1 Kings 5 & 6
“Marble, I perceive, covers a multitude of sins.” ― Aldous Huxley
Aldous Huxley made this comment about the Taj Mahal. Built entirely of gleaming white marble its striking appearance has put it on the list of one of the eight wonders of the world. Though he never professed a belief in God, Aldous Huxley appears to have some understanding of the human nature as put forth by scripture. The appearance of the Taj Mahal gives it the feeling of perfection but I believe he knew no one is perfect and therefore we are unable to create perfection. Sin prevents us from ever achieving any perfection in this life. In spite of its appealing appearance the real reason for the Taj Mahal’s construction was as a tomb. It is a mausoleum that houses the grave of queen Mumtaz Mahal and the man who built the Taj Mahal, Shah Jahan.
Solomon also built a house but this house was not meant to be a house for the dead but for the living God. This was just another structure like the Taj Mahal till God moved in and sanctified it with His presence. The presence of God, demonstrated by the filling of the Temple with the cloud, sets this building apart from all others. His presence is what is important about this building and about our lives.
The focus of God’s house was not so much making the outside appealing as it was the inside. The gold covered walls and intricately carved furnishings must have inspired a sense that they were in a special place indeed. A holy and unique place dedicated to one purpose, to meet the living God. May we strive to make the part of our lives that people do not see as pleasing for God to see as the inside of His temple was to us.
The house of God that Solomon built is no longer standing on Mount Moriah in Jerusalem but the house that God builds continues to this day and will not cease till the end of time. To see the Taj Mahal you need to go to Agra, India. To see the house that God is building you need to have spiritual eyes and understanding. God provides that wisdom though His word and He gives us a vivid illustration to accompany His lessons with the Temple. Some may think this is a boring Old Testament story of construction but just like the genealogies listed in scripture everything in God’s word has a spiritual significance. It is up to us to “seek diligently” and when we find the wisdom He provides to give thanks to God for this precious gift. An understanding of the construction of the temple and the furniture built to be used in the worship ceremonies opens our eyes to see the church God is building today.
|Temple||God’s children are Temples.Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If any man destroys the temple of God, God will destroy him, for the temple of God is holy, and that is what you are. I Corinthians 3:16 & 17|
|Temple was not God’s actual home but a place for His glory to dwell. 2 Chronicles 2:6||Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? I Corinthians 3:16|
|Cornerstone most important part of building. Then the foundation.||…having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit. Ephesians 2:20 – 22|
|One door into the temple||Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me”. John 14:6|
|Altar of Sacrifice||…and walk in love, just as Christ also loved [a]you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God [b]as a fragrant aroma. Ephesians 5:2|
|Show Bread||Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst. John 6:35|
|Lampstand||Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, “I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.” John 8:12|
|Alter of Incense||And the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, went up before God out of the angel’s hand. Revelation 8:4|
|Veil in temple was torn in two when Christ died.||…by a new and living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is, His flesh,… Hebrews 10:20|
Often the pressures of daily living, family, work, finances, tend to make me feel defeated. Doesn’t God see what I am going through? Ironically it is during those times of self-pity that I neglect the wisdom found in God’s word. The times when I need it more. Those are the times when I should take my eyes off myself and look to God’s Word for assurance of His love and concern. When I do His word tells me I am a “living stone which has been rejected by men, but is choice and precious in the sight of God”. 1 Peter 2:4.
Let us remember that even this temple will one day fade away. “I did not see a temple in the city, because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. “ Revelation 21:22, but for the present time, while we do dwell in these imperfect temples, let us offer God the sacrifices he requires and live our lives in a manner that pleases Him.