Posts Tagged ‘temple’

solomons-temple

 

When we think of the Old Testament temple most of us think of Solomon in all his glory.  The son of King David, usually recognized as the greatest King of the Jewish people.  He was rich beyond measure, recognized for his wisdom and international influence.  He reigned over an unprecedented era of peace for Israel.

Solomon was called upon by God to build the temple to house the Ark of the Covenant and God’s revealed presence in Israel.  He was able to call upon the best of the best materials and artisans in the known world.  Gifts poured in from all over to help complete this monumental task.  1 Kings 5-7 provides us with the glorious details of this building like no other in history.  The author of 1 Kings provides us with wonderful detail about the construction, decor and furnishings that defined this wonderful project.  All the wealth and influence that God provided to Solomon represented in Solomon’s obedience to this command of God.

There is another temple builder in the Old Testament.  He is less known.  One is unlikely to find anyone named after him.  In comparison to Solomon he did not have the wealth, the fame or the influence that Solomon was able to bring to bear on the building of the first Temple.  Zerubbabel was returning to Judah, less than half of the kingdom that Solomon ruled.  He was returning to a land that had been laid wasted by Nebuchadnezzar, suffering the consequences to rebellion both against God and against Babylon.  He returned to Jerusalem with a ragtag group exiles, born and raised in a foreign land.  He came from the line of David, but he was not really a king.  He ruled at the pleasure of Babylon and the land he governed was more of province than a kingdom.  He was surrounded by adversaries, not allies.  Zerubbabel did not command the immense respect given to Solomon.  Biblically he takes a backseat to Ezra and even to Cyrus King of Persia.  Even after the temple was completed, it was not all pats on the back and cheers.  There were jeers in the crowd also.  Those few old enough to remember the former glory of the Temple built by Solomon, decried this new temple as inadequate. Yet through all of this Zerubbabel ruled over an incredible revival in Judah.

Comparison is one the greater weapons that Satan uses to undermine the faith of the Hupomone man.  Here we have two men, both called to the same task, one from a position of wealth, strength and glory, the other from a place of defeat, servitude and subjection.  Zerubbabel could have well fallen into a rut of rebellious comparison.  “But God you gave Solomon everything to build your temple and I have nothing. I am not even really a king.”  We are so tempted to view the path that God has laid before us in comparison to others who seem to have it all.  Sometimes we even compare our current call to a place where we were before.  Paul well understood this risky place when he penned the words, “I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstances I have learned the secret of being filled and growing hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need.  I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:12-13

This is the position of the Hupomone man.  He sees the nature of obedience resting not in the arms of ever changing circumstance but in the arms of an unchanging God.  We do not know a lot of details about Zerubbabel, but this son, of a son of exile did not shirk his duty to serve Yaweh.  He obeyed the call of God on his life and was true to his position as a son of David even when faced with opposition that compared his humble state to the glory days of Israel.  Though relegated to the closet of history, he stands as an example of the Hupomone man that we would do well to follow.

 

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1 Chronicles 28:20
Then David said to his son Solomon, “Be strong and courageous, and act ; do not fear nor be dismayed, for the LORD God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you nor forsake you until all the work for the service of the house of the LORD is finished.

 

God is moving in the lives of the Guidry Family!  Allana is regaining her strength.  God’s healing touch has been so apparent in this process.  Even as the little things come and go attempting to distract us from His Call on our lives the Holy Spirit speaks in so many ways.  We are on the brink of big changes.  Being the A type personality that I am, I would much prefer to plan out and know exactly what those changes will entail but I have found that this is not God’s plan for my life.

Solomon was also facing big changes.  David was nearing the end of his life.  One might think that Solomon was super excited about becoming king…maybe you should go back and read about the events that occurred throughout his childhood.  On top of the great responsibility (and danger) that came with being King of Israel, his father was publicly saddling him with the monumental task of building the Temple, complete with design plans direct from God.  God was moving in Solomon’s life.  David knew the waves that are created when God moves and so he gives this fatherly advice to his son, “Be strong and courageous, and act; do not fear nor be dismayed, for the LORD God, my God is with you.  He will not fail you nor forsake you until all the work for the service of the house of the LORD is finished.”

Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians that we are the Temple of the Holy Spirit.  Just as the word of the Lord to David gave Solomon the blueprint, the guide to building His temple, Scripture provides us the guide for the work that He has given us.  “Be strong and courageous”, why do we need this advice?  Because though we have the guide the details and the work in progress.  The storms of life, the shortages of supplies, the delays, as Solomon performed his service of the house of the Lord I am sure that he experienced all of these. “for the LORD God, my God is with you.  He will not fail you nor forsake you…”  This is the assurance of success.  This is the assurance that ” I am confident of this, that the one who began a good work among you will bring it to completion by the day of Jesus Christ.” (Phil. 1:6)

Pray for us.

God is moving.  The path He is moving us on is not entirely clear yet but he has been calling us to specifically to Strength and Courage and to the service of His House.  We are so blessed by all of you who have supported us in so many ways.  As God moves His ministry for us forward we look forward to partnering with all of you until “the service of the house of the LORD is finished.”

Blessings,

Sam

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