Summary: The house that God is building is a house where His power and Son are preeminent; His presence is pursued; and His purposes is practiced.
A couple of weeks ago were read were seven men were chose to look after the Greek widows, Stephen was one of them. He was a man full of grace and power. He did great signs and wonders But opposition against him arose. Members of the Synagogue of Freeman began arguing with Stephen and his ministry; but the Scripture says they couldn’t stand against the wisdom of the Holy Spirit. So they began spreading lies about him claiming he was blaspheming the Holy Temple of God. He was arrested and put on trial. Instead of being intimidated by the situation Stephen uses this occasion to deliver a scathing sermon of reproach to his objectors; but also in his message he recounts the history of Israel, culminating with the building of God’s houses. Each of the three temples built are a significant part of Israel’s and our history. Each house stands as a symbol of the different stages of God’s House as it has grown from the past, to present and the future.
Moses Tabernacle was a House of Promise and Presence, a period of beginnings. This was the ‘original recipe’ for the house called church. It was at the beginning of Israel’s journey with God to the land of Promise. During this period they learned to walk by faith. They learned the keys to warfare. They experienced God’s miraculous provision of manna and water.
During David time it was a Tabernacle, a House of Praise. It was a period of revival and renewal in God’s House. Physically, it amounted to little more than a tarp stretched over some tent poles to shield the ark from the burning sun. Yet God said, “I will rebuild this one.’ This represents the period of renewal in the life of the believer. God says, I will raise up that which has fallen. I will rebuild the ruins of your life.’ Oh how we love revival. It is spiritual party time!
The Temple of Solomon was a House of Prosperity and Prominence. It represented a period of stability, growth and prominence. Of all the structures that were built, this is the one that stands out in our minds as the temple. It was a glorious edifice. It was inlaid with ivory, and covered with gold on the outside. Kings from all over the world came to wonder at this great building that Solomon had erected. The temple represented God’s presence with his people, His stability, and His power. When Jesus said this temple would be destroyed the religious leaders were incensed.
Why? Because it was all they knew about God! Their thinking was, “This is it!”. It stood as a monument to the past glory of Israel. Everything that they believed and knew about God was contained within the safe walls of the temple. It spoke of history, power and prestige and tradition. They were safe and comfortable within the confines of the temple. They did not have to be stretched in their faith. In short, their faith did not go beyond the confines of the temple courts. In their minds ‘This is all there is for me. I do not need or want to do anything else when comes to God’. They thought they had to protect it, protect God from what others might do to his House. They had forgotten God’s power and presence is sufficient to protect it and lead it to where he wanted it to go just as he had lead them through the wilderness.