When Solomon finished praying, fire flashed down from heaven and burned up the burnt offerings and sacrifices, and the glorious presence of the Lord filled the Temple. The priests could not enter the Temple of the Lord because the glorious presence of the Lord filled it. When all the people of Israel saw the fire coming down and the glorious presence of the Lord filling the Temple, they fell face down on the ground and worshiped and praised the Lord, saying, “He is good! His faithful love endures forever!”
(2 Chronicles 7:1-3)
The Temple was dedicated to God, and Solomon and the people prepared to worship him. Dedication means setting apart a place, an object, or a person for an exclusive purpose. The purpose of this dedication was to set apart the Temple as a place to worship God. Things set apart in this way were considered holy.
The fire that God sent from heaven was to burn continuously under the altar of burnt offering (see Leviticus 6:8-13). This perpetual fire symbolized God’s presence. Earlier, God had done the same thing when inaugurating the Tabernacle (Leviticus 9:22-24). Solomon and Israel had a ceremony of dedication, but God’s fire from heaven was the real dedication of the Temple because only God’s purifying power can make something holy (Zechariah 13:9).
Today, we are God’s temple, both collectively and individually (1 Corinthians 3:16; 6:19). When God’s Spirit came at Pentecost, his presence was visible in “tongues of fire” (Acts 2:3-4). Those in whom the Holy Spirit dwells are made holy, set apart by his presence.
In the same way that Solomon dedicated the Temple and God made it holy, we should dedicate ourselves to fulfill God’s purposes as his Spirit dwells in us and makes us holy.