Houses and Palaces

1 Kings 5-9 our reading for the week is filled with the extraordinary descriptions of the House of the LORD [Temple] and the Palace of King Solomon. It took 7 years to build the Temple of God and 13 years to build Solomon’s Palace. There is such extravagance in the building of these to structures, it consumes the reader’s imagination on what it could possible look like. I couldn’t help but think of the intricate details given to Moses on how to construct the Ark of the Covenant and the Sanctuary in the Wilderness. Meticulous instructions and descriptions. The grandeur of Solomon is still talked about today. The wisest man in the world, because God granted it to him, spares no expense on constructing the original Temple Mount and Holy of Holies for God to put His name there. Obviously God can’t be contained, but the Temple would be engulfed by the Presence of God at the dedication later. One can think of when Isaiah went to the Temple [still standing temporarily] and how the smoke-filled the Temple. Solomon didn’t waste much time in his reign before he started building – 4 years. Also note it had been 480 years since the deliverance from Egypt – the “iron furnace.” I stopped and went back to the book of Exodus and thumbed through the books between it and 1 Kings – I was exhausted with thinking about how God had been orchestrating the habitation of Israel into the Promise Land, promised 460 earlier to Abraham. God’s WORD is sure!

David had wanted to build for God a “place to put His name.” But because of the blood on David’s hands, being a man of war, and note it was during the reign of King David that God granted peace on all sides of Israel. David would be greatly instrumental in gathering in all the resources for the building of the Temple, but He wouldn’t see the temple in His day. I have used this next phrase time and time again lately – I wonder if we the Church of today are willing to plant a Tree that we will never sit under the shade of it?” In other words are we willing to plan for the ability of the next generation to come after us to “build a strong Temple of worship” to the Lord? Even through all of the building and construction, at the dedication of the Temple – Solomon is reminded – “I will put my Name here only if you follow me like your father David before you did.” there is more, but too much for this blog.

Solomon conscripted the undisposed tribes that lived in the Land to build. AT the height we find that 150,000 men were employed to build the Temple and Palace. It is interesting that Solomon spent twice as long on His Palace than he did on the Lord’s Temple. The lifestyle and the extravagance of Solomon and his court is mind-boggling. In Chapter 4, we are told that it took 12 deputies that provided for the king’s house – one each month. Even secular history is filled with the mythical stories of the riches and wealth of Solomon. We know that God not only granted Solomon wisdom, but everything else in riches of the world. NOTE: it is Solomon who will conduct a test of the world’s resources to see if they satisfy – he alone had the access and capability to find if the world’s commodities could bring happiness – read the book of Ecclesiastes]

We are told over and over again that there would not cease to be on the throne of David, an ancestor as long as they were obedient like David. How did David walk – 1 Kings 9:4; he walked in integrity of heart, in uprightness, doing all according to all that the LORD commanded, and kept His statutes and ordinances.

King Solomon and Israel had inherited the result of defeating the enemies by their forefathers. Looking back at 480 yrs. of Israel history shows how bloody it was, until God gave “His king” to reign over them.  We have a bloody history, we have been fighting enemies for centuries; it many places the war still rages. BUT God has given us HIS King – King Jesus. David was a man of blood – so was Jesus; His blood cleansed us, purified us and brought us great peace on each side. Jesus our King of Kings has given us “This Temple [body] to put His Name on.” Solomon spared no expense for a Palace; Jesus spared no Expense for His House – of which we are the Temples of God.

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