Summary: God gave King Solomon the requirements for the presence of God to dwell in the Temple at Jerusalem. Those same requirements pertain to the presence of God in the Temple of our hearts.
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Pastor James May
BUILD YOUR TEMPLE!
1 Kings 6:11-13, "And the word of the LORD came to Solomon, saying, Concerning this house which thou art in building, if thou wilt walk in my statutes, and execute my judgments, and keep all my commandments to walk in them; then will I perform my word with thee, which I spake unto David thy father: And I will dwell among the children of Israel, and will not forsake my people Israel."
Ever since the Children of Israel were freed from slavery in Egypt and God had revealed to Moses the “blueprint” of the Tabernacle in the Wilderness, Israel had dreamed of a permanent Temple in the Promised Land. Canaan Land was to be their home for all time and the Temple was to be the place where the presence of God lived in their midst.
In the days of King Solomon, God allowed the Temple to be built in Jerusalem. In this holy place, the Ark of the Covenant would be put in its place within the Holy of Holies and upon this Ark was the Mercy Seat, overshadowed by the Cherubim’s wings. Between their wings, resting upon the Mercy Seat, the power, presence and glory of God was ever present, shining in the wonderful light of His mercy.
God’s promise to Solomon of His continued presence in the midst of Israel was conditional upon the people of Israel and Solomon as its King, living according to the commandments and statues of Holiness, Righteousness, and Obedience.
Paul the Apostle said in 1 Corinthians 3:16-17, "Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are."
Thus we see that, in the time since the death of Jesus upon the Cross, God has chosen not to dwell in a building in Jerusalem but He now lives in the heart of each man, woman and child who will surrender their lives and fulfill the same requirements of Holiness, Righteousness and Obedience.
Those same three requirements must always be met if man is to dwell in the presence of God.
Solomon began his rule as King of Israel with the right attitude and was blessed by God. He was God’s chosen man, as the son of David, to rule over the people and to build the temple that David had so carefully designed and planned but could never see completed because of his own sin.
Even though David will be in Heaven, and his throne endures forever through Jesus Christ our Lord, and even though David is known in scripture as a “man after God’s own heart”, David still had to suffer, in the flesh, the consequences of his sin.
I saw a movie recently titled “Oh Brother Where Art Thou” where three escaped criminals were on the run. One scene in this movie stands out to me more than any other.
While on the run they are involved in a baptismal scene at the river. Two of the criminals are baptized by the preacher and they immediately think that all of their past sin is gone and that they are not innocent again and the law can’t touch them.
There was no repentance or change of heart, they only got wet and nothing else but they thought the “preacher had washed their sins away”. Nothing can do that but the Blood of Jesus Christ though Repentance and acceptance of Jesus as Lord and Savior.
The only one who had any intelligence among the three spoke up and his statement makes the point that I want to emphasize. He said, “The Lord may have forgiven you and washed your sin away, but the State of Mississippi isn’t so forgiving and you still have a debt to pay.”
King David found that out the hard way. First of all there was the terrible feeling of guilt that came from the sin of adultery that David committed. Then there was the loss of his son who was born as a result of that affair. Then David is not allowed to build the Temple that he had dreamed of for so long because of his sin.