Today’s Reading: 1 Kings 5:1-18; 1 Kings 6:1-2; 1 Kings 6:4-13; 1 Kings 6:15-38; 1 Kings 7:13-22; 1 Kings 7:27-51; 2 Chronicles 2:1-3:2; 2 Chronicles 3:4-14; 2 Chronicles 4:1-10; 2 Chronicles 4:19-22; 2 Chronicles 8:12-16
This must be a happy section, although rather complicated with details. The topic of Solomon building a Temple for God must be a happy one because of Him being given honour and the wondrous thought that God would actually choose to live among His people! Other religions may aspire to be in the presence of their god, but as far as I know, none have a god whose desire is to be close to those who worship him/her! How would they, since they are either dead people, or made out of physical material, let alone those who are supposed to be animals! But notice that Solomon will also build himself a palace. I guess this side of Heaven, we never really get really rid of self-centeredness?!
Solomon gets King Hiriam to help him send lumber from the mountains and stones from the quarries and since he is a friend of David, and discerns that Solomon is a worthy son, he is happy to work together with Solomon. Solomon also needs “a man skilled to work in gold and silver, bronze and iron, and in purple, crimson and blue yarn and experienced in the art of engraving and to be able work with his skilled craftsmen, whom David had provided.” Certainly, skill was a high priority if he was to build a temple for the God Whom even the highest heavens could not contain Him!” So I remember each day that this God lives in me and the Church, and through His Holy Spirit, He has given to each of us a special gift to use – a special skill to use for Himself each day to get the job done which He has given for us to do. We are indeed fellow-workers together with God as the New Testament tells us!
And so the arrangements go on, whereby logs from Lebanon are floated in rafts by sea down to Joppa, and then transported up to Jerusalem and this went on for 7 years more or less until the Temple building was completed. The stones were also cut and finished in the quarry so that there was “no hammer, chisel or any other iron tool heard at the temple site while it was being built.” And that reminds me of how Holy Spirit is at work building the Temple of the Lord today, person by person, and how little of the whole work do I see, but I am satisfied that He is at work in a beautiful way, saving person by person!
It would be too long of an email to look at each of the parts of the Temple and the dimensions and description of each, but what might be helpful would be to look up on the internet for a site which explains the Temple and shows pictures of it. Certainly the careful details recorded shows a God of details Who knows each one of us in an intimate way and is at work in us! I am convinced that when one does a detailed study of the Temple, one begins to see the meaning behind the different materials that are used, for instance – gold would speak of His righteousness, which certainly is a precious and rare thing in this world today! Or “the sea” speaks of His word which cleans us up in daily living, just as the water was used to clean up the priests before they entered God’s presence!
When all the work is finished, then David’s gifts are brought into the treasuries of the Lord, and when life is finished or the church is called up to heaven, all of our lives on earth will not be wiped cleaned, but there will be things that we have personally done for the Lord and the remembrance of all those things will be like “a treasury of the Lord!” They mean a lot to the Lord Himself and He has promised in Hebrews that He won’t forget about them!”
And so the altar of the Lord in front of the portico was put to use and the daily offerings were offered and the offerings of the special feasts. It says, “They did not deviate from the king’s commands to the priests or to the Levites in any matter…” And I covet that quiet obedient spirit to be prominent in my life!
“So the Temple of the Lord was finished” in our reading for today and the church, His Temple on earth one of these days will be completed and then we’ll be caught away TOGETHER to be in His presence FOREVER!