Memory Verse: “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).
TEXT: 1 Kings 5:1-18; 6:1-38; 2 Chronicles 2:1-18; 3:1-17; 4:1-22
One of David’s greatest desires had been to build a temple for God. Even though God referred to him as a man after His own heart, He did not allow David to build the temple. “And David said to Solomon, My son, as for me, it was in my mind to build an house unto the name of the Lord my God: But the word of the Lord came to me, saying, Thou hast shed blood abundantly, and hast made great wars: thou shalt not build an house unto my name, because thou hast shed much blood upon the earth in my sight” (1 Chronicles 22:7,8). Approximately four years had passed since Solomon became king. With his throne firmly established, Solomon now began the building of the temple that was completed within seven years and it was magnificent.
Question 1a: What do you understand by the word “Temple”?
1b: Mention other names for temple in the Bible.
A temple is a place of worship where sacrifices are offered, prayers made to God and God’s mind revealed to the worshippers. A type of such place of worship was raised in the wilderness called the Tabernacle. (Exodus 25:9- 40). Solomon’s temple was pointing to the true temple to come, that is Jesus Christ. “Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up. But he spake of the temple of his body” (John 2:19,21).
Today, all true Christians are the temple where the Holy Ghost resides. Christian youths therefore, must take heed to what they do with their body. “What? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s” (1 Corinthians 6:19,20).
DETERMINATION TO BUILD THE TEMPLE (1 Kings 5:1-18; 2 Chronicles 2:1-18; Genesis 6:13-16; Exodus 3:7-10; Matthew 10:7-11; John 6:9)
“And Solomon determined to build an house for the name of the Lord, and an house for his kingdom” (2 Chronicles 2:1). Solomon, like David his father, had determination to build the temple for the Lord. His determination was revealed in his correspondence1 with Hiram, the king of Tyre who sent his servants to Solomon to congratulate him for being anointed as king over Israel (1 Kings 5:1). The moment king Hiram’s servants delivered the congratulatory message to Solomon; he sent a letter to king Hiram expressing his plan to build a temple for the Lord. “And Solomon sent to Huram the king of Tyre, saying, As thou didst deal with David my father, and didst send him cedars to build him an house to dwell therein, even so deal with me. Behold, I build an house to the name of the Lord my God, to dedicate it to him, and to burn before him sweet incense, and for the continual shewbread, and for the burnt offerings morning and evening, on the sabbaths, and on the new moons, and on the solemn feasts of the Lord our God. This is an ordinance for ever to Israel” (2 Chronicles 2:3,4).
Solomon wasted no time but immediately enjoined king Hiram to partner with him in sending materials needed for the 1 The activities of writing letters building from Lebanon through his servants to Israel. Solomon sent thirty thousand men from all of Israel to help harvest the wood from Lebanon. They were divided into three shifts. The shifts alternated monthly so that the men spent one month in Lebanon and two months at home during the years it took to hewn the wood (1 Kings 5:13-14). He also raised more than one hundred and fifty thousand labourers from the descendants of the previous inhabitants of the land. These labourers quarried and transported all the stones for the temple (2 Chronicles 2:17,18).
Besides, he sent twenty thousand measures of wheat for food and twenty measures of pure oil to Hiram yearly for the period of building of the temple (1 Kings 5:11). So Solomon and the Israelites provided a worthy dwelling place for their God. The temple they built was indeed magnificent. The Bible records many characters that God gave special assignments which they carried out with determination and full concentration. This commitment is expected of Christian youths in the church today.
Question 2: Mention some Bible characters given special assignments like Solomon?
Some of the Bible characters God gave special assignment like Solomon include Noah who built the Ark; Moses who led Israel out of Egypt; Nehemiah who rebuilt the broken wall of Jerusalem; John the Baptist who was sent to prepare the way of the Lord. Just as in the time of Solomon, many districts and groups are raising edifice to the glory of
God and Christian youths should not leave themselves out of building the house of God.
Question 3: How can Christian youths be involved in the building of the house of God today?
Christian youths can contribute financially, physically by joining the labourers at weekends and by praying for provision and God’s protection over all labourers involving in the building.
DESCRIPTION OF THE TEMPLE (1 Kings 6:1-38; 2 Chronicles 3:1-17; 4:1-22; 1 Chronicles 28:11,12,19; Habakkuk 1:13; 2 Timothy 2:19-22).
“And it came to pass in the four hundred and eightieth year after the children of Israel were come out of the land of Egypt, in the fourth year of Solomon’s reign over Israel, in the month Zif, which is the second month, that he began to build the house of the Lord” (1 Kings 6:1). The temple is described as the house of the Lord and not Solomon’s house. Every aspect of the temple therefore must represent the character of God which is holiness since the entire description came from God to David and then to Solomon. “Then David gave to Solomon his son the pattern of the porch, and of the houses thereof, and of the treasuries thereof, and of the upper chambers thereof, and of the inner parlours thereof, and of the place of the mercy seat, and the pattern of all that he had by the spirit, of the courts of the house of the Lord, and of all the chambers round about, of the treasuries of the house of God, and of the treasuries of the dedicated thing. All this, said David, the Lord made me understand in writing by his hand upon me, even all the works of this pattern” (1 Chronicles 28:11,12,19).
The temple Solomon built was beautiful and glorious. It was the dwelling place of the invisible God who is “..of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on iniquity..” (Habakkuk 1:13). Virtually all the parts, utensils, altars, courts, etc. were either made of or overlaid with gold, a symbol of holiness. No wonder the Psalmist said, “Thy testimonies are very sure: holiness becometh thine house, O Lord, for ever” (Psalm 93:5).
Question 4: What must characterise the lives of youths worshipping God in the temple today?
Their lives must be characterised with holiness and righteousness (2 Timothy 2:19-22). The Temple was twice as big as the Tabernacle and had an outer supporting wall with rooms on three levels (1 Kings 6:1–10). It was built from pieces exactly cut away from the site and assembled without the sound of working tools. The house was built in silence. During the construction, a prophetic word came to Solomon that God’s presence with Israel depended on Solomon’s political, spiritual leadership and following God’s commands (1 Kings 6:11–13).
The house was built mainly of cedar, overlaid with gold, decorated with images of gourds and flowers (1 Kings 6:14–22). Two cherubims, 15 feet high, were made with wings 7.5 feet long and covered with gold (verses 6:23–28). They were placed in the Holy of Holies facing each other with their wings arching over the Ark of the Covenant, touching each other and also touching the outer walls. The entrance to the holy place was closed by doors made of cyprus and carved with cherubim, palm trees and flowers (1 Kings 6:29– 36). The building was completed in 7 years (1 Kings 6:37–38).
The wonder of this temple while in building was that no noise of hammer or other iron tools were heard in it. “And the house, when it was in building, was built of stone made ready before it was brought thither: so that there was neither hammer nor axe nor any tool of iron heard in the house, while it was in building” (1 Kings 6:7). This signifies reverence that should be given to the place of worship.
Question 5a: What lesson can we draw from silence maintained by the builders of the temple in 1Kings 6:7?
“But the Lord is in his holy temple: let all the earth keep silence before him”
(Habakkuk 2:20). Christian youths are to reverence God by maintaining quietness in His house. All act of noise-making, playing games during service, chatting with friends and eating in the house of God pollute our services before the Lord.
CHRIST: THE TRUE TEMPLE (Hebrews 9:1-11; John 2:19,21; 1 Corinthians 3:16; 1 Corinthians 6:19; Ephesians 2:21; Revelation 21:21,22).
The Tabernacle raised by Moses in the wilderness was a symbol of the Temple that Solomon later built. In the same vein, Solomon’s Temple was a shadow of the true and living Temple to come. “But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building” (Hebrews 9:11). Christ is the true Temple not made with hand. He spoke of the temple of His body when talked to the religious leaders of His day concerning the temple in Jerusalem: “Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up. But he spake of the temple of his body” (John 2:19,21). In Him dwells the fullness of the Godhead bodily. Through Him we have access with confidence to God.
As a sinner repents and accepts Christ as his Lord and Saviour, he becomes a living temple in whom the Spirit of God dwells. “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?” (1 Corinthians 3:16). This new creature in Christ automatically becomes the temple of the Holy Ghost. Believers are not only wonderfully made by divine providence, but are fearfully made anew by divine grace. The body of Christ, that is the Church, becomes holy temple in the Lord. “In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord” (Ephesians 2:21).
Question 5b: How can a Christian youth keeps his body as a temple of the Holy Ghost?
“For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s” (1 Corinthians 6:20). Christian youths can maintain their bodies as God’s temple by living righteously and taking proper care of themselves.