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Fortifying the Foundations # 27
This morning I would like to announce that we will be spending $ 200,000 on the inside of this sanctuary to make it more conducive to worship. We will be improving the acoustics and the lighting in addition to replacing carpet and improving our sound system. Everything will be done first class and the atmosphere will be extremely welcoming for anyone who comes here to worship.
I would like to make that announcement, but I’m not going to because that is not in our plans. I only mention it for one reason. So each of us can a gage our emotional reaction to such expenditure. How did you feel when that announcement was made? Hopefully some rejoiced wondering who the generous donor was. Some like me might wonder how it would be possible. But I hope there were not many who thought, “What a waste. That $ 200,000 could have been given to the poor.”
The question we address this morning is: What is God worth? If a fine race horse is worth a million dollars. What is God worth? If a man’s soul is worth more than all the material resources of the world, what value can we place on the infinite, eternal God?
To make the question more personal I can ask myself, “What is God worth to me?” “What amount of time and resources am I willing to expend toward His purposes and honor?”
Have you ever thought about the gold and silver Moses put into the tabernacle. There those people are in the wilderness living in tents and God tells them to put gold all over the Ark of the Covenant. Gold and silver are used where a much cheaper metal would have done the job—or would it?
Later, when Solomon built the temple he was even more extravagant than Moses. In
2 Chron 4:19-22 we read from TLB
“Solomon commanded that all of the furnishings of the Temple-the utensils, the altar, and the table for the Bread of the Presence must be made of gold; 20also the lamps and lampstands, 21the floral decorations, tongs, 22lamp snuffers, basins, spoons, and firepans-all were made of solid gold. Even the doorway of the Temple, the main door, and the inner doors to the Holy of Holies were overlaid with gold.”
How many homes in Jerusalem at that time do you think had doors overlaid with gold? I doubt many people even considered such a thing. What was God’s response to all this? Did God correct Solomon for his extravagant spending on the Temple? No, there in the Temple stood the Levites dressed in fine spun linen robes. That worship team alone represented a huge investment of time and effort. When the worship began did God say to them, “Why all this waste?” No, we are told that the glory of the Lord filled the temple!
Was it the gold and silver that attracted the Lord? Certainly not. But all that extravagance represented something in those people’s hearts. It was an indication of their priorities. It was a representation of the value they placed upon worship and their relationship with God.
To be sure, those kinds of extravagance have been expended for the wrong reasons at times and the glory of the Lord did not appear. There was extravagance in the building of Herod’s Temple later in Israel’s history. The motives behind that were political and very different from Solomon’s motives.
I am not contending for extravagance per say. But the
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