每日诗歌: Here I am Lord (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EcxOkht8w7c)
1 King 6 [Read]
1 King 7 [Read]
Luke 23:27-38 [Read]
Solomon’s Temple was probably the most luxurious structure mentioned in the Bible. Reading the description of the temple design, the material used, and the labor required for its construction, I can’t help but imagining the excitement the people of Israel experienced during those seven years when it was being built (6:38). And I am sure the dedication of the temple, which we will be reading it soon, must have been filled with splendor and glory. It must feel good to be an Israelite during that time.
There are some questions in my mind, though. The insertion of the section on building of the King’s palace (7:1-12) is interesting, for it does not appear in its counterpart in 2 Chronicle. The author of the Kings seemed to want to say something about this particular act of Solomon. First, it took almost twice as long to build the palace as for the temple. This tells us the relative size of the palace. Second, there was a special area for the daughter of Pharaoh (7:8) in the palace which was next to the temple of the LORD. Egypt was never cast with a good light in the Bible, and mixed marriage was never pleasing to God according to the Pentateuch. Finally, the stone and woods used were the same as that for the temple (7:12). Whatever was needed for God was also needed for Solomon the King of Israel.
I may be reading too much into this, but this is very different from the commandments God gave about being a King of his people in Deut 17:14-20. Throughout the narrative of Solomon temple, there was no mention about copying the Laws by the King (Dt 17:18), nor was there a hint that Solomon was reading the Laws all the days (Dt 17:19). The external glory of the temple might be splendid, but the internal character of the King might be eroding.
In stark contrast, we read in today’s NT passage about a true King who, after being ridiculed, beaten, tried, and abandoned, was nailed to the cross. The ironic thing was that he was building the true temple that lasts forever (John 2:19-21). As we read today’s passages, I ask you to meditate on such contrast. It’s a contrast between this life and eternity, and I pray that God will open your eyes to see. Amen.
Keep on reading,