“It was in midspring, in the month of Ziv, during the fourth year of Solomon’s reign, that he began to construct the Temple of the Lord. This was 480 years after the people of Israel were rescued from their slavery in the land of Egypt” (I Kings 6:1, NLT).
“The Temple that King Solomon built for the Lord was 90 feet long, 30 feet wide, and 45 feet high.The entry room at the front of the Temple was 30 feet wide, running across the entire width of the Temple. It projected outward 15 feet from the front of the Temple. Solomon also made narrow recessed windows throughout the Temple” (I Kings 6:2-4).
“He built a complex of rooms against the outer walls of the Temple, all the way around the sides and rear of the building. The complex was three stories high, the bottom floor being 7 1/2 feet wide, the second floor 9 feet wide, and the top floor 101/2 feet wide. The rooms were connected to the walls of the Temple by beams resting on ledges built out from the wall. So the beams were not inserted into the walls themselves” (I Kings 6:5-6).
“The stones used in the construction of the Temple were finished at the quarry, so there was no sound of hammer, ax, or any other iron tool at the building site” (I Kings 6:7).
Talk about your accuracy and craftsmanship! The stones of the temple were cut so precisely that each one fit an exact location and required no trimming or hammering into place.
“The entrance to the bottom floor was on the south side of the Temple. There were winding stairs going up to the second floor, and another flight of stairs between the second and third floors. After completing the Temple structure, Solomon put in a ceiling made of cedar beams and planks. As already stated, he built a complex of rooms on three sides of the building, attached to the Temple walls by cedar timbers. Each story of the complex was 7 1/2 feet high” (I Kings 6:8-10)..
“Then the Lord gave this message to Solomon: ‘Concerning this Temple you are building, if you keep all My decrees and regulations and obey all My commands, I will fulfill through you the promise I made to your father, David” (I Kings 6:12).
As we’ve seen repeatedly, here we have another conditional covenant: “If you keep all My decrees and regulations and obey all My commands…” At Solomon’s coronation, David had reminded him sternly:
“So now, with God as our witness, and in the sight of all Israel – the Lord’s assembly – I give you this charge. Be careful to obey all the commands of the Lord your God, so that you may continue to possess this good land and leave it to your children as a permanent inheritance. And Solomon, my son, learn to know the God of your ancestors intimately. Worship and serve Him with your whole heart and a willing mind. For the Lord sees every heart and knows every plan and thought. If you seek Him, you will find Him. But if you forsake Him, He will reject you forever. So take this seriously. The Lord has chosen you to build a Temple as His sanctuary. Be strong, and do the work.’ Then David gave Solomon the plans for the Temple and its surroundings…” (I Chronicles 28:8-11a).
David entrusted Solomon with an awesome task and offered him some great advice as he did so – advice that it would behoove each one of us to take to heart for ourselves: “Learn to know… God… intimately. Worship and serve Him with your whole heart and a willing mind.” May we all make these words a heartfelt part of our daily prayers.
And remember: God doesn’t wander away from you. He’s not hard to find. “If you seek Him, you will find Him.” What are you doing to stay close to Him and know Him more deeply?
Copyright © 2013
Judy Woodward Bates