#Ref: This post belong to Deeper Life Bible Church
TEXT: 1 Kings 5:1-18; 6:1-38; 2 Chronicles 2:1-18; 3:1-17; 4:1-22
MEMORY VERSE: “Concerning this house which thou art in building, if thou wilt walk in my statutes, and execute my judgments, and keep all my commandments to walk in them; then will I perform my word with thee, which I spake unto David thy father’’ (1 Kings 6:12).
The building of God’s temple by King Solomon who succeeded his father was a long awaited dream that eventually came true. Although it was conceived by King David, God restrained him from going ahead through Prophet Nathan. “The word of the LORD came unto Nathan, saying, Go and tell my servant David, Thus saith the Lord, shalt thou build me an house…? I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels… He shall build an house for my name…” (2 Samuel 7:4,5,12,13). This prophetic statement came to pass during the reign of Solomon.
This study focuses on the reasons for building the temple, the provisions made for the building of the temple and the clarion call for all believers to be committed to building God’s spiritual temple.
THE PURPOSE FOR BUILDING GOD’S TEMPLE (1 Kings 5:5; 2 Chronicles 2:1; 2 Samuel 7:1,2; 1 Kings 6:1)
“And, behold, I purpose to build an house unto the name of the LORD my God, as the LORD spake unto David my father saying, thy son whom I will set upon thy throne in thy room, he shall build an house unto my name’’ (1 Kings 5:5).
The Jewish temple was a place for the worship of Yahweh. The temple is severally referred to in Scriptures as The Holy Temple (Psalm 79:1); the House of God (1 Chronicles 6:48; 29:2); the Sanctuary, Tent or Tabernacle of God (Exodus 25:8,9; 1 Chronicles 17:5). Prior to the building, the children of Israel worshipped in tabernacles during their wilderness wandering.
The temple constructed by Solomon consisted of three sections: the porch through which they entered; the holy place, which contained the golden lampstands, two tables of shewbread and an incense altar (1 Kings 7:48,49); and the holy of holies, containing two wooden cherubim overlaid with gold and the ark of the covenant, with its lid called the mercy seat (Leviticus 16: 14,15).
Everything about this temple was a pointer to God.
Question 1: Highlight some of the reasons Solomon built God’s Temple.
The temple that Solomon built served various purposes. One, it was to establish a place suitable for worship and devotion to God. Two, the temple was a dwelling place of the Lord. It brought God’s presence among His people (1 Kings 6:13,14). Three, it directed the minds of the people towards God. Four, it was a symbol of spiritual things, and by that, God was reverenced. Five, it was to serve as a place where the sinner could find God and peace. Six, it was where the people of God poured out their hearts and made their petitions unto God (Exodus 33:7). Today’s temple or place of worship cannot be anything less than what God expected of the Old Testament temple. While Christ was on earth, He took vehement steps to cleanse the temple. He said, “It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves’’ (Matthew 21:12-14; Mark 11:15-17; Luke 19:45,46).
Question 2: What impression does Christ’s action give us about today’s temple or place of worship?
The temple should be a place of refuge where the spiritual atmosphere drives God’s consciousness into the worshippers. “For the LORD thy God walketh in the midst of thy camp, to deliver thee, and to give up thine enemies before thee; therefore shall thy camp be holy: that he see no unclean thing in thee, and turn away from thee’’ (Deuteronomy 23:14). Today’s temple should be a place of succour for all: the wretched, rich and poor, young and old, educated or illiterate; the discouraged and sin-laden. As there is room for everyone at the Cross, so there is in God’s temple.
The children of Israel understood the relevance of building God’s temple where the ark of covenant (symbolic of His majesty’s presence) dwelt. And they rose up to the call to provide for the building.
THE PROVISION FOR BUILDING GOD’S TEMPLE (1 Kings 5:1-18; 6:1-38; 2
Chronicles 2:1-18; 1 Chronicles 29:19; Exodus 35:4-11; 36:1-7)
Although David had prepared gold and silver in abundance for the building of the temple, Solomon his son still needed to make preparations to get timber and stones ready for the work. Therefore, he “sent to Hiram, saying …I purpose to build an house unto the name of the LORD my God… Now therefore command thou that they hew me cedar trees out of Lebanon; and my servants shall be with thy servants: and unto thee will I give hire for thy servants according to all that thou shalt appoint’’ (1 Kings 5:2,5,6). The response of King Hiram to Solomon’s request is a proof that God’s work will never lack resources.
Even in the wilderness, the children of Israel gave sacrificially before the commencement of the building project until “Moses gave commandment, and they caused it to be proclaimed throughout the camp, saying, Let neither man nor woman make any more work for the offering of the sanctuary. So the people were restrained from bringing. For the stuff they had was sufficient for all the work to make it, and too much” (Exodus 36:6,7).
The people were indeed generous and committed to giving. They kept donating the materials needed for the construction work until their liberality exceeded the necessity. Meanwhile, having entered into treaty with Solomon, King Hiram supplied him with cedar and pinewood from Lebanon as well as skilled artisans.
Question 3: Comment on the attitude of the children of Israel towards giving for the building of the tabernacle?
It is worthy of note that though David was not allowed to build a magnificent temple unto God (1 Kings 5:3; 1 Chronicles 28:2,3), the Lord commended the thought of honouring Him with such a project. “Forasmuch as it was in thine heart to build an house for my name, thou didst well in that it was in thine heart’’ (2 Chronicles 6:8). It is also instructive that David did not frustrate or discourage Solomon from carrying out this divine assignment. Rather, he made provisions for the work.
Like King David, believers ought to be deeply concerned for the church of God, “the pillar and ground of the truth.’’ Again, he was not jealous that his son was God’s preferred choice to build the temple. Therefore, he made some provisions for him. How this contrasts with so-called Christians who would both frustrate the grace of God and noble efforts of other believers in the development of God’s church.
Solomon’s greatest achievement was the construction of the temple. Started in the fourth year of his reign, he completed it in the eleventh year. As believers, we should be ready to give continually in support of God’s work until the task is finished. Giving of our substance to God is an integral part of our worship and devotion to Him. “Honour the LORD with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase: So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine’’ (Proverbs 3:9,10). God’s work done in God’s way will never lack God’s resources.
Question 4: Why should believers give sacrificially to support God’s work?
PURPOSEFUL COMMITMENT TO BUILDING GOD’S SPIRITUAL TEMPLE (2
Chronicles 3:1-17; 4:1-22; 1 Corinthians 3:16,17; 6:15-20)
“And he garnished the house with precious stones for beauty: and the gold was gold of Parvaim.” The Old Testament temple was built with gold, a symbol of quality and purity. Such was the sacredness of the temple built with hands and dedicated to God. As temples indwelt by God, believers ought to be holy unto Him. We must flee adultery, fornication and every sin that defiles the temple of the living God. The true church of Christ is not the physical building but the believers who fellowship therein.
That is why they are likened to the temple of God. If a man-made temple and all its utensils were holy, separated from all common and unholy uses and dedicated alone to the service of God, the bodies of true believers are holy and all their members should be employed for the service of God alone.
Believers have no right over their lives as they are bound to the Lord and also accountable to Him. As a slave purchased by his master is the sole property of the master, so are believers God’s property because they are bought with the precious blood of Jesus Christ. We must therefore employ our spirit, soul and body in the service of our Lord and promote, by all means, the honour and glory of our God.
Question 5: What must the believer do to keep his spiritual temple habitable for Christ?