Sunday, March 22, 2009

Building the Temple of God

In II Samuel 7 King David expresses his desire to build a temple for God. God corrects David and tells him that he will not build the temple for God but David’s son will build a temple for Him. He will build this temple after David has died. David tells this story in I Chronicles 28 and adds some additional information to the story. David states that God did not want David to build the temple because David was a man of war and God wanted His house to be built by a man of peace. David declares that God chose Solomon, whose name means peace, and the name that God gave him – Jedidiah – means beloved of the Lord. This would be the man that God would raise up to build the temple.

David, accepting the testimony of God, in selecting Solomon, still did everything he could do in collecting materials, gold, and jewels for the building. I Chronicles 22:14-16; I Chronicles 28:14-19; I Chronicles 29:3-5. God gave David the blueprints of the temple through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. I Chronicles 28:11-13. Then in I Chronicles 29 David appeals to his princes, his captains, and the people to offer a willing sacrifice to bring even more provisions to build the Temple. All of the leaders and all of the peoples made a willing sacrifice and gave 5,000 more talents of gold and of silver 10,000 talents, and of brass 18,000 talents, and of iron 100,000 talents. In addition they gave precious stones to the treasury for the building of the Temple. All of these things they gave with a perfect heart. I Chronicles 29:5-9. This offer of the willing heart was a special gift to God and was very similar to the testimony given in Exodus 35:20-36:7.
To this impressive list of things God granted Solomon the gift of wisdom that he may know how to deal the various aspects of building the Temple which in the end would take 7 years. I Kings 6:38. In addition to these gifts Solomon covenanted with Hiram king of Tyre for Cedar trees and Fir trees to cover the stones of the Temple. For these services Solomon would pay Hiram by sending him food for his household. I Kings 5:11.

With all in place Solomon began building the Temple in 480th year since coming out of Egypt in the month of Zif. All of the wise builders in the nation assisted with the building and at this time we have one of the most remarkable feats of building recorded in the Bible. I Kings 6:7 says the following:
"And the house, when it was in building, was built of stone made ready before it was brought thither: so that there was neither hammer nor axe nor any tool of iron heard in the house, while it was in building."

All of the stones and parts of the Temple were cut, and constructed somewhere else so that the sound of building would not be heard on the site of Mt Moriah, the site of the offering of Isaac so many years before. This style of building was to be a symbol of the building of the temple in the heart of man, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Ephesians 2; I Peter 2. All things were to be so conducted as to give insights into the workings of God on the spiritual experience of mankind.
The construction of this building was completed in 7 years in the 11th year in the month of Bul. Solomon chose to wait until the Feast of Tabernacles the next year to conduct the dedication, and will be a separate study on the dedicatory activities for the Temple.

This temple was a testimony to the existence of and the power of the true God of heaven. God gave the blue prints, He gave the resources, and He raised up a man to accomplish this wonderful project. All of these things were to be a testimony of the True Temple that was built by God in heaven. Hebrews 8:2. As He had done with the Tabernacle in the wilderness built by Moses, so God chose to expand upon with the building of the Temple by Solomon. God was the Author and Initiator of all of these things for He wanted to bind the hearts of His people to Him and to explain to the people how and why He did things the way He did. The building of this Temple set the stage for the most glorious period of the reign of Solomon and was blest by the presence and power of God.

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