Friday, July 12, 2019

The Vision: I purpose to build an house

Note: Devotion taken from last Sunday's sermon on 1 Kings 5.

“And, behold, I purpose to build an house unto the name of the LORD my God….” (1 Kings 5:5a).

Solomon is known for two key things:

First, he was a man of great wisdom (see 1 Kings 3—4).

Second, he built the temple in Jerusalem.

This second great achievement begins to be described in 1 Kings 5 (the preparations for building) and continues in 1 Kings 6 (the completion of the building), 1 Kings 7 (the vessels and furnishings of the temple), 1 Kings 8 (the dedication of the temple), and even in 1 Kings 9 (the blessing that comes to King Solomon by building the temple).

If you’ve ever built a house or had a house built you know the excitement of looking over the plans and imagining what it will look like. And you likely also know the less exciting but necessary part of making a financial plan to be able to secure the realization of the project. And for the physical builder, he also has to assemble the materials, be they blocks, lumber, plywood, sheetrock, etc. to complete the project.

A house does not just pop up out of thin air. And Solomon’s temple did not just materialize out of nowhere. The Lord was pleased to use means. He made Solomon the chief instrument to bring about the construction of this place of worship.

Overall, this passage teaches us about the importance of worship. Consider these four points:

First: Worship must be a priority in the believer’s life.

Solomon’s first priority as a leader over Israel was to make provision for worship, to build a central place of worship.

Worship must be a spiritual priority for us as well. This includes not only private worship but especially public worship.

Second: Worship must be regulated not by the preferences of men (“will-worship”) but by the design of God.

The detailed and orderly construction of Solomon’s temple reflects the Regulative Principle of worship.

True worship is not that which comes from human whims and imaginations, but it is giving to the Lord that which he desires from us.

Third: True worship requires proper preparation.

Notice the intentionality and the preparation of Solomon. Such is also required of us. We must order our lives aright.

Fourth: True worship now comes not in a place but in a person.

The temple that Solomon built would be destroyed by the Babylonians, rebuilt by the exiles who returned led by men like Ezra and Nehemiah, refurbished by Herod, and destroyed again by the Romans in AD 70, and there has never been another temple built to replace it.

The early Christians were considered strange, because they had no physical temple. They looked not to a place but to a person: the Lord Jesus Christ. Christ is indeed our temple. Let us worship him in spirit and in truth (John 4:24).

Grace and peace, Pastor Jeff Riddle

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