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.

(42) Comments

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42 thoughts on "Building the Temple"

  1. Angela Greenwood says:

    Sometimes we have to stop seeking more. Sometimes more material things can take us away from God not closer. In all things let us strive to move closer to God.

  2. Dashley Venezario says:

    What I love about this chapter in the book is the way that God explain every detail and what it is for it shows that he does care about the little things and it is of importance

  3. N H says:

    I know that what’s to come next has been spoiled, like we all know that it goes down hill from here. But let me sit here for a minute and consider the devotion and detail that was taken for the Lord’s temple. Obvi I hate the slave workers part. I want to look at the dedication and detail of worshiping God, of establishing a place for people to gather to look to Him, for care in the decision for stones to be prepared at the quarry so that the noise wouldn’t be brought to the temple, the beautiful wood (I can almost smell the cedar!) and carvings for the temple. Not gonna lie, I almost want to build my own little sacred space for worship, how can it not bring you to just stand in awe of Him.

  4. Danya says:

    Dear Taylor

    I feel your anxiety. I am wondering if it could be that he is scared because of all that’s happening. I Don’t know your age but I’m going to assume you are a young couple.

    Maybe an older more mature couple in your church who is very seasoned In the word could be your place of safety where you both could ask the questions that evoke those strong emotions. Be patient and ask the Lord to help you to see and hear with your heart rather than your eyes and ears. Pray for a heart of understanding and wisdom. Don’t make any decisions about your friendship when you are frustrated.

    I’ll pray for wisdom and His peace that passes all understanding for you both

  5. Lauren Glenn says:

    Thank you for the comments about Solomon’s priorities in building the temple and his home! Setting aside the fact that he seemed to be striving towards his own ambition rather than God’s, it’s also true that the temple built to house the presence of the Lord was unfathomably ornate. This is what struck me – that there was so much detail and care that went into the design and structure of this building. It makes sense, I mean this is where the spirit of the Lord was going to dwell! But what is even more striking to me is that we are now the temple – “In him you also are being built into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit” (Eph. 2:22). What does this say about us? I think it has implications about the way we treat ourselves, both our bodies and our minds, and the way we interact with the world. In the old covenant, people traveled to the temple to just be near the presence of the Lord. Now, the presence of the Lord dwells in us – not only are we mysteriously melded with his presence, but we now are the temple that brings the presence of the Lord to the people. People no longer travel long distances to be in the presence of the Lord – we have the honor of carrying the presence of the Lord to them, and by the grace of God they might even catch a glimpse of His holiness, perfection, and grace. We are SO blessed that the Lord would choose our broken bodies and souls to be His dwelling place – what an honor! How amazing is it that we are continually cleaned by the blood of Christ to the point that the perfect Spirit can dwell in us – that we can house the presence of the Lord. This changes the way I see myself, the way I understand how God knows and interacts with me, and how I understand my purpose in the world. Even on the most banal of days, I walk around bringing the Spirit of God to others. How remarkable!

    1. Jennifer Anapol says:

      Thank you so much for your insights and tying both the old and New Testament verses together:)

  6. Lauren Glenn says:

    Thank you for the comments about Solomon’s priorities in building the temple and his home!

  7. Taylor Bush says:

    Hi everyone this doesn’t have too much to do with the topic for today but I’m just praying someone can shine a light my way:

    My boyfriend talks to me daily about things he reads and sees happening in the world confirming that the end is here… I’ve read revelations after a long time of being afraid of it and finally found peace through the SRT bible study of it. He just keeps on pressing it and I don’t know how to respond. It’s frustrating me because I just don’t know what I’m supposed to do with the information he brings to me and I don’t want to offend him or our God by saying he’s being paranoid. I know all I can do is be aware of the signs and prepare my heart daily. He just scares me because I don’t know what else or what exactly I’m supposed to do. Does anyone have any sort of advice? I’m afraid this could be something we end our relationship over.

  8. Karen says:

    Thank you Sarah for that wonderful visual and explanations in the video you shared! Every time I have read the story of the temple I try to picture it in my mind but this makes it so much easier to visualize!
    Also, I couldn’t help but notice a few underlying threads of disobedience in Solomon’s behavior through yesterday’s and today’s Bible reading. Both stated verses that reminded us Solomon married Pharoah’s daughter, an Egyptian, which would have been against God’s law. The second was the yearning for more and for himself as Melanie explained. I also love the associations between the old testament stories and the new-it pulls everything together in the Bible and makes the Old Testament seem so relevant to today’s world!

    1. Jennifer Anapol says:

      Thank you for sharing your insights Karen. It doesn’t matter how closely we are following the Lord, the enemy can still creep in and cause us to slowly turn away from God.

  9. Camille English Davis says:

    I too am a lover of real estate. I find myself one minute dreaming of living on a farm with a large vegetable garden and fruiting plants. Minutes later I’m living in a city townhouse over looking a great river. This lesson is such a good reminder to be content with the Lord’s many blessings.

  10. Melissa Graves says:

    I have found that as I get older and draw closer to the Lord, things hold far less allure than they once did. Delighting in Him is far superior to anything the world has to offer. I’ve always known that intellectually but it has truly become my experience over time, by His grace. It’s really all about Him ❤️

  11. Alexis says:

    Hi Cassie,

    I am so sorry that you’re dealing with this. I’ve struggled with anxiety too and know how debilitating it can be. Know that I am lifting you in prayer- to be healed of your anxiety and to receive the peace of God. This verse keeps coming to my mind for you: “casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.”
    1 Peter 5:7 ESV
    Tell God everything. Let him carry you through. He loves you so much.<3

  12. DebRN says:

    Cassie, Thank you for sharing your need. I join the others in lifting you up to Jesus. Our summer has been: cancer, cancer, death and a wedding. I just asked that He would be with me in every moment. The events will unfold. And He is Faithful. When I needed to be courageous and calm, I was. I asked trusted friends to pray for me. I find it so helpful to write in a gratitude journal everyday. It contains my thanks and prayers, sorrows and joys. Keep reading and let us know how you are. Anxiety is common to man. It is not just you. I regard it in the verse that says sin is crouching at the door and you must master it. You are enough, dear Cassie, and God will provide your need.

  13. Sarah says:

    I’ve read these passages about the temple a dozen times or more but never really had a clear picture in my mind. Here’s a terrific short video explaining the significance of various elements and what the temple would have looked like.

  14. Brandy says:

    Praying for you Cassie. God is amazing. He does not require you to be strong enough to overcome this, He only asks for you to be still and to trust Him. Your faithfulness and your obedience to Him will get you through this. I pray that He calms your heart and you can find peace in times of stress and in new social situations!
    Have a blessed day.

  15. Cassie says:

    Just wanted to ask for a prayer since I know you lovely ladies are so good to lift each other’s needs up! I’ve been struggling a lot with anxiety lately. As a young working mom, I think I’ve been putting a lot of stress on myself lately and I just feel like I’ve cracked. My stomach is a mess often, and I just feel like my brain is overloaded. I’ve had some social anxiety for a long time. But lately it’s gotten worse. I think the stress is making it worse. My mom invited me out for lunch and a quick shopping trip yesterday. I went, but by the time I was done I felt completely exhausted and my stomach was a mess the rest of the day. I don’t want to be controlled by stress and anxiety. Please pray that I can find better ways to manage my stress and to not allow fear to stop me from social situations. I know this can get better, I know God can heal me, but even if it lasts for awhile, I want to find the purpose of this and serve Him through it. Thank you so much ladies, I am praying for all of you today. You are a blessing!

    1. Melissa Graves says:

      I’m praying for you, sweet Cassie, that you will find rest and peace in Him and that He will show you how to effectively deal with the causes of your stress. ❤️

    2. Courtney Moore says:

      Cassie I definitely dealt with this as a first time working mom. It is tough! I tried to make sure that I rose before my baby … even just a few minutes to pray and meditate in order to calm my nerves and my soul. I drank less coffee,( but still some of course), walked during my lunch break… even if was five minutes… then went to my doctor who prescribed me anti anxiety medication. I am sorry that I waited so long for this final step… but a little medication with all of the above made a world of difference.
      Praying for you and standing in solidarity ❤️

    3. Annette Kendall says:

      Cassie- I am praying for you and have struggled very similarly myself as a working mom with two littles. You are not alone and we have a gracious and loving father God who is so much bigger than the trials that we face, and loves us so much to carry our burdens. May you get a new vision of how great God is and may the Holy Spirit work in a new way to breathe life and hope into every cell of our bodies and calm our hearts and minds.

  16. Beatrice Laurien-Honorius says:

    I want so many things and when I don’t or can’t I get devastated but learning from the word of God all I want is to please God and for him to find me as a broken person and for him to put me together. I want to be whole. I want to hear from him and follow him all the days of my life.

    1. Melissa Graves says:

      Beatrice Lauren-Honorius, He is and He will.

  17. Kristi L says:

    At first I also thought that Solomon taking 13 years to build his palace meant that’s where his priority was. However, I found several commentaries that said just the opposite. Here’s one:

    “Solomon was building his own house thirteen years—The time occupied in building his palace was nearly double that spent in the erection of the temple [1Ki 6:38], because neither had there been the same previous preparations for it, nor was there the same urgency as in providing a place of worship, on which the national well-being so much depended.”

    Just wanted to share another perspective. :)

  18. Kelly Chataine says:

    Psalm 67
    May God be gracious to us and bless us and make His face shine on us
    so that Your ways may be known on earth, Your salvation among all nations.
    May the peoples praise You, God; may all the peoples praise You.
    May the nations be glad and sing for joy, for You rule the peoples with equity and guide the nations of the earth.
    May the peoples praise You, God; may all peoples praise You.
    The land yields its harvest; God, our God, blesses us.
    May God bless us still, so that all the ends of the earth will fear Him.

    1. GramsieSue . says:

      Perfect prayer for these crazy times we live in!

  19. Angie says:

    My mind is muddled with thoughts all-over-the-place this morning. I giggle slightly because I am a teacher of young children and their minds are often all-over-the-place most of the time. My work day is in the realm of the 5-10 minute attention span – is it contagious I wonder?…but I digress – see…

    Thought 1: They sure spent a lot of time and money making pomegranates, gourds, flower blossoms, (the cherub I kind of get), lions, palm trees, etc., out of precious metals to decorate God’s house and Solomon’s house. That must have been what seemed important to them at that time. Hmmm, what seems important to us to me, in our culture today…and is it really?

    Thought 2: I like my home, a lot. My husband and I have worked hard to build it and improve it through the years. There are many memories and blessings evident in this place. It is not fancy, but we hope you would feel welcomed and cared for here. And yet, even while we do little-this and that’s, to make it more easily livable as we age, it is just our earthly home. Our true HOME, resting place, is in Jesus. Someday we will be with Him forever, face to face, in His presence. Until that day, I pray our hands are open-palms up, in this earthly home He has provided; very thankful, yet not holding tight or making it what is important here. I pray for a heart and mind to love the Giver more than the gift. I pray for hands that pour out and welcome-in, in love, not building up my own temporary castle here. I want the wisdom of Solomon, but more, true wisdom that stays grounded in Jesus (that can be a minute by minute battle sometimes). And yet, while I don’t like being a warrior, that is one battle I want to fight to win – (armor me up God, for only in You is there victory)!

    Thought 3: Is scary, and ties Solomon’s life and my A.W. Tozer reading together. Tozer’s reading was titled, “The Deadening Effect of Religious Make-Believe.” He questions the effect on lost people that professed Christians have who habitually ignore the commandments of Christ and live after their own private notions of Christianity. Christians who visit Truth, but do not live it, because of the cost.
    Solomon began humble and devoted following in his father, David’s footsteps in honoring God. Certainly in our reading today it showed a heart that longed to do good for God…but then “he” got in the way and that “I did it, and it was good!” attitude took over so, “he” continued building…this time a house for himself. In the future we will see that he continued to get sidetracked along the way with power, wives, and riches.
    Success is a dangerous thing, unless we are able to lay down .ALL glory for ALL successes in the hands of God. Motivation…heart priority is the key. NOTHING can come before, NOTHING-NO ONE can be placed on the throne of my heart, except Jesus.
    In this “good girl” heart, the slope can be so subtle I don’t always know it is happening right away. Thank you God, thank you Lord, for drawing us near to You, opening our eyes, purifying our hearts, and ALWAYS being ready to bring us back from “good girl” to “God’s girl.” You are Faithful and Merciful and I am Yours, and humbly thankful.

  20. Jenny Lee says:

    The striving in our hearts is ceaseless and all the more important to posture our hearts to seek the Lord alone.

  21. Searching says:

    Amen, Churchmouse! Lord, help us to always remember that our relationship with Jesus is everything and then some – beyond what our human minds could ever imagine or hope for.

  22. Kathy says:

    This devotion reminds me of one of my favorite quotes from C.S. Lewis. He says,
    “It would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.”
    I want to be completely pleased with just Jesus. Not even with the things He can and will do for me, just Jesus. He died on the cross for my sins, brought me back into a relationship with Him. Everything else is just cake.

    1. Alexis Maycock says:

      So true Kathy! We truly are unimaginative when we limit ourselves to fleshly and earthy desires and miss out on the “holiday at sea” of a life that God has planned for us. Lord helps us to broaden our scope of who You are and the life You desire is to partake in. In Jesus name, amen.

    2. Melissa Graves says:

      Kathy, I have always loved that quote as well. I sometimes use it when sharing Christ with people who say they are happy with their beliefs. Thanks for sharing it!

    3. Geralyn Paray says:

      What book is this from?

      1. Nicole Headley says:

        The Weight of Glory, and Other Addresses

    4. Crystal Awsum says:

      Yes!! This quote is what came to mind as well.

    5. Annette Kendall says:

      Amen! Me too.

    6. Nicole Headley says:

      Love this!

  23. Churchmouse says:

    FOMO (fear of missing out) reveals our obsessions and our insecurities. We strive for the ever elusive “more” because we think that without it we are missing out. We devalue what we have at hand. We haven’t yet conquered the ability to be still and be content. We tie our identities to our possessions. We strive and strive but satisfaction and peace does not come. The temporary high becomes a depressing low. We forget that we are the children of the Most High God, sons and daughters of the King. We are secure in Him. We inherit all that He has. There is no more to be had. He provides and He blesses. How ungrateful we are to seek for more and more of that which will wither, rust and rot. When we have Jesus, we have everything and we miss out on nothing. Let us be still. Let us be content. Let us rejoice.

    1. Melissa Graves says:

      Thank you, Churchmouse. Well said.

    2. Susan Richardson says:


    3. Carol Griffiths says:

      Beautiful. Priceless. All-inclusive. Thank you for your thoughts Churchmouse.