1 Kings 6:1 (KJV) And it came to pass in the four hundred and eightieth year after the children of Israel were come out of the land of Egypt, in the fourth year of Solomon’s reign over Israel, in the month Zif, which is the second month, that he began to build the house of the Lord.
Life in any kingdom cannot be properly executed without there being an agenda from which to construct and order everyday living. This agenda comes directly from whoever is the head of state, which places this individual at the very center of the populace’s lives. In other words, the life of every citizen within the kingdom revolves around and is directly influenced by the ideology of the head of state. So, it is within the Kingdom of God as well.
Understanding The Text
In the previous text, we observe that Solomon has fortified the kingdom and centralized his administration and government in a hierarchy of power that stemmed from his throne (1 Kgs. 4:1-28). Although he made significant changes to the administrative areas, he retained most of the tribal areas, therefore, making only economic and geopolitical alterations when necessary. However, by centralizing the government, Solomon removed the administrative independence formerly found within the tribal system.
Once the government was established, Solomon returned to a topic whose subject matter was at the core of his father’s heart: building a dwelling place for the Ark of the Covenant (2 Sam. 7:1-17; 1 Kgs. 5:1-18). Although the Nation of Israel requested to have “a king to judge us like all the nations”, David understood that God was still the True King of Israel (1 Sam. 8:5). It grieved David to house what was supposed to represent the Presence of God within a tent while he himself dwelt in “a house of cedar” (2 Sam. 7:2). It was disrespectful and dishonorable to the God that David recognized as the True God and King. We observe later that David’s desire to build the Temple was not granted because the kingdom was not yet consolidated and secured. However, God promises David that his seed (Solomon) would build the Temple in his stead once there was peace within the kingdom (2 Sam. 7:13).
In today’s text, Solomon begins the magnanimous effort of building a Temple for God. Although Solomon had exercised his royal prerogatives as king in setting up his administration, he knew that the completion of the Temple had a more significant meaning. This act would place God at the very center of everyday life within the Nation of Israel as King. The Word of the Lord came to Solomon saying, “Concerning this house which you are building, if you will walk in My statutes, and execute My judgments, and keep all My commandments to walk in them; then will I perform My word with you, which I spoke unto David your father: And I will dwell among the children of Israel, and will forsake My people Israel” (1 Kgs. 6:11-13).
Similar to the construction of the Tabernacle, while constructing the Temple, both God and Solomon were concerned with every intricate detail of the building process (Ex. 25:1-27:20; 1 Kgs. 6:2-10; 15-37; 7:15-51). The major differences between the two buildings, however, lie within the richness of the Temple furnishings and its size, which was twice the size of the Tabernacle (1 Kgs. 6:2). Regardless of how magnificent and splendidly appealing to the eye as the Temple was, the most important factor of it all would be the Presence of God.
In what ways are our lives demonstrating that we have the Spirit of God living within us?
Why Is This Important To Us?
This is important to us because when we accepted Christ Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we were translated into the Kingdom of God immediately. Having been purchased with the Blood of Jesus, our lives no longer belong to us, but we belong to God (2 Cor. 5:17-18). God has given us a new heart and a new spirit (Ez. 11:19-20; 36:25-27). Not only has He given us a new spirit, but it is His Holy Spirit Who indwells us (1 Cor. 6:19-20). As such, we have become the new “temple of the living God” (2 Cor. 6:16).
What does this mean for us? It means that in the same way the intricate details of building both the Tabernacle and Temple was important to God, every intricate detail about our salvific process is important to Him as well. The Apostle Paul explains that our “body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, which is in you, which we have of God, and you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore, glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s” (1 Cor. 6:19-20).
This means that we cannot do whatever we want with our lives. God has told us, “I will dwell in you, and walk in you; and I will be your God, and you shall be My people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be separate, says the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you…” (2 Cor. 6:14-17). God has made the same promise to us today that He made to Solomon (1 Kgs. 6:11-13). As the “temple of God”, we must ensure that our lives reflect the fact that God is now at the very center of our everyday lives as King. His Kingdom agenda has now become the agenda for our lives.
Becoming the “temple of God” is such a small price to pay in comparison to the price that was paid in order to secure our new status. By accepting the free gift of salvation, we are acknowledging that God “has made Him (Christ Jesus) to be sin for us, Who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Christ” (2 Cor. 5:21). When the unbelieving world sees us, there should be the distinguishing mark of Christ’s life on display within us. Why? Because we are now the dwelling place of the Spirit of the Living God. So, “having, therefore, these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God” (2 Cor. 7:1).