2 Chronicles 4: This chapter provides a detailed description of the equipment inside the Temple.
2 Chronicles 5: Now we get to the dedication of the Temple to God. This occurs over the next several chapters. This chapter focuses on the instillation of the Ark of the covenant.
I was talking with a clergy member the other day about the Ark. I asked him if there was any mention of the Ark outside of the Bible that could give a clue as to what happened to it when the people went into exile. His response was very intriguing: What if the Ark was actually just a metaphor and not a physical structure? He suggested that perhaps the Ark was just a metaphor for God’s covenant with the people and may not have ever existed. Definitely something that I want to explore more. I found this conversation pretty fascinating.
On a separate note, there’s a cool reading on the role of music in worship during this time on page 675 OT in the CEB Study Bible.
2 Chronicles 6: This chapter starts with Solomon declaring the temple as home to God. He then recounts what had happened throughout their history up to this point. Finally, the majority of this chapter is a prayer Solomon gave for the community. According to the notes in the CEB study bible, the “majority of the prayer concerns the ongoing function of the temple, divided into several major sections, each introducing a different future scenario when prayer in or toward the temple would be appropriate” (p. 676 OT). Solomon also asks God to keep his vow and make sure David’s line continues to get his support. Solomon asked God to listen to the people when they come to the temple to pray and to forgive them, acknowledging that God could never truly live in a temple among the people. He then gives several examples, such as when one person wrongs another, if the people are defeated in battle, if there has been no rain, famine, etc.
Romans 15: The beginning of this chapter is a continuation of the argument Paul made in chapter 14. He continues to urge the Jews and Gentiles to accept each other as they are. In the second part of this chapter, Paul directly addresses the Gentiles and tells them that he believes that his mission is to bring Jesus to them. The third and final part of this chapter focuses on Paul’s future plans to visit Rome and asks for their prayers as he continues to bring Jesus to people who haven’t heard of him yet.