Last week, in Building Solomon’s Temple, Part 2, we discovered that we prepare the building of our heart-temples by giving of all that is precious to us to the Lord. But are there lessons we can learn from the actual construction of Solomon’s temple?
Every new home owner has likely heard it said that the three most important things to think about when buying your new home are: location, location, and location!
It was no different in Solomon’s day. Location was absolutely everything, and Solomon knew it: “Then Solomon began to build the temple of the LORD in Jerusalem on Mount Moriah, where the LORD had appeared to his father David. It was on the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite, the place provided by David.” (2Chr 3:1, NIV2)
But wait. Aren’t our heart-temples supposed to be built in our hearts?
Exactly! Location is everything! Just like Solomon was careful to build the temple in the exact location where God had appeared to his father, we must also build our heart-temples in the place where God appears to us: In our hearts!
Notice that Solomon didn’t just build the temple on a corner of what had been Araunah’s threshing floor. He took the whole area. The problem with our hearts is that they are usually too full of worldly things to allow for them to become God’s primary residence. Though most of us give Him a tiny bit of room, the pursuits of worldly wealth and happiness often occupy the most important parts. Just as Solomon took the whole of Araunah’s threshing floor, we need to make God our first priority.
How do we do this?
Jesus gives us some practical advice: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.” (Matt 16:24, NIV2); and “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” (Matt 19:21, NIV2)
Thus, to make room for God in our heart-temples, we need to rid ourselves of what is important to us and give to the poor.
After carefully choosing the location of the temple, Solomon set about its construction. We see that he did this in several parts:
1. Foundation (2 Chr 3:3, NIV2)
2. Walls, Rooms, and Decor (2 Chr 3:8)
3. Courtyard (2 Chr 4:9)
4. Furnishings (2 Chr 3:4-5, 4:1-7)
Today we will look at the first part of the construction, the foundation: “The foundation Solomon laid for building the temple of God was sixty cubits long and twenty cubits wide (using the cubit of the old standard).” (2 Chr 3:3, NIV2)
No one would risk putting hours of work into building a house if it lacks a solid, immovable foundation. In fact, the foundation is so important that Jesus gave us a parable to help us understand: “…a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built…a man…built a house on the ground without a foundation. The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete.” (Luke 6:48,49)
What is this “firm foundation” for our heart temples?
The answer is Jesus! “Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say? As for everyone who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice, They are like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock.” (Luke 6:48, NIV2)
Friends, when we build our lives upon Jesus, carefully following all of His teachings, we are building our heart-temples upon the Solid Rock that will prevail against any storm of life.
Please join us next week to see what we can learn from Solomon’s construction of the walls, the courtyard, the decor and the furniture: Building Solomon’s Temple, Part 4.
In His love,
Lynona Gordon 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.)