Day 3

Building the Temple

from the 1 & 2 Kings reading plan

1 Kings 5:13-18, 1 Kings 6:1-38, 1 Kings 7:1-51, Leviticus 26:11-13, Ephesians 2:19-22

BY Melanie Rainer

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.

Post Comments (42)

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.

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