Today’s Reading: 1 Kings 6:1-7:12 & John 5:16-47
How timely that we find ourselves at this stage in the history of our own church, deep in the passages of 1 Kings where Solomon is building the much awaited temple. This passage about the dwelling place where God would meet with His people is the focus of our FDR, at the very time we as a church community, in July 2016, are celebrating the finalisation on the loan of our own church facility.
For the past 16 years, the leadership at FAC have constantly sought to remind us that our facility has never been about a ‘physical building’ of bricks and mortar. But rather, our building has always been about a place that would be a ‘home base’ for God’s people to gather; a place that would provide a platform for God to work through His people to build His Kingdom through the faithful ministry of a people who seek to have an expanding influence on their city and the nations, with the hope and love of Jesus.
For the people of God during the leadership of Solomon, the building of the temple took a significant time to build … 7 years.
‘The foundation of the temple of the Lord was laid in the fourth year, in the month of Ziv. In the eleventh year in the month of Bul, the eighth month, the temple was finished in all its details according to the specifications. He had spent seven long years building it.’ 6:37-38
Without taking a breath, we then in the next verse, read about how long, and the process it took to build Solomon’s palace; his home versus the home of the Almighty God.
‘It took Solomon thirteen years, however, to complete the construction of his palace.’ 1 Kings 7:1
First reaction … honest reflection … too big, too long in time and obviously too opulent even for a King and his extended family in comparison to the temple for God; the place where multitudes would gather to worship the almighty God.
Surely God’s dwelling place should have been given a higher level of focus and priority than the earthly king at the time?
But like Solomon, we too are reminded of WHO and WHAT the building is for ….
Bottom line … the building of a building never guarantees God’s ‘ presence’ …
For Solomon it was about obedience to God, and for us … obedience to God …
The word of the Lord came to Solomon: “As for this temple you are building, if you follow my decrees, carry out my regulations and keep my commands and obey them, I will fulfil through you the promise I gave to David your father.” 1 Kings 6:12
Paul in his letters to the Corinthians reminds them and us today, that our very bodies are far more precious than bricks and mortar as a dwelling place – that they … we are living temples. God might have brought the Israelites out of slavery into the promised land, but through Christ, He bought us.
Don’t you know that you yourself are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you?’ 1 Cor 3:16
Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honour God with your body. 1 Cor 6:19
And in re-reading the passage, I am reminded that although Solomon’s living quarters exceeded in size God’s dwelling place, the writer gives a greater level of emphasis to describing the temple than he does the accommodation of a human ruler. How easy it is to get caught up in comparing the fairness of size.
In the same way, our perspective must always be more about how spectacular our amazing God is, rather than being distracted by anything this world might offer in physical grandeur.
My prayer … Heavenly Father, continue to lift my gaze beyond the physical of this world to see beyond the ‘bricks and mortar’ of life, to that which has eternal consequences. Amen