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

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

42 thoughts on "Building the Temple"

  1. 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.

  2. 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. :)

  3. 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!

  4. 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.

  5. Jenny Lee says:

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

  6. 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.

  7. 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!

  8. 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.