I remember when the Titanic movie came out. It was during a real pivotal time in my life as a single mom. But I remember enjoying the rendering of a magnificent ship, despite knowing the future and fate in store. Such grandeur to be lost at the bottom of the sea.
So, too, the splendor of Solomon’s temple, palace, and other buildings. How beautiful to capture the elegance, the detail, and the intense labor needed to build such a lavish place for God and the king to reside.
The temple is of central importance to the stories that will unfold during the lifetime of Solomon and the kings to come after him. It’s good for us to be able to imagine in our minds eye how it looked during that time. How fitting that such an account would be available for us today.
The importance and relevance of having this historical reference to a building no longer in existence is powerful. It’s a blessing to have this story to see how elegant and majestic God’s dwelling place was made to be by young Solomon. We no longer have the physical temple we can touch. This can be a part of our history that is never forgotten.
The whole idea of a temple where God resides or doesn’t reside takes on new meaning in the New Testament. John 2:19-22 says, ““All right,” Jesus replied. “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.”
“What!” they exclaimed. “It has taken forty-six years to build this Temple, and you can rebuild it in three days?” But when Jesus said “this temple,” he meant his own body. After he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered he had said this, and they believed both the Scriptures and what Jesus had said.”
Jesus’ own body was the temple. People were incredulous that Jesus could rebuild a temple that had taken 46 years (most recent temple construction). Solomon’s temple had taken less than that to build, even including all of his “extra” buildings.
If we look to the future, the New Jerusalem has no temple. The presence of God and the Lamb take its place (Revelations 22:22-23). There is no more containment. God is everywhere and anywhere. There will be no more need for a temple when Jesus comes again with the New Jerusalem.
Historically speaking, we should be glad we’ve been given such a glimpse into the building of the first temple. God’s residence was so important at that time. It was a way of honoring God, being obedient to his majesty.
How can we honor God with our lives today? He doesn’t need a temple building; he only needs us to live among. Think on that today.
Let’s pray …
Lord, I give you thanks for how you are working in my life, even when I don’t know it’s happening. I want to be faithful to you and your calling on my life. May I honor you in all I say and do this day. In Jesus’ name. Amen.