Read 1 Kings 5 -- 7
In Today's Reading:
Thousands of men are drafted to prepare timber and hew stones to build the House of God l In the spring of the fourth year of Solomon's reign, he begins the actual construction l They build a Temple of worship twice the size of the Tabernacle l Solomon also builds his own palace.
Verses for Today:
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 . . . he began to build the House of the Lord. . . . And in the eleventh year . . . was the House finished (1 Kings 6:1).
Solomon used over 183,300 Jews and Gentiles over seven years to build the Temple (1 Kings 5:13-16; 6:38). It was erected on Mount Moriah, one of the hills of Jerusalem, the one where Abraham had gone to offer Isaac (Genesis 22:1-19). It was also on the site of Araunah's threshing floor which David purchased for 50 shekels of silver (2 Samuel 24:18-25; 2 Chronicles 3:1). The wood for the building was cut from the cedar and fir forests of Lebanon. The stones for the Temple's 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 masterful craftmanship of the architects and builders, which was given by God, showed great expertise because the huge stones were cut and shaped before bringing them to the building site. Thus, the Temple was built without the noise of cutting and fitting at the Temple itself. Neither hammer nor axe nor any tool of iron [was] heard in the House, while it was in building (1 Kings 6:7). This should be a strong reminder to us not to confuse noise with 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 Holy Spirit as He indwells every believer, which is His Temple (2 Corinthians 3:18).
The Word of the Lord came to Solomon, saying, Concerning this House which [you are] building, if [you will] . . . 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 (1 Kings 6:11-13). God makes it clear that His promises are dependent upon the spiritual conduct of His people If [you] . . . keep all My Commandments . . . then . . . I . . . will not forsake My 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 (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 of Hosts (1 Samuel 4:4). At the moment the Ark of the Covenant that contained the Word of God was brought into the Holy of Holies, 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 into God's presence once in the year with the blood of the . . . atonement (Exodus 30:10).
Just think how blessed Christians are! 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; see also 3:17; 2 Corinthians 6:16; Ephesians 2:21).
Through the Temple (1 Kings 6). Christ is the true Temple (John 2:21). God Himself prepared Christ's body (Hebrews 10:5). Through Christ all may have access to God (Romans 5:12-21; Ephesians 2:18).
5:3 under the soles of his feet = under his control; 5:4 evil occurrent = misfortune; 5:13 levy = forced labor; 6:2 a cubit = about 18 inches; 6:5 oracle = Holy of Holies; Oracle in 1 Kings 8:9 as the two tables of stone. God cannot be separated from His Word whether spoken or written; 6:38 Month of Bul = October/November; 7:4 ranks = rows; 7:9 coping = the top, the highest, coarse of stone; 7:14 cunning = skilled.
Government Official: Rep. Fred Upton (MI) · Pray for one another · Country: Cambodia (12 million) in Southeast Asia · Major languages: Khmer and French · Confused and unsettled at this time · 88% Buddhist; 3% animism and spirit worship; 2% Muslim; .6% Roman Catholic/Protestant · Prayer Suggestion: Commit your fears to the Lord and He will give you peace (Proverbs 3:24-26).
Optional Reading: Acts 24
Memory Verse for the Week: Psalms 119:165