1 Kings 5-6; 2 Chronicles 2-3
Click here for today’s reading http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1%20Kings%205-6,%202%20Chronicles%202-3&version=NIV
It has been awhile since we last read the details of David, Solomon, and building the Temple. So where did we leave off?? David’s heart’s desire was to build the Temple to the glory of God, but God said no because “David had too much blood on his hands” from the wars to bring unity to Israel. However, God was gracious to David and told him that his own son, Solomon, WOULD build the Temple. David never showed any anger or resentment once God told him he would not be the builder. We saw that David truly was a man’s after God’s heart in the way he responded to God’s “no, you will not build the temple, but your son will.” God told David he would not build the Temple. David obeyed and trusted God and in turn God still blessed David by allowing him to make ALL the plans in great detail (including organizing the Levites, gathering the gold, silver, and bronze, and so much more) for the Temple. David had everything ready for Solomon to build the Temple when the time came.
David lived a long life and was able to publicly anoint Solomon King of all of Israel. David blessed both his son, King Solomon, and blessed the nation of Israel. Solomon was able to ask God for ONE thing and he desired above all things wisdom (discernment) in guiding the nation. Since Solomon desired only wisdom and nothing more, God also blessed him with MANY other great things.
NOW Solomon is ready to build the temple using the resources David had organized, planned, and collected. We are about to witness the building of a magnificent temple. Solomon laid the foundation in the 4th year of his reign. In the 11th year of his reign, the Temple was completed. It took 7 years to build the Temple in Jerusalem on Mount Moriah.
Solomon reigned from approximately 970 to 930 BC, which would place the laying of the foundation for the temple in 966 BC. If you noticed, there was no noise of construction at the site of the temple while it was being built. The material was prepared before it was brought to the building site. The house was built of stone prepared at the quarry, and there was neither hammer nor axe nor any iron tool heard in the house while it was being built (1 Kings 6:7). The Bible’s description of Solomon’s Temple suggests that the inside ceiling was 180 feet long, 90 feet wide, and 50 feet high. The highest point on the Temple that King Solomon built was actually 120 cubits tall (about 20 stories or about 207 feet). 1 Kings 6:1-38 and chapters 7–8 describe the construction and dedication of the Temple under Solomon.
Just look at the size of the cherubim– EACH cherubim was10 cubits high (15 ft high)- one wing five cubits long = 7 1/5 feet long. The span (width) of both wings was 15 feet. One wing of each cherubim touched one of the walls of the Holy of Holies and they touched each other in the middle of the room. God dwelled in the middle of the two cherubim. Just the detail given to the angels is amazing…..and then there is all the detail in the building!!! YET God in all HIS love and creation gives US, HIS children even MORE detail….details that no one can comprehend even with all our modern technology!! TOTALLY AMAZING!!!
King Solomon reaffirmed/renewed King Hiriam as his ally in the North, a Phoenician king. This is the same King Hiriam who supplied materials for his father David when he was building the palace. King Hiriam had access to the finest wood in the area called the cedars of Lebanon. Solomon also hired 3 times the men actually needed to build the temple. Solomon was indeed very wise and it is shown in the use of his men…. he worked them for a month and then they were back home with their families for two months. Now that is what I call an AWESOME boss!!!
A few important Scriptures from today to note:
“The word of the LORD came to Solomon: “As for this temple you are building, if you follow my decrees, carry out my regulations and keep all my commands and obey them, I will fulfill through you the promise I gave to David your father. And I will live among the Israelites and will not abandon my people Israel.”(1 Kings 6:11-13)
(Sadly, we will read later that future kings actually abandon God in their hearts first which will result in them failing to keep His laws)
“Now I am about to build a temple for the Name of the LORD my God and to dedicate it to him for burning fragrant incense before him, for setting out the consecrated bread regularly, and for making burnt offerings every morning and evening and on Sabbaths and New Moons and at the appointed feasts of the LORD our God. This is a lasting ordinance for Israel.” (2 Chron 2:2-4)
“The temple I am going to build will be great, because our God is greater than all other gods. But who is able to build a temple for him, since the heavens, even the highest heavens, cannot contain him? Who then am I to build a temple for him, except as a place to burn sacrifices before him?
Solomon shows his humility at being able to build such a house for God. He knew that no matter how grand, big, or fancy this Temple was, it could not contain our Great Lord. The purpose of the Temple was to GLORIFY God in His dwelling place among the people who came to worship Him. It was a place to meet with the Lord, worship Him, be in HIS presence, and make offerings. Once Jesus Christ came, WE, the Believer, became the temple. When Jesus died on that cross for us, ALL our debts were paid in FULL (that’s what “It is Finished” actually meant in the original language), we gained total access to our Most Holy God, and we have the Holy Spirit LIVING inside of us. WE are the TEMPLE of God today. Maybe that is why the Ark of the Covenant has never again been found and/or was possibly allowed to be destroyed. Romans 12:1 says we are to present ourselves as a holy living SACRIFICE to HIM….no longer conforming to this world but becoming transformed by the renewing of our minds with the Word. There is no need for a temple any longer, for the Messiah is no longer a foreshadow! That doesn’t mean that God does not want us to fellowship with believers, serve others, help others in need. However, the PLACE we fellowship is not the important thing. It does not have to be fancy, big, or in “the perfect location.” The important thing is that we each have asked Jesus into our hearts, believe that HE is, and confess our sins. Once we have done that WE are the Temple and can speak directly to God about all things…..JESUS is our High Priest, our mediator. WE are now the TEMPLE that is to glorify God. God does want us to gather and fellowship with other believers, worship together, all to HIS GLORY…but not because the place is where HE is located, our hearts are HIS home. WOW!!!
The land where Solomon is building the Temple is the same place where Abraham went to sacrifice Isaac, where David bought the threshing floor to build the temple on, and the very place that in a thousand years from today’s reading, Jesus himself will stand and will declare in John 2:19
Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days.”
AND HE DID!!!
What stood out to you today? Did any Word fall fresh upon you today??
Sharing HIS love