I stared at the drawing of Solomon’s temple, taking every detail in.
Based on the meticulous descriptions found on 1 Kings 7, and various parallel passages between 1 Chronicles 22 and 2 Chronicles 7, every intrinsic element of the building was built using the finest materials: cedar from Lebanon, costly stones that would endure, gold and bronze that would reflect the glory of its Inhabitant.
Each chamber had its purpose. Each item, a design. Every small detail representing the glory, holiness and beauty of Israel’s God.
In front of the Temple, a porch with two pillars were erected. They were called “Jachin” which means, “He will establish” and “Boaz” which means, “in Him is strength.” As the people of God were finally able to settle in the Promise Land, the pillars would remind them, when entering the temple, that strength and stability could only belong to their God, and that it would now belong to those who followed His commands.
After seven years of hard labor, Jews and Gentiles finished the Temple together, under the supervision of the wise king.
The glory of the Covenant God would finally reside in a House, and not a tent.
Unfortunately, Solomon’s glorious temple lasted less than 500 years before the Babylonians ransacked and destroyed it.
God’s people soon forgot that that the condition of their hearts was more important than their presence in the temple, therefore, while willing hands performed sacrifices and clean ceremonies, hardened hearts closed their door to God’s voice.
They followed rituals, but filled their lives with compromise.
They presented clean animals, while dirtying their hearts and minds.
Their worship was skin-deep; hence, God’s shielding hand was lifted, His house destroyed, and captivity began.
We, the Temple
While praying this morning, I felt an overwhelming sense of gratitude filling my heart.
Remembering the Temple’s elaborate details that I had just studied, and the time and cost that it took to build a house for our God, I was reminded of Paul’s words to the men of Athens, words that seal the truth about Yahweh’s dwelling today:
“The God who made the world and all things in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands (…)” Acts 17:24
We ARE God’s temple.
When Jesus broke the chain of sin on Calvary, and crushed death on that Easter morning, He provided everything Jews and Gentiles would ever need to BECOME God’s Temple.
Not brass, gold, wood or stones. Rather, His matchless, priceless Blood of Redemption was the only item needed to make us His temple.
Yes. We ARE it.
Our hearts, cleansed by His atoning sacrifice, provided the coverings for His dwelling.
Our lives, once changed and glorified by His eternal presence, are now molded and secured by pillars of established strength – it’s “Jachin” and “Boaz” all over again.
I know, I know – many of us have times of captivity. And yes, the story then repeats itself: We choose to walk away from God’s best and find ourselves taken captive to our own private Babylon of self-indulgence, idolatry, sin and separation.
On those moments, God’s light is dimmed within. And we grumble, stumble, and fall.
We lose our way.
But, praise the Lord! His Love for us? Though this temple of ours may be tattered, battered and scarred…
His Love can NEVER be destroyed.
We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed.” 2 Corinthians 4:8
Are you in one of those seasons, my friend?
Do you feel like the choices you’ve made have forever dimmed the glory of God from your life?
Do you believe that it’s over, that the road to Babylon is one-way?
Do you tremble at the thought of going back, fearful that the Holy of Hollies has been crushed under the ruins of your life?
Not if you are a child of God!
If you are a blood-bought, heaven-bound, born-again son or daughter of the King… If you have once felt His presence, rejoiced in His grace, basked in His light…
His Love Heals. Restores. Makes everything anew.
If only you confess that the House needs cleaning. Forgiveness. Grace.
And then, this Grace… this amazing, matchless Grace, will meet you in Babylon… His tender hand will guide you back to Zion. And His Love will make His eternal Light, shine in you, for you, and through you… once again.
You. Are. STILL. His. Temple.
Don’t let the enemy, your flesh, or anyone else tell you otherwise.
“Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory, blameless with great joy, to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.” Jude 24-25Feeling like the choices you’ve made have forever dimmed God's glory from your life? Read This! Click To Tweet