Building of the Temple

1 Kings 6:1-38

In seven years (the number of perfection) Solomon accomplishes David’s goal of building a temple for God. And by the description we find in our reading for today, it is magnificent! Historically, it is an amazing accomplishment. Here are a people who 500 years earlier had been the slaves of Egypt. Now, they are a world power and rich beyond description. This temple is a stone, wood, and gold copy of the Tabernacle that God had described for Moses on Mt. Sinia, the only difference being this Temple is exactly twice size of the Tabernacle. Does God need man to put a roof over His head? No. But He does condescend to identify Himself with His people and this temple makes it possible for a broken people to approach a holy God.

Solomon’s Temple represents a God who is both magnificent and available. Today, because of Pentecost, we are aware that God is ever present within our very hearts. But even for us, it is sometimes a calming thing to sit in a Sanctuary and enjoy the wonders of God. After King David had regained the Ark of the Covenant, he placed it upon a hilltop under a canopy for anyone to come and see. Granted, they touched it at their own peril, for that was a death sentence. But David makes God accessible. He is no longer the purview of only the priestly class. The representation of God’s presence is out there for everyone, for that was how David understood God. Solomon simply formalizes what he had learned about God from his father.

It is so important for us to see God as accessible. His availability to us cannot be overstated. For many, getting in touch with God is difficult, for they do not see Him as He really is –  ready to interact with us. For some, God has been painted as a giant judge in the sky who looks down only in scorn and wrath. And while God has a right to those attributes, He chooses instead to look upon us with love and acceptance because of the blood of Jesus. Christ opened the door (or literally tore the curtain) between us and God so that we could always approach Him without reserve. He condescends into our lives out of love, just as He did for Solomon and the Children of Israel.