Building the Temple

by Roby Ellis          SPANISH/ESPAÑOL

Our fathers had the tabernacle of witness in the wilderness, as He appointed, instructing Moses to make it according to the pattern that he had seen, which our fathers, having received it in turn, also brought with Joshua into the land possessed by the Gentiles, whom God drove out before the face of our fathers until the days of David, who found favor before God and asked to find a dwelling for the God of Jacob. But Solomon built Him a house. However, the Most High does not dwell in temples made with hands, as the prophet says: “Heaven is My throne, and earth is My footstool. What house will you build for Me? says the Lord, or what is the place of My rest? Has My hand not made all these things?” (Acts 7:44-50).

It is difficult for us to imagine the grandeur of Solomon’s temple. This temple was built out of hewn stones and lined with the world’s choicest cedar. The gold used in its construction weighed at least 3,750 tons, and the silver weighed ten times as much (1 Chronicles 29:7). These elements alone would currently be valued around $170 billion! Why would Solomon lavish such things on a single edifice? He did so because of his great respect for God, for whose honor he was building this marvelous house. This would be the place where the children of Israel would come for generations to worship the only true God. How could any expenditure be excessive or wasteful? When David laid aside many of these provisions during his reign, he said, “But who am I, and who are my people, that we should be able to offer so willingly as this? For all things come from You, and of Your own we have given You” (vs. 14). He even instructed his son to add to the provisions that he had made (1 Chronicles 22:14).

As we consider what David and Solomon and their subjects were willing to give for the service of God, what does it make us think about how we give to God? We are only giving Him what is His in the first place. Is it possible for us to give too much? When we come to understand how much God has blessed us, it would be nearly impossible to keep us from giving. Moses had to restrain the people from bringing their gifts for the construction of the tabernacle, because they had brought “too much” (Exodus 36:5-7). Paul said that the churches of Macedonia had given “beyond their ability” (2 Corinthians 8:3) because they “first gave themselves to the Lord” (vs. 5). Does this characterize our spirit of giving? Does it sound like the kind of spirit that we bring when we come to worship God? Solomon brought Israel’s very best before God. How can we bring anything less?

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