What would you do with a billion dollars? I’m sure you can come up with a long list of ways to use the money to improve your life and the lives of others. Was covering the walls of the church sanctuary in pure gold on the list? How about a bronze bowl the size of a bedroom? That’s ok. They weren’t on mine either. However, they were on King Solomon’s list when he planned the temple. Along with the finest linens, best woods, magnificent sculptures, gold, silver, bronze. Nothing but the best materials and highly skilled craftsmen. By today’s value the cost to build such a temple would well exceed the billion-dollar mark.
So, I wonder why the grand, expensive description of the temple? Even Solomon recognized that the best temple possible to build would not be grand enough for God. He said, “the temple I build will be great because our God is greater than all gods. Not even the highest of heavens can hold him. How then can I build a temple for him except as a place to burn sacrifices to him?” 2 Chronicles 2:5-6
Two things stand out for me. The first is that Solomon named the two pillars in the front of the temple. One he named He Establishes and the other In Him Is Strength. Everyone who looked at the temple saw the pillars and was reminded of God who has established Himself with His people and in Him there is strength. The second thing is what a presence the temple was in the community. Everyone around knew about the building and learned about King Solomon’s God.
In the New Testament, Paul says we are the temple of God. The pillars in our lives should remind us that He Establishes – In Him Is Strength. Despite the chaos of the world, failing health, temptations, God is in control. There isn’t a trial that His strength can’t see us through. No situation is too hard for God. He wants us to be His light to the world. To glisten like gold.
Live out Thy life within me, O Jesus, King of kings!
Be Thou Thyself the answer To all my questionings;
Live out Thy life within me, In all things have Thy way!
I, the transparent medium Thy glory to display.
The temple has been yielded, And purified of sin;
Let Thy Shekinah glory Now shine forth from within,
And all the earth keep silence, The body henceforth be
Thy silent, gentle servant, Moved only as by Thee.
and hubby, Mike, are settling in to being "empty-nesters". The extra room in the house is allowing them to explore a new hobby - stained glass. They are listening to the Bible Experience together and are constantly amazed at how patient, forgiving and loving God is.
The Word of Promise audio Bible is used by permission. For more information and to purchase the complete audio Bible go to https://www.wordofpromiseapp.com/.
2 Chronicles 1
Solomon Requests Wisdom
1 Now Solomon the son of David was strengthened in his kingdom, and the Lord his God was with him and exalted him exceedingly.
2 And Solomon spoke to all Israel, to the captains of thousands and of hundreds, to the judges, and to every leader in all Israel, the heads of the fathers’ houses. 3 Then Solomon, and all the assembly with him, went to the high place that was at Gibeon; for the tabernacle of meeting with God was there, which Moses the servant of the Lord had made in the wilderness. 4 But David had brought up the ark of God from Kirjath Jearim to the place David had prepared for it, for he had pitched a tent for it at Jerusalem. 5 Now the bronze altar that Bezalel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, had made, he put before the tabernacle of the Lord; Solomon and the assembly sought Him there. 6 And Solomon went up there to the bronze altar before the Lord, which was at the tabernacle of meeting, and offered a thousand burnt offerings on it.
7 On that night God appeared to Solomon, and said to him, “Ask! What shall I give you?”
8 And Solomon said to God: “You have shown great mercy to David my father, and have made me king in his place. 9 Now, O Lord God, let Your promise to David my father be established, for You have made me king over a people like the dust of the earth in multitude. 10 Now give me wisdom and knowledge, that I may go out and come in before this people; for who can judge this great people of Yours?”
11 Then God said to Solomon: “Because this was in your heart, and you have not asked riches or wealth or honor or the life of your enemies, nor have you asked long life—but have asked wisdom and knowledge for yourself, that you may judge My people over whom I have made you king— 12 wisdom and knowledge are granted to you; and I will give you riches and wealth and honor, such as none of the kings have had who were before you, nor shall any after you have the like.”
Solomon’s Military and Economic Power
13 So Solomon came to Jerusalem from the high place that was at Gibeon, from before the tabernacle of meeting, and reigned over Israel. 14 And Solomon gathered chariots and horsemen; he had one thousand four hundred chariots and twelve thousand horsemen, whom he stationed in the chariot cities and with the king in Jerusalem. 15 Also the king made silver and gold as common in Jerusalem as stones, and he made cedars as abundant as the sycamores which are in the lowland. 16 And Solomon had horses imported from Egypt and Keveh; the king’s merchants bought them in Keveh at the current price. 17 They also acquired and imported from Egypt a chariot for six hundred shekels of silver, and a horse for one hundred and fifty; thus, through their agents, they exported them to all the kings of the Hittites and the kings of Syria.
2 Chronicles 2
Solomon Prepares to Build the Temple
1 Then Solomon determined to build a temple for the name of the Lord, and a royal house for himself. 2 Solomon selected seventy thousand men to bear burdens, eighty thousand to quarry stone in the mountains, and three thousand six hundred to oversee them.
3 Then Solomon sent to Hiram king of Tyre, saying:
As you have dealt with David my father, and sent him cedars to build himself a house to dwell in, so deal with me. 4 Behold, I am building a temple for the name of the Lord my God, to dedicate it to Him, to burn before Him sweet incense, for the continual showbread, for the burnt offerings morning and evening, on the Sabbaths, on the New Moons, and on the set feasts of the Lord our God. This is an ordinance forever to Israel.
5 And the temple which I build will be great, for our God is greater than all gods. 6 But who is able to build Him a temple, since heaven and the heaven of heavens cannot contain Him? Who am I then, that I should build Him a temple, except to burn sacrifice before Him?
7 Therefore send me at once a man skillful to work in gold and silver, in bronze and iron, in purple and crimson and blue, who has skill to engrave with the skillful men who are with me in Judah and Jerusalem, whom David my father provided. 8 Also send me cedar and cypress and algum logs from Lebanon, for I know that your servants have skill to cut timber in Lebanon; and indeed my servants will be with your servants, 9 to prepare timber for me in abundance, for the temple which I am about to build shall be great and wonderful.
10 And indeed I will give to your servants, the woodsmen who cut timber, twenty thousand kors of ground wheat, twenty thousand kors of barley, twenty thousand baths of wine, and twenty thousand baths of oil.
11 Then Hiram king of Tyre answered in writing, which he sent to Solomon:
Because the Lord loves His people, He has made you king over them.
12 Hiram also said:
Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, who made heaven and earth, for He has given King David a wise son, endowed with prudence and understanding, who will build a temple for the Lord and a royal house for himself!
13 And now I have sent a skillful man, endowed with understanding, Huram my master craftsman 14 (the son of a woman of the daughters of Dan, and his father was a man of Tyre), skilled to work in gold and silver, bronze and iron, stone and wood, purple and blue, fine linen and crimson, and to make any engraving and to accomplish any plan which may be given to him, with your skillful men and with the skillful men of my lord David your father.
15 Now therefore, the wheat, the barley, the oil, and the wine which my lord has spoken of, let him send to his servants. 16 And we will cut wood from Lebanon, as much as you need; we will bring it to you in rafts by sea to Joppa, and you will carry it up to Jerusalem.
17 Then Solomon numbered all the aliens who were in the land of Israel, after the census in which David his father had numbered them; and there were found to be one hundred and fifty-three thousand six hundred. 18 And he made seventy thousand of them bearers of burdens, eighty thousand stonecutters in the mountain, and three thousand six hundred overseers to make the people work.
2 Chronicles 3
Solomon Builds the Temple
1 Now Solomon began to build the house of the Lord at Jerusalem on Mount Moriah, where the Lord had appeared to his father David, at the place that David had prepared on the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite. 2 And he began to build on the second day of the second month in the fourth year of his reign.
3 This is the foundation which Solomon laid for building the house of God: The length was sixty cubits (by cubits according to the former measure) and the width twenty cubits. 4 And the vestibule that was in front of the sanctuary was twenty cubits long across the width of the house, and the height was one hundred and twenty. He overlaid the inside with pure gold. 5 The larger room he paneled with cypress which he overlaid with fine gold, and he carved palm trees and chainwork on it. 6 And he decorated the house with precious stones for beauty, and the gold was gold from Parvaim. 7 He also overlaid the house—the beams and doorposts, its walls and doors—with gold; and he carved cherubim on the walls.
8 And he made the Most Holy Place. Its length was according to the width of the house, twenty cubits, and its width twenty cubits. He overlaid it with six hundred talents of fine gold. 9 The weight of the nails was fifty shekels of gold; and he overlaid the upper area with gold. 10 In the Most Holy Place he made two cherubim, fashioned by carving, and overlaid them with gold. 11 The wings of the cherubim were twenty cubits in overall length: one wing of the one cherub was five cubits, touching the wall of the room, and the other wing was five cubits, touching the wing of the other cherub; 12 one wing of the other cherub was five cubits, touching the wall of the room, and the other wing also was five cubits, touching the wing of the other cherub. 13 The wings of these cherubim spanned twenty cubits overall. They stood on their feet, and they faced inward. 14 And he made the veil of blue, purple, crimson, and fine linen, and wove cherubim into it.
15 Also he made in front of the temple two pillars thirty-five cubits high, and the capital that was on the top of each of them was five cubits. 16 He made wreaths of chainwork, as in the inner sanctuary, and put them on top of the pillars; and he made one hundred pomegranates, and put them on the wreaths of chainwork. 17 Then he set up the pillars before the temple, one on the right hand and the other on the left; he called the name of the one on the right hand Jachin, and the name of the one on the left Boaz.
2 Chronicles 4
Furnishings of the Temple
1 Moreover he made a bronze altar: twenty cubits was its length, twenty cubits its width, and ten cubits its height.
2 Then he made the Sea of cast bronze, ten cubits from one brim to the other; it was completely round. Its height was five cubits, and a line of thirty cubits measured its circumference. 3 And under it was the likeness of oxen encircling it all around, ten to a cubit, all the way around the Sea. The oxen were cast in two rows, when it was cast. 4 It stood on twelve oxen: three looking toward the north, three looking toward the west, three looking toward the south, and three looking toward the east; the Sea was set upon them, and all their back parts pointed inward. 5 It was a handbreadth thick; and its brim was shaped like the brim of a cup, like a lily blossom. It contained three thousand baths.
6 He also made ten lavers, and put five on the right side and five on the left, to wash in them; such things as they offered for the burnt offering they would wash in them, but the Sea was for the priests to wash in. 7 And he made ten lampstands of gold according to their design, and set them in the temple, five on the right side and five on the left. 8 He also made ten tables, and placed them in the temple, five on the right side and five on the left. And he made one hundred bowls of gold.
9 Furthermore he made the court of the priests, and the great court and doors for the court; and he overlaid these doors with bronze. 10 He set the Sea on the right side, toward the southeast.
11 Then Huram made the pots and the shovels and the bowls. So Huram finished doing the work that he was to do for King Solomon for the house of God: 12 the two pillars and the bowl-shaped capitals that were on top of the two pillars; the two networks covering the two bowl-shaped capitals which were on top of the pillars; 13 four hundred pomegranates for the two networks (two rows of pomegranates for each network, to cover the two bowl-shaped capitals that were on the pillars); 14 he also made carts and the lavers on the carts; 15 one Sea and twelve oxen under it; 16 also the pots, the shovels, the forks—and all their articles Huram his master craftsman made of burnished bronze for King Solomon for the house of the Lord.
17 In the plain of Jordan the king had them cast in clay molds, between Succoth and Zeredah. 18 And Solomon had all these articles made in such great abundance that the weight of the bronze was not determined.
19 Thus Solomon had all the furnishings made for the house of God: the altar of gold and the tables on which was the showbread; 20 the lampstands with their lamps of pure gold, to burn in the prescribed manner in front of the inner sanctuary, 21 with the flowers and the lamps and the wick-trimmers of gold, of purest gold; 22 the trimmers, the bowls, the ladles, and the censers of pure gold. As for the entry of the sanctuary, its inner doors to the Most Holy Place, and the doors of the main hall of the temple, were gold.
God the Rock of Salvation
1 In You, O Lord, I put my trust;
Let me never be put to shame.
2 Deliver me in Your righteousness, and cause me to escape;
Incline Your ear to me, and save me.
3 Be my strong refuge,
To which I may resort continually;
You have given the commandment to save me,
For You are my rock and my fortress.
4 Deliver me, O my God, out of the hand of the wicked,
Out of the hand of the unrighteous and cruel man.
5 For You are my hope, O Lord God;
You are my trust from my youth.
6 By You I have been upheld from birth;
You are He who took me out of my mother’s womb.
My praise shall be continually of You.
7 I have become as a wonder to many,
But You are my strong refuge.
8 Let my mouth be filled with Your praise
And with Your glory all the day.
9 Do not cast me off in the time of old age;
Do not forsake me when my strength fails.
10 For my enemies speak against me;
And those who lie in wait for my life take counsel together,
11 Saying, “God has forsaken him;
Pursue and take him, for there is none to deliver him.”
12 O God, do not be far from me;
O my God, make haste to help me!
13 Let them be confounded and consumed
Who are adversaries of my life;
Let them be covered with reproach and dishonor
Who seek my hurt.
14 But I will hope continually,
And will praise You yet more and more.
15 My mouth shall tell of Your righteousness
And Your salvation all the day,
For I do not know their limits.
16 I will go in the strength of the Lord God;
I will make mention of Your righteousness, of Yours only.
17 O God, You have taught me from my youth;
And to this day I declare Your wondrous works.
18 Now also when I am old and grayheaded,
O God, do not forsake me,
Until I declare Your strength to this generation,
Your power to everyone who is to come.
19 Also Your righteousness, O God, is very high,
You who have done great things;
O God, who is like You?
20 You, who have shown me great and severe troubles,
Shall revive me again,
And bring me up again from the depths of the earth.
21 You shall increase my greatness,
And comfort me on every side.
22 Also with the lute I will praise You—
And Your faithfulness, O my God!
To You I will sing with the harp,
O Holy One of Israel.
23 My lips shall greatly rejoice when I sing to You,
And my soul, which You have redeemed.
24 My tongue also shall talk of Your righteousness all the day long;
For they are confounded,
For they are brought to shame
Who seek my hurt.