
God’s goodness seen in creation
God saw all that He made…good (Gen 1:31)
God’s goodness seen in natural pleasures
5 senses God created in us (taste, smell, touch, hearing, sight)—pleasures of food, beauty of creation to enjoy, God created us to enjoy His goodness
God’s goodness seen in justice
He doesn’t overlook sin and evil but brings justice and righteousness to bear. Though the moment we sin we do not see the fullness of His wrath but mercy is granted.
God’s goodness is seen in redemption
God did not leave man in his fallen condition to be eternally condemned but sent forth His Son to bring about the redemption of those who trust in Him. We have a Savior--illustrating His goodness.
Every spiritual blessing
Psalm 107:8
Psalm 107:8 NASB95
Let them give thanks to the Lord for His lovingkindness, And for His wonders to the sons of men!
2) For His lovingkindness is everlasting
This is a recurring theme of praise thruout OT:
Bringing Ark back to Jerusalem
1 Chronicles 16:34 NASB95
O give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; For His lovingkindness is everlasting.
2 Chronicles 7:1–3 NASB95
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. The priests could not enter into the house of the Lord because the glory of the Lord filled the Lord’s house. 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.”
Ezra 3:11 (NASB95) Beginning of temple restoration
They sang, praising and giving thanks to the Lord, saying, “For He is good, for His lovingkindness is upon Israel forever.” And all the people shouted with a great shout when they praised the Lord because the foundation of the house of the Lord was laid.
Ps 100:5; 106:1; 107:1; 118:1;
Ps 136;
God’s lovingkindness is everlasting...
Think about what God saved you from. For some, saved at an early age—God spared you from a life of painful rebellion. Others were saved as adults having carried out the desires of the flesh. Yet for all—God saves us from the fire.
Robert Murray McCheyne “Are there not some of you brands plucked out of the burning? You were in the burning; the pains of hell were actually getting hold on you. You had a hell in your own hearts—you had a hell yawning to receive you; but the Lord snatched you from the burning. Will you not praise Him?... In heaven, they praise God most of all for this: ‘Worthy is the Lamb that was slain.’ Oh! have you no praise for Jesus for all His love for the Father—for the Spirit?”

3. The Effect of Praise

Cloud filled the Holy of Holies. This was a powerful reminder of the glory of God and symbol of His presence.
The same cloud that lead Israel during the wilderness. Filled the temple. Ezekiel later gives the picture of God’s glory being removed from the temple due to Israel sin and rebellion.
The presence of God in a similar way is noted in NT on the Day of Pentecost—HS came upon the people. God is dwelling with man—indwelling man. But now, it was permanent.
1 Corinthians 3:16 NASB95
Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?
1 Corinthians 6:19–20 NASB95
Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.
What a remarkable blessing and gift. The very thought that the infinite, perfectly holy and righteous mighty God would dwell with the finite, fallen creature is beyond comprehension.
Now, unlike the Israelites, we have no need for a priest to intercede for us. The church has become a kingdom of priests—royal priesthood who has but 1 mediator between God and man—the Man Christ Jesus. There is communion & fellowship with God & LJC for every believer.
We have much to be thankful for—not to mention our salvation, escape from God’s wrath, joy of eternal life and the presence of the indwelling God--all the other blessings that come from the God who is good.
James 1:17 NASB95
Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.
But we’re prone to be preoccupied with all of the unknowns.
· We have anxiety over the future
· We worry about tomorrow and what we can’t control
Do you thank God for His goodness? (especially that He has everything under control?) It is 1 thing to thank God for the blessings and benefits.
Will you leave here remembering His goodness and that He will not fail you, or will you leave, quickly forgetting (like Israel) how great God is and the wealth of blessings you have received from His benevolent hand?
If you’re here and you have not encountered the blessings of God’s salvation, I would invite you to participate in these blessings by turning from your sin and believing that the death of JC is sufficient alone to forgive your sin and give you everlasting life—what a cause for giving thanks and a newness that Thanksgiving will have form this time forward.
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