Summary: The way that the temple was used in redemptive history is a reminder of how easy it is for religion to become hollow, or for ritual to rplece a relationship with God.
How important is the temple in the life of the Israelites?
We need to realise that
= Temple (permanent)
Reminder of selectiveness of Scripture.
• highly detailed description of structure, worship articles, clothes to wear.
• then it tells us that they did it.
• very repetitive.
The point being that God is very specific about the Tabernacle/Temple.
34 Then the cloud covered the tent of meeting, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. 35 Moses could not enter the tent of meeting because the cloud had settled on it, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle.
36 In all the travels of the Israelites, whenever the cloud lifted from above the tabernacle, they would set out; 37 but if the cloud did not lift, they did not set out—until the day it lifted. 38 So the cloud of the Lord was over the tabernacle by day, and fire was in the cloud by night, in the sight of all the Israelites during all their travels.
Yahweh was there!!
If you wanted to know that God was with you, all you had to do was look at the tabernacle.
– the spiritual encouragement this would give.
- also the challenge “How do I live a Holy Life”
Because God is right there.
That was the purpose of this building.
It helped answer the question “How Do I Live A Holy Life?”
That is the question we struggle with just as much don’t we.
We have an awareness of personal failings (expand)
- pre-Christian life … it has consequences.
- the constant temptations … they cause guilt.
- stubborn character traits … we are in this personal battle.
So we identify with the Israelites and the question that they wrestle with, “How Do I Live A Holy Life”.
And it is a constant question that they wrestle with, so much so that in the days of Solomon – which are about 480 years after the Israelites came out of Egypt and when they built the tabernacle – there is still very much a desire to build a permanent structure.
Let’s have a closer look at some aspects of the temple.
It was Yahweh’s idea and King David’s plan
(Turn to it)
verses 2-3 a desire thwarted, David was a warrior and had too much blood on his hands to build the temple.
verses 11-12 David is the architect.
verse 17 all down to the finest detail.
19 “All this,” David said, “I have in writing as a result of the Lord’s hand on me, and he enabled me to understand all the details of the plan.”
The building is often called Solomon’s Temple, but really it is God’s Temple isn’t it. God is getting the help of all sorts of people to make the building happen.
The Temple was a huge project
6000 tonnes of wheat
8000 litres of pure olive oil.
The achievement ability would have been high.
6am-6pm … 6 days a week.
27 long, 9 m wide, 13 m high (higher than a power pole)
That is just the actual temple building.
No cost was spared
A seven year project
Talk freely about how when we do a project we feel so proud,
- look at what I did.
- other people comment.
How Solomon felt and the nation as well.
This is a crowning achievement.
It is so grand.
Everyone was able to live a holy life because the temple was there to help.
Everyone felt so safe in their religion.
Except there is one problem
now it is all gone.
Remember this book is written to the exiles in Jerusalem.
This is what they think about when they read about the temple.
2 Kings 25:8-10, 13-15.
Everything – down to the forks and knives David was so meticulous in organising – it is all gone.
The very thing which is meant to be their source of spiritual connection … is just ashes.
After the exile
Rebuild of temple, expanded by Herod.
It was also destroyed by the Romans.
So what is going on?
Remember the purpose of the tabernacle/temple is to help us answer the question, how do we live a holy life?
1 Kings 8:23-24 (read)
God has been faithful
1 Kings 8:27-30 (read)
No hear from the temple, but hear from heaven.
It is not the tabernacle or the temple that enables people to move forward.
It is not the ritual and the religion that gives us hope.