Solomon, Temples and The Body

And David the king said to all the assembly, “Solomon my son, whom alone God has chosen, is young and inexperienced, and the work is great, for the palace will not be for man but for the Lord God. 1 Chronicles 29:1 (ESV)

Y’all I am quoting from First Chronicles, what? It’s an actual book in the Bible in case you were thinking otherwise. It’s back before Psalms and Proverbs, but after Genesis. It chronicles (heh) the Davidic kingdom moving forward from David to Solomon. The transition of the kingdom (and an uprising from an angered son not taking the throne) is laid out as well as David’s heart for building the temple of God.

God gave direction to David that he would not build the temple but that his son, Solomon would. And so here is where we pick up in the story. David is giving instruction to his son, whom is young and inexperienced but that God has chosen to complete. If we blink, we miss it, but the work is great. It’s not that it would be a large scale task, because obviously it would be.

The emphasis here is that the work is great because it’s for God, not for man. It is the most worthy of consideration in what is done. It was for God Himself that the work would be done. The temple was constructed to be where God’s Presence could be with the people of Israel, where the designated priest would go in for the people to give sacrifices and offerings to God, to cleanse the people and give praise on their behalf. The construction of the temple and all the intricacies of it are detailed throughout Scripture.

If I am honest with y’all, I often flip through those pages whether it’s from a devotion or a reading through the Bible plan. But something has switched in my mind and heart on this. Because it’s Scripture…God-breathed….intentional for inclusion in God’s instruction and word to us. So I see the work of the build was arduous, hard and sacrificing work. But the people were willing to give because they were loyal to serving God.

When I read about the temple, I cannot help but look to the words of Paul in 1 Corinthians 6:19-20:

Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.

Our bodies are now the temple. We are the ones now carrying within us the very presence of God in the Holy Spirit with us into everything. But that also means we are the ones called just as David did there in 1 Chronicles to do the hard work of crafting the temple. The very dwelling place of God in Spirit is within us for us to bring our praise, our confession and our sacrifices to and through. He prompts us to go before Christ as our Intercessor, our High Priest. It is hard work, building upon the Cornerstone of foundation that is laid in Christ, seeking to give the most valued things of our lives over to Him in order for Him to be praised and glorified within us.

Just like the “young and inexperienced” Solomon who was alone called to the work of building the physical temple, we are called to the work of the temple of our bodies, of consecrating and sacrificing in order to bring God praise, glory and honor. Just like Solomon, am I aware of my need for divine direction and my own limitations in the work? Do we see our need for others to come along with us to assist us in the building up of our temples, our own selves, in order to be the embodiment of who God would have us be, living temples for Him?

House of Stones

Since you have tasted that the Lord is good. Coming to Him, a living stone—rejected by men but chosen and valuable to God— you yourselves, as living stones, are being built into a spiritual house for a holy priesthood… (1 Peter 2:3-5 HCSB)

Of all the things to be, a stone would not be what any of us would probably choose for ourselves in imagery. Stones are rough. They are jagged, they are thrown, used as markers, kicked around, and sometimes they roll. I was thinking on this choice by Peter, impressed upon to write by God, about the believers being living stones.

He reiterates the phrase we see from the Old Testament, affirming Christ as the cornerstone. Peter, who is called by Christ, the foundation of the new church after His ascension. I wonder if Peter picked up on that theme for his life. I wonder if he had a builder’s mindset and so naturally the imagery presented itself fully through him. (I digress…and look forward to talking with him on these things in eternity)

Knowing that the Lord is good, we come to Him our cornerstone who binds together the foundation of salvation, IMG_0740laying a straight path to build upon…us living stones. Having taken geology in college I know there are various types of stones, throughout various landscapes across the globe. In order for the stones to be laid and a house to be built, they would naturally have to be shaped and molded…knowing that the various stones are all equal in size and perfectly produced to lay flat. It means that they have to go through a process of refining, sanding and smoothing. Rounded and shaped in order to fit one another, and lay upon the foundation.

That doesn’t happen without friction and it doesn’t happen to just one stone but all the various ones used to build the spiritual house. We, as living stones, know what it means to feel that friction, the tension of the builder sanding away the rough edges, filing down our outward selves in order to fulfill a purpose in building, to be a part of the framework. The builder chooses the ones rejected by others because time and care go into building with stones. It’s labor intensive, and it’s gritty. You don’t expect to be chosen and not refined in the process.

He grabs us by our rough edges that we stumble to Him with, and there are days we see evidence of the rounded corners, a smooth exterior forming after a time of forming. Other times, He chips away at an area we didn’t know was rough, in order for us to be laid wholly and completely alongside of one another in the building of a royal priesthood…a house that will stand whatever weather may come, insulating and holding fast throughout eternity. They are bound up and sealed with Someone far stronger than any binding agent.

It’s interesting to know that those masons who choose stone to build with each have a unique signature to their work. In the midst of the friction, on the days of smooth edges I wonder if the signature of Hands That Form Me are apparent.

Dwelling

A dwelling is a term for a home typically. One definition for it is lingering somewhere. That one stuck. I have been dwelling on a verse as of late and keep coming back to the New Life translation of it.

Do your best to add holy living to your faith.
Then add to this a better understanding.
As you have a better understanding, be able to say no when you need to.
Do not give up.
And as you wait and do not give up, live God-like.
-2 Peter 1:5-6

I’m not sure where you all are at currently in life, your faith journey, or in a circumstance. Those words are an encouragement, a two-by-four to the face, and a challenge. Stop and dwell today….linger here on what those words mean to you specifically.

Faith is built on the Cornerstone. Piece by piece is laid upon Him if we take time to linger at each brick and place it properly. Giving over to selfish desires, wants, and finding Him there in the dwelling.