Throughout the fall of 2013, the Nugget featured a series that looked in depth at the instructions given to Moses in the wilderness for the construction of the tabernacle. We came to understand through this study that each instruction speaks to us of our heart-temples, and each part points to the Lord Jesus Christ, the greatest Sacrifice ever given. (Click here to access the series.)
There are also other references to temple building in the Bible. One such set of instructions is given in the book of Ezekiel, where elaborate detail is given for a temple that has, to date, not been constructed. This set of temple instructions was the subject of a series published in the Nugget a few years ago, and you can access it by clicking here: Lessons From Ezekiel’s Temple.
After the construction of the tabernacle in the wilderness, the next set of instructions for temple building was for the construction of Solomon’s temple. This current 4-part study will look directly at the lessons that can be learned from Solomon and his temple construction, and what they mean for our heart-temples today.
Solomon’s temple was the glory of Israel. The Bible dedicates 5 chapters to its construction: 1 Kings 5,6, and 2 Chron 2-4. However, any good discussion of the building of Solomon’s temple must begin a little earlier in history, for although Solomon did a few things to prepare for its construction, the majority of the preparation work was actually done by his father, David.
1 Chron. 28 tells us that the preparation for Solomon’s temple was so important to David that he called on a large assembly to announce his plans: “Daivd summoned all the officials of Israel to assemble at Jerusalem…” (1 Chron 28:1a NIV). If you read on through the verse, you come to understand that there was actually quite an assembly that gathered, and by reading through actual announcement given by David, we catch a glimpse of just how important this temple was to him:
“Then David gave his son Solomon the plans for the portico of the temple, its buildings, its storerooms, its upper parts, its inner rooms and the place of atonement. He gave him the plans of all that the Spirit had put in his mind for the courts of the temple of the Lord and all the surrounding rooms, for the treasuries of the temple of God and for the treasures for the dedicated things… ‘all this,’ David said, ‘I have in writing from the hand of the Lord upon me, and He gave me understanding in all the details of the plan!'” (1 Chron 28: 11-12, 19)
Why would David do this? Why would he spend time preparing for a temple at all, especially when God wouldn’t let him build it? Why did Solomon also spend so much time in preparation as well? Why does the Bible go into such detail?
The answer to these questions is simple: It is because the preparation for building Solomon’s temple was important. The plans David made were perhaps seen by him as his most important accomplishment.
Isn’t it true that everything we do in life requires some preparation? That the bigger the event, the more elaborate the plans? Just think about the preparation that goes into a move, a wedding, a family gathering, even a trip or a backyard barbeque. The list could go on, but the point is, the important things we do in life require preparation.
It’s true that other than Ezekiel’s temple, which has not yet been built, God has given us no recent temple-building instructions. This is because God’s presence now resides in our hearts: “And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.” (Ephesians 2:22 NIV); but just because God is now interested in spiritual temples, or what I have coined “heart-temples,” this doesn’t mean that the preparation is any less important. Just as David, and later Solomon, spent years preparing plans and gathering materials for the building of Solomon’s temple, we, too, must prepare for the building of our heart-temples.
Join us next week to find out: Building Solomon’s Temple, Part 2: Assembling the Materials.
In His love,
Lyn Chaffart, Speech-Language Pathologist, mother of two, Author — “Aboard God’s Train — A Journey With God Through the Valley of Cancer”, Author and Moderator for The Nugget, a tri-weekly internet newsletter, and Scriptural Nuggets, a website devoted to Christian devotionals and inspirational poems, with Answers2Prayer Ministries. Follow Lyn on Twitter @lynchaffart.
(To access the entire “Building Solomon’s Temple” mini-series, please click here.)