Building the Temple
Open Your Bible
1 Kings 5:13-18, 1 Kings 6:1-38, 1 Kings 7:1-51, Leviticus 26:11-13, Ephesians 2:19-22
I love looking at real estate online. I love flipping open an app and scanning houses both nearby and far away, homes that I might one day be able to afford (probably not), and dream about the parties I could host, the backyard adventures my kids could have, and the ideal life one of these houses would surely provide me.
Currently, I live in a very nice house that we built a few years ago. We chose the finishes and the floors, everything down to the grout. I love every room, and it is more than I ever could have imagined owning. And yet, I spend a lot of time window shopping for a new house. My heart beats to the rhythm of what’s next, what’s better, what would make my life more. More what? I don’t always know. But I am always chasing it.
Solomon built an extravagant temple for the Lord. Every detail mattered, the length of the doorways and the beveled frames for each window. It mattered where the stones were finished (at the quarry) and how gold was overlaid on the interior walls. We know the details mattered because they are written in Scripture, in God’s revelation to His people. The temple was a stunning architectural achievement, built with detail for the holy God of Israel.
And yet, Solomon kept building. This time, he built for himself. He was chasing more. It took twenty years to build God’s temple and then Solomon’s palace. Solomon’s story will unfold over the next few chapters of 1 Kings, but we start to see glimpses here of what is to come. Solomon’s itch for more—a bigger palace, more wives, places of worship for other gods—begins to present itself, and it will slowly unravel his kingship.
King Solomon was on top of his world. He was the most famous, wealthiest, wisest king in all the earth. But his need for more would eventually be his undoing. In 1 Kings 6:13, God made this promise to Solomon: “If you walk in my statutes, observe my ordinances, and keep all my commands by walking in them, I will fulfill my promise to you, which I made to your father David. I will dwell among the Israelites and not abandon my people Israel.”
Solomon didn’t keep God’s commands, but the Lord did keep His promise. I think we will always itch for more until the fulfillment of God’s kingdom, when all tears will dry and we will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. That is the house I should crave, not this world’s version of a perfect home or false security. I want to crave the perfect peace, righteousness, and future that God promises me through Jesus. One day in His presence is better than a thousand elsewhere (Psalm 84:10). May God continue to make over my heart with a longing for Him and His house alone.