April 23

Read I Kings 5 -- 7

Solomon used over 183,300 Jews and Gentiles for over seven years to build the Temple (I Kings 5:13-16; 6:38). It was erected on Mount Moriah, one of the hills of Jerusalem, where Abraham had gone to offer Isaac (Genesis 22:1-19). It was also where David had purchased the threshing floor from Araunah (II Samuel 24:18-25; II Chronicles 3:1). The wood for the building was cut from the cedar and fir forests of Lebanon. The stones for the Temples foundation were quarried from beneath Mount Moriah.

Costly materials were lavished upon the Temple but its true beauty and glory was the presence of God, who chose to dwell within the Holy of Holies.

The Temple was built without the noise of craftsmen since the stones were shaped in the quarry and made ready to fit together on Mount Moriah. Neither hammer nor axe nor any tool of iron was heard in the House, while it was in building (I Kings 6:7). This should be a strong reminder to us not to confuse noise for spiritual progress. We tend to measure the importance of things by the excitement they generate. In contrast, we are conformed to the image of His Son (Romans 8:29), not by noisy human activity, but silently by the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit as He perfects day by day His Temple within every believer (II Corinthians 3:18).

The Word of the Lord came to Solomon, saying, Concerning this House which you are building, if you will walk . . . keep all My commandments . . . then I will perform My Word with you . . . And I will dwell among the children of Israel, and will not forsake My people Israel (I Kings 6:11-13). However the promises of God are dependent upon the spiritual conduct of His people. Because Judah (the Southern Kingdom) did evil in the sight of the Lord, Solomon's magnificent Temple was plundered by the Egyptians just five years after his death (14:22,25-26).

The One True God had chosen to dwell in the Temple that was also called the House (I Kings 5:18). It was divided into two rooms. The first room was called the Holy Place and the second room was called the Holy of Holies and contained the Ark of the Covenant of the Lord (I Samuel 4:4). When the Ark of the Covenant, that contained the Word of God was brought into the Holy of Holies, at that moment the cloud of God's presence filled "the house."

Only priests could enter the Temple, and only the High Priest could enter the Holy of Holies once in the year with the blood of the atonement (Exodus 30:10). Christians are not only built up a spiritual house (I Peter 2:5), but He hath made us . . . priests unto God (Revelation 1:6).

There is only one God-inspired Guide on how to please God. Being obedient to what He says is the difference between the religious world and the true Christian, as Jesus said: He that hath My commandments, and keepeth them . . . I will love him, and will manifest Myself to him (John 14:21). The presence of God is experienced by those who recognize that they are lost sinners, repent of their sins, and turn to Christ to save them.

Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years (Revelation 20:6).

Christ Revealed: Through the Temple (I Kings 6). Christ is the true Temple (John 2: 21). God Himself prepared Christ (Hebrews 10:5). Through Christ all have access to God (Romans 5:12; Ephesians 2:18; 3:12).

Word Studies: 5:3 under the soles of his feet means under his control; 5:4 nor evil occurrent means no misfortune confronting me; 6:5 oracle means the two tables of stone inside the Ark of the Covenant in the Holy of Holies; (I Kings 8:9); God cannot be separated from His Word whether spoken or written.

Prayer:

Government Official: Rep. Fred Upton (MI) · BPM Staff: Ken Sharp · Pray for Wallbuilders Inc. and David Barton · Pray for the Bible Pathway International Radio broadcast sponsored by Alva and Betty Good · Country: El Salvador (6 million) in Central America · Major language: Spanish · Some intolerance of Protestants by government officials · 96% Roman Catholic; 3% Protestant · Prayer Suggestion: Lift up your prayers to God with your whole heart (Psalms 119:58,145).

Optional Reading: Acts 24

Memory Verse for the Week: Ecclesiastes 12:13-14