Saturday, May 15, 2010

Solomon's Temple by Jan Darnell

Week 20--May 16-22
Scripture Reading:1 Chronicles 19-29; 2 Chronicles 1-9; Psalm 68-71

How precious is the Word of God, both written and living! Without the Word, we would know nothing of our Creator and His magnificent love! We would know nothing of the Christ or the men and women who have since the beginning of time encountered God for better or for worse…men like David and Solomon.
In the Chronicles this week, we come upon one of the most fascinating events in Israel’s history…the construction of Solomon’s temple. King David initiated the idea but the actual building came through his son Solomon. God had decided that His temple would be built by Solomon, a man of rest, rather than by David, a man of war and bloodshed.

God sent David to defeat Israel’s enemies but He wouldn’t permit David to build the temple. Does that seem strange? Well, consider this: Jesus came from heaven to build a temple for Himself, “For we are the temple of the living God; just as God said, I will dwell in them and walk among them; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.” (2 Cor. 6:16) The only blood that Jesus shed while on earth was His own. Jesus was also a man of rest.

David approaching God with the idea of building a temple reminds me of the painting by Michelangelo on the Sistine Chapel ceiling. Man reaching up and God reaching down to meet him. When David first suggested building the temple, God’s reply was “But I’ve never lived in a house.” (1 Chron. 17:5) You can almost imagine God trying to assess what that might be like…God, unrestrained by boundaries of any kind, confining Himself to a house! Then we realize that again, this is exactly what Jesus did when He came in the flesh as the Son of God and Man.

Even though David was not allowed to build the temple, he managed to gather the essential artisans, materials and draft a plan. (1 Chron. 22-23) He then commissioned his son: “Solomon my son, know the God of your father, and serve Him with a whole heart and a willing mind, for the LORD searches every heart and understands the intention of every thought. If you seek Him, He will be found by you, but if you forsake Him, He will reject you forever. Realize now that the LORD has chosen you to build a house for the sanctuary. Be strong, and do it.” (1 Chron. 28:9-10)

Solomon could have just assumed his position of power and proceeded with the building, based on the plans and materials given to him by his father. But he didn’t. Solomon went to the altar and prayed. That very night God appeared to Solomon and said: “Ask. What should I give you?” (2 Chron. 1:7) Can you imagine! God presented Solomon with a blank check essentially and said… “Fill it out.”

Do you know what Solomon asked for? He prayed this way… “Grant me wisdom and knowledge so that I may lead these people.” (2 Chron. 1:10) God said to Solomon, “Because this was in your heart, and you have not requested riches, wealth, or glory, or for the life of those who hate you, and you have not even requested long life, but you have requested for yourself wisdom and knowledge that you may judge My people over whom I have made you king, wisdom and knowledge are given to you.” (2 Chron. 1:11-12)
Did God give Solomon the wisdom he asked for? 2 Chronicles 9:22-23 says, “Solomon surpassed all the kings of the world in riches and wisdom. All the kings of the world wanted an audience with Solomon to hear the wisdom God had put in His heart.”

After the temple was completed and dedicated by Solomon (2 Chron 6), the most amazing thing happened. “When Solomon finished praying, fire descended from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices, and the glory of the LORD filled the temple. The priests were not able to enter the LORD’s temple because the glory of the LORD filled the temple of the LORD.” (2 Chron. 7:1-2)

The connection between heaven and earth was definitely made. The God who said, “But I have never lived in a house,” filled His temple to the extent that no priest could even enter. Was God glad to be there? Apparently so! What about the temple of the LORD today? Is He glad to be here? Is He pleased to reside within us individually and corporately? Is the glory of the LORD filling our temples?

Jan loves to read, study and teach the Bible using the inductive method.  She and her husband are members of Crossroads and the parents of seven adult children.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...