Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Building the Temple

June 11: 1 Kings 5-6 & 2 Chronicles 2-3

1 Now Hiram king of Tyre sent his servants to Solomon when he heard that they had anointed him king in place of his father, for Hiram always loved David. 2 And Solomon sent word to Hiram, 3 “You know that David my father could not build a house for the name of the Lord his God because of the warfare with which his enemies surrounded him, until the Lord put them under the soles of his feet. 4 But now the Lord my God has given me rest on every side. There is neither adversary nor misfortune. 5 And so I intend to build a house for the name of the Lord my God, as the Lord said to David my father, ‘Your son, whom I will set on your throne in your place, shall build the house for my name.’ 6 Now therefore command that cedars of Lebanon be cut for me. And my servants will join your servants, and I will pay you for your servants such wages as you set, for you know that there is no one among us who knows how to cut timber like the Sidonians.”

7 As soon as Hiram heard the words of Solomon, he rejoiced greatly and said, “Blessed be the Lord this day, who has given to David a wise son to be over this great people.” 8 And Hiram sent to Solomon, saying, “I have heard the message that you have sent to me. I am ready to do all you desire in the matter of cedar and cypress timber.
1 Kings 5:1-8

1 In the four hundred and eightieth year after the people of Israel came out of the land of Egypt, in the fourth year of Solomon's reign over Israel, in the month of Ziv, which is the second month, he began to build the house of the Lord.

37 In the fourth year the foundation of the house of the Lord was laid, in the month of Ziv. 38 And in the eleventh year, in the month of Bul, which is the eighth month, the house was finished in all its parts, and according to all its specifications. He was seven years in building it.
1 Kings 6:1 & 37-38

11 Then Hiram the king of Tyre answered in a letter that he sent to Solomon, “Because the Lord loves his people, he has made you king over them.” 12 Hiram also said, “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, who made heaven and earth, who has given King David a wise son, who has discretion and understanding, who will build a temple for the Lord and a royal palace for himself.
2 Chronicles 2:11-12

1 Then Solomon began to build the house of the Lord in Jerusalem on Mount Moriah, where the Lord had appeared to David his father, at the place that David had appointed, on the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite.
2 Chronicles 3:1

Building the Temple

David had intended to build a temple for the Lord to replace the Tabernacle which was still housed in a tent. God, however, chose Solomon to build the temple, because Solomon was not a man of war, as was his father, David.

Both 1 Kings and 2 Chronicles give identical accounts of the building of the Temple; when a single event is covered in more than one Scripture passage, I like to look for the differences. 1 Kings 5 covers a more lengthy discussion between Solomon and Hiram, king of Tyre. God had charged David to use the cedars of Lebanon for the building of the Temple, which David received from King Hiram.

Already, Solomon's wisdom is portrayed to neighboring kingdoms; both books record Hiram's discussions with Solomon, and his praise to God for making Solomon king after David.

The things we say and do give glimpses into our true hearts; the people we are with every day have a continual picture of our true characters. The Christian life affects every area of our being; we cannot separate our "Christian" life from our "secular" life--there is no such thing as a "secular" life for the Christian. Everything we are, everything we say, and everything we do is for Christ alone.

Look at the detail that went into building the temple; we are told that it took seven years to complete the project. Does God care about the details in our own lives? Absolutely! Does He care about the things we do for Him? Is it important that, as Solomon did with the Temple, we need to take the greatest care and do our best in everything we do for Him?

Remember how the people were forbidden to offer up blemished animals for their sacrifices to God? So, too, we must do and give our very best to the Lord in all that we do.

Pray today that all of your life is focused on your service to Christ, and that everything you do and give to the Lord would be your very best.

God Bless You,

PS Here is a link with pictures of one person's perception of Solomon's Temple.

All Scriptures are from the English Standard Version of the Bible.

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