Last week, in Building Solomon’s Temple, Part 3, we discovered that we need to make room for God in our heart-temples, and we need to lay a firm foundation for our heart-temples by following Jesus and obeying His commands.
Does the building of the temple proper have lessons for us as well?
It is interesting to note that in the accounts of the temple building, the writer did not separate the construction from its decoration:
“The portico at the front of the temple was twenty cubits long across the width of the building and twenty cubits high. He overlaid the inside with pure gold. He paneled the main hall with juniper and covered it with fine gold and decorated it with palm tree and chain designs. He adorned the temple with precious stones…” (2Chr 3:4-6, NIV2)
Why is this significant?
Because the temple wasn’t just about walls. This perfect cube that was the most holy place, and the walls that made up the holy place, with the beautiful, elaborate curtain that separated the two, were there for one purpose: To reflect the glory of God. To best do so, they were overlaid with gold and precious stones.
Our heart-temples need to serve exactly the same purpose: They need to reflect the glory of God. People are watching us, and it is by our actions that they will be drawn to Jesus. If our heart-temple walls are adequately covered with gold and precious stones, then they will reflect God’s glory, and people will notice.
I’ve known and preached this for many years; but I have to admit that sometimes I have to wonder if all this “reflecting Jesus” really makes a difference. Just yesterday, I received an email from someone who was one of the first to know about my cancer in 2012. In her email, my friend stated that her own faith in God had been renewed and strengthened as a result of watching me go through cancer. Tears ran down my cheeks as I reread this, and I suddenly understood what it means to build and decorate the walls of my heart-temple: It means to live life in such a way that we are constantly reflecting Jesus. Even though we may sometimes fail, when God resides in our heart-temples, the world will not only see, but they will take notice.
The next part of the construction involved the construction of the temple furnishings, and is described in 2 Chron. 4:1-8: “He made a bronze altar twenty cubits long, twenty cubits wide and ten cubits high. He made the Sea of cast metal…He then made ten basins for washing and placed five on the south side and five on the north…He made ten gold lampstands according to the specifications for them and placed them in the temple, five on the south side and five on the north. He made ten tables and placed them in the temple, five on the south side and five on the north. He also made a hundred gold sprinkling bowls.” (2Chr 4:1-8, NIV2)
Though books could be written about the significance of each of these pieces of furniture, their importance to our heart-temples has already been addressed in great detail in the Wilderness Instructions mini-series (See Wilderness Instructions). However, we need to continually be reminded of the fact that our heart-temples are to reflect Jesus in every possible way. We are to be His lamps to the world. We are to feed the hungry, both spiritually and physically. We are to allow His salvation to work itself out in our lives. We are to be intercessors for the world.
Friends, let us take seriously the construction of our heart-temples. Let us clear our heart of other concerns so that God can have ALL of it. Let us lay a firm foundation: Jesus Christ. Let us continually reside in His presence so that we can truly reflect Him to the World. Let us spread the gospel, feed the hungry, and pray for the world, for in so doing, we are truly allowing God’s glory to reflect off our temples to the world.
So far in this series of studies on the significance of temples in the Bible, we have looked at the tabernacle in the wilderness (See Wilderness Instructions), we have looked at Ezekiel’s temple (See Lessons From Ezekiel’s Temple) and the current study, Building Solomon’s Temple. We are taught, however, that each of these earthly temples has been modeled after the Heavenly temple. Just what does the Bible have to say about this magnificent structure? Be sure to watch in the upcoming months for the mini-series that will complete this current temple series: The Heavenly Temple.
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.)