BUILDING A HOUSE FOR GOD
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Memory Verse: 1 Chronicles 29:14
Further Study: 1 Kings 1, 3, 5-8; 1 Chronicles 22, 28, 29; 2 Chronicles 1-7; Patriarchs and Prophets, 746-755, Prophets and Kings, 25-50; The Bible Story, vol. 4, pp. 113-133; 137-151
When my husband and I go for walks after dark in our neighborhood, some of the homes appear to be completely dark until we get closer. Then magically the front porch light comes on illuminating the front of the house. Of course, we know it isn’t magic. It’s a way to conserve energy—the light is triggered by a motion sensor and shines only if someone approaches the house.
Several chapters in our Scripture reading this week tell in detail about each part of the construction of Solomon’s temple.
Several chapters in our Scripture reading this week tell in detail about each part of the construction of Solomon’s temple. It was beautiful and decorated with costly materials worthy of the One for whom it was built. We also read of an elaborate and well-orchestrated dedicatory service led by King Solomon himself.
At the completion of the dedication, the Lord responded by filling the temple with His glory to such an extent that the priests stopped their duties and fled the building. Imagine how it must have felt to see and feel the very presence of the Living God!
Imagine how it must have felt to see and feel the very presence of the Living God!
Physical temples are far removed from Christianity today. Instead, we are the temple. God lives in us through the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 6:19-20). Just as God filled the temple in the days of Solomon, He can also fill us. Just as His light emanated from the temple on that day of dedication, His light can shine through us.
What kind of light are you? Are you an energy-saver?
But what kind of light are you? Are you an energy-saver? Someone who is “dark” except when someone comes close enough for you to light up with His presence? Or are you like Solomon’s temple where the light shines through you so bright and clear that people are drawn to you to discover why you are different from all others? Is the God you serve only visible when you need Him to be, or is He ever-present for all to see?
Is the God you serve only visible when you need Him to be, or is He ever-present for all to see?
Commit to being a Christian filled with the Holy Spirit. It’s when we are completely filled that we are renewed.
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There were two interesting features built as part of Solomon’s temple. Two bronze pillars were one of the first things made. They were massive and stood at the entrance of the temple so one couldn’t enter the temple without seeing them first. What made them even more intriguing is that Solomon named them. One was named Jachin and the other Boaz.
So why build them first? What was their purpose? And why would anyone name pillars? Actually no one is completely sure on the answers to any of these questions. It is thought that they were not for structural support, but freestanding. But their names may offer a clue.
“Jachin” means “it is firm” or “he establishes.” This same verb was used by God when telling David that God would establish his throne forever. This pillar stood as a constant reminder of God’s promise to David’s to forever preserve his dynasty.
“Boaz” is a little less clear, but still has meaning. First, it may have been a personal touch on the part of Solomon. Boaz was his great-great-great-grandfather. He, as we know, married Ruth, and they can be credited as beginning the David dynasty. But his name carries meaning as well. It means “it is strong,” or “by him he is mighty.” So, this pillar represents strength not only through family ties, but also by God’s grace.
Perhaps this was the full intention of Solomon. That as one entered the temple they were reminded first that God establishes and provides strength not only to the individual, but also to the king (specifically to a king of the Davidic line) that sat on the throne.
Making it Real
Probably the best way to be reminded about shining your light is singing the children’s song, “This Little Light of Mine.” Sing for worship this week. Hum it throughout the week. Look for ways to let your light shine in all aspects of your life.
As for Solomon’s two pillars: Think this week about how God has established and directed your life. How does Jesus, the ultimate descendant of David, provide you strength?
Merle Poirier writes from Silver Spring, Maryland, where she works as the operation manager for Adventist Review and Adventist World magazines as well as the designer for KidsView, a magazine for 8-12-year-olds. She enjoys spending time with her family including being the grandmother of two active little boys, who greatly enjoy Starting With Jesus.