Southern Baptist Convention

And it came to pass in the four hundred and eightieth year after the children of Israel were come out of the land of Egypt, in the fourth year of Solomon's reign over Israel, in the month Zif, which is the second month, that he began to build the house of the Lord (I Kings 6:1).

The crowning achievement of the reign of King Solomon was the building of God's Holy Temple in the city of Jerusalem. This was not a project of his own design, but rather a fulfillment of a promise spoken by the Lord long before the day of his birth. And when thy days be fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build an house for my name, and I will stablish the throne of his kingdom for ever (II Sam. 7:12-13). 480 years had passed since the Lord had formed the mighty nation of Israel out of the descendants of Jacob (Israel). Under the leadership of David, the promised land had at long last been fully possessed. In recognition of His covenant with His people, the Lord was ready to establish a permanent "residency" here on earth, a place where His children could always find Him. And I will dwell among the children of Israel, and will be their God (Ex. 29:45).

Solomon's Temple was beautiful to behold. It was constructed of hand hewn stone and carved cedar, and was overlaid in gold. The Temple was constructed on site in reverent silence; the stones were hewn and shaped for final positioning at the quarry before being transported to the job site. And the house, when it was in building, was built of stone made ready before it was brought thither: so that there was neither hammer nor axe nor any tool of iron heard in the house, while it was in building (6:7). This manner of building reflects the level of preparation that the Lord requires of each of us today as we come into His service. We must first cut away the useless bits of our lives that hold us back and distract us from His glory, only then will we be able to come into His presence and understand and accept His perfect peace.

The real glory of the Temple, however, could not be found in its outer beauty. The one thing that truly set it apart from any other building ever constructed was God's presence in the Holy of Holies. Just as Solomon was once blessed with the task of creating this earthly home for God, so too have each of us been blessed. Today, every Christian is an embodiment of the Temple of God, and His glory dwells within every believer (I Cor. 3:17). It is the responsibility of every Christian, then, to present our lives and bodies in such a manner that God's presence can be felt and recognized by everyone we meet.

Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit (Eph. 2:19-22).

Thought for Today:

Show the world your love for the One who gave us life.

Christ Portrayed:

Through the Temple (I Kings 6). Christ is the true Temple (John 2:21). Through Christ all believers have access to God (Rom. 5:12-21). Through Him we . . . have access by one Spirit unto the Father (Eph. 2:18).

Word Studies:

5:3 under the soles of his feet = under his control; 5:4 evil occurrent = evil happening; 5:13 levy = forced labor; 6:2 cubit = about 18 inches; 6:5 oracle = Holy of Holies. Oracle in I Kings 8:8-9 = inner sanctuary, location of the two tables of stone. God cannot be separated from His Word whether spoken or written; 6:38 month (of) Bul = October/November; 7:4 ranks = rows; 7:9 coping = the top, the highest course of stone; 7:14 cunning = skilled.

Memory Verse:

James 1: 1 - 7

James 1
James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting.

James 2
My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;

James 3
Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.

James 4
But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.

James 5
If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.

James 6
But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.

James 7
For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.

Devotion courtesy Bible Pathway Ministries