This morning we looked at 1 Kings 5 through to 1 Kings 7:12. Here we see Solomon begin to fulfill the great commission given to him by God; that of building the Temple. David had wanted to build the Temple, but he had presided over the nation during a time of war, and much blood had been shed during his reign. Now peace had come and it was time for the one who had come in David’s stead to build the Temple.
Christ came during a time of war, the greatest war of all time; and through the shedding of His own blood the war was won, and peace secured. The Holy Spirit has now come in Christ’s stead, and is building a Temple of praise:
“Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ” 1 Peter 2:5
The stones for Solomon’s Temple were hewn from the Gentile world (they came from Lebanon). They were cut to the exact size and then brought to the Temple mount to take their place in God’s house. Once there, they were covered with beautiful Ceder wood paneling and finally overlaid with pure gold. In short, they had been totally transformed! No longer did they resemble the world they had come from; now, covered with pure gold, they would reflect the light of the Menorah.
Those who are Christ’s have literally been cut out of this world, and we are also subject to the workman’s hammer as we are fitted (through trials and tribulations) for our place in God’s house. We are also to be transformed “by the renewing of our minds” (Romans 12:2), so that we no longer resemble the world we came from, but being now clothed in His righteousness instead reflect the glory of the Light of the World, Jesus Christ.
“Christ Himself is the builder of His spiritual temple, and He has built it on the mountains of His unchangeable affection, His omnipotent grace, and His infallible truthfulness. But as it was in Solomon’s temple, so in this; the materials need making ready. There are the ‘Cedars of Lebanon,’ but they are not framed for the building; they are not cut down, and shaped, and made into those planks of cedar, whose odoriferous beauty shall make glad the courts of the Lord’s house in Paradise. There are also the rough stones still in the quarry, they must be hewn thence, and squared. All this is Christ’s own work. Each individual believer is being prepared, and polished, and made ready for his place in the temple; but Christ’s own hand performs the preparation-work. Afflictions cannot sanctify, excepting as they are used by Him to this end. Our prayers and efforts cannot make us ready for heaven, apart from the hand of Jesus, who fashions our hearts aright. As in the building of Solomon’s temple, ‘there was neither hammer, nor axe, nor any tool of iron, heard in the house,’ because all was brought perfectly ready for the exact spot it was to occupy – so is it with the temple which Jesus builds; the making ready is all done on earth.
As James reminds us:
“My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing”. James 1:2-4
Have you been cut and taken out of the quarry of this life yet? Or are you still attached to the fabric of this world? Are you allowing Christ to shape you, and cover you with His glory?