Sunday, April 12, 2009

Solomon - And the Chief Cornerstone

In a previous study we found out that Hiram had had the stones cut for the Temple and had them fitted at one site and then brought to Mount Moriah and put together without tool to give the idea that when the Holy Spirit builds the Temple in the soul of the individual there is no external sound. I Corinthians 6:19.

One of the major issues of any building of this magnitude was that there must be a Cornerstone to support the building. This central stone is the keystone for all of the building. If there is any weakness in this stone then the building will be weak and has the potential to crack and perhaps fall. So in the building of the Temple of God, which Solomon was leading out in, the Cornerstone of this building was of major importance.

Ellen White, in her famous book the Desire of Ages, tells the story of the Cornerstone of the Temple for God that Solomon built. On pages 597-598 she states the following:

"In quoting the prophecy of the rejected stone, Christ referred to an actual occurrence in the history of Israel. The incident was connected with the building of the first temple. While it had a special application at the time of Christ's first advent, and should have appealed with special force to the Jews, it has also a lesson for us. When the temple of Solomon was erected, the immense stones for the walls and the foundation were entirely prepared at the quarry; after they were brought to the place of building, not an instrument was to be used upon them; the workmen had only to place them in position. For use in the foundation, one stone of unusual size and peculiar shape had been brought; but the workmen could find no place for it, and would not accept it. It was an annoyance to them, as it lay unused in their way. Long it remained a rejected stone. But when the builders came to the laying of the corner, they searched for a long time to find a stone of sufficient size and strength, and of the proper shape, to take that particular place, and bear the great weight which would rest upon it. Should they make an unwise choice for this important place, the safety of the entire building would be endangered. They must find a stone capable of resisting the influence of the sun, of frost, and of tempest. Several stones had at different times been chosen, but under the pressure of immense weights they had crumbled to pieces. Others could not bear the test of the sudden atmospheric changes. But at last attention was called to the stone so long rejected. It had been exposed to the air, to sun and storm, without revealing the slightest crack. The builders examined this stone. It had borne every test but one. If it could bear the test of severe pressure, they decided to accept it for the cornerstone. The trial was made. The stone was accepted, brought to its assigned position, and found to be an exact fit. In prophetic vision, Isaiah was shown that this stone was a symbol of Christ. He says:

"Sanctify the Lord of hosts Himself; and let Him be your fear, and let Him be your dread. And He shall be for a sanctuary; but for a stone of stumbling and for a rock of offense to both the houses of Israel, for a gin and for a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem. And many among them shall stumble, and fall, and be broken, and be snared, and be taken." Carried down in prophetic vision to the first advent, the prophet is shown that Christ is to bear trials and tests of which the treatment of the chief cornerstone in the temple of Solomon was symbolic. "Therefore thus saith the Lord God, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious cornerstone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste." Isaiah 8:13-15; 28:16."

We know from Scripture, Hebrews 9:9 that the Temple was a "figure" a parable, to communicate to us spiritual things about how God was going to handle the sin problem. So all the many facets of the Temple are both real and they are symbols to communicate God’s precious ideas to us. Among the many ideas is that of the Cornerstone. As we have seen above the Cornerstone, upon which the weight of the whole building is supported, is none other than Christ for He bears the weight of the all of the sins of the world, as well as all of the blessings of the world. Without Him the whole plan of salvation would fall.

In addition to the above thoughts there are several other thoughts in Scripture that are needed to understand the Cornerstone concept, and expands it further and further. In Job 38:1-6 we find God asking Job "Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? Or who laid the cornerstone thereof?" God was asking Job who created the earth and who laid the cornerstone of the earth. That Cornerstone was Christ as well for He was the Creator of all things and it is He who supports all things. Colossians 1:13-17

God uses the above story to create a mini-parable about "the stone which the builders refused is become the headstone of the corner. This is the Lord’s doing; it is marvelous in our eyes." Psalm 118:22-23. Jesus picks this story up and applies it to Himself in the gospels. This story about Jesus being the rejected Son, the "cornerstone" of the kingdom of His Father in heaven, is repeated in Matthew 21:33-44; Mark 12:1-12; Luke 20:9-18.

In Acts 4:8-12 Peter confronts the Jewish leadership, while being tried for disobeying these very priests by preaching in the temple, claims that the Jewish leadership refused Jesus to be the Cornerstone of the Jewish kingdom, but Peter claims that Jesus is the only one who can grant salvation.

In Ephesians 2:11-22 Paul claims that Jesus is the chief cornerstone of the Christian Temple built upon Himself as the Cornerstone, and the apostles and prophets being the foundations. This temple is to consist of the blending of Jews and Gentiles into one church.
Peter picks this same thought up and repeats it in I Peter 2:5-10. Again Peter claims that Jesus is the cornerstone of the Living Temple of God. Peter claims that the people of God are the living stones of this temple, stones made alive by the power of God and built to be a living temple of worship to God and service to men.

Thus the Bible confirms that this Cornerstone is Christ, and it is only upon Him that any spiritual building can safely be placed. In Matthew 16:18 Jesus states "And I say unto thee, that thou are Peter, and upon this rock (the chief cornerstone) I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." Jesus is the Solid Rock, The Chief Cornerstone. As the Temple built by Solomon was placed on the solid rock that had been rejected by the builders, so God’s Temple, that He built, was built upon the Chief Cornerstone, that stood all of the tests of life, and His building was sure.

Today with the information from above, I pray that you will choose to allow Him to incorporate you into His Holy Living Temple, the one that the Temple that Solomon built, was a symbol of. Ask Him not to forgive you, cleanse you, polish you, and place you in His Holy Temple. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.

1 comment:

  1. Ask Him 'not' is a typo in next to last sentence of this study. Can this be corrected?

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