It would be missing the point completely to read all about the building, the decoration and the furnishing of the Temple and never think about the One who inhabited the Temple. Solomon didn’t build the Temple for himself but for the God who promised He would come and inhabit it. And the text of 1 Kings 8:1-21 tells us that He did. Once the Temple was completed, the Lord came down to that Temple and allowed His glory to fill it, so that none could stand in His presence, keeping people out. What a sight that must have been! But what a greater sight when God became flesh in Jesus and in doing so, hid that glory, even on the cross, so that by His abundant grace, we may come right on in!
• What we’ve noted about the temple • Let’s not miss the One who would be within it! • The day the Temple was opened – and God was there! • Note from the text how it tells us of …
The mercy of God in the temple (v.1-9)
The glory of God in the temple (v.10-12)
The praise of God in the temple (v.13-21)
Meet the King who came from His heavenly temple! Know His sacrificial death for us so we can come in!
Once the task of building the Temple was completed, King Solomon set about to furnish the Temple with the items that would have been prescribed by God to Moses in relation to the tabernacle. 1 Kings 7:13-51 records the many items, some made of bronze, and others of gold, that were soon part of the temple’s furnishings. While some of them sound strange to our ears, they were all of significance and from them we can glean something of God’s redemptive work in saving His people Israel, and also be reminded of the saving work that Jesus would complete for us.
Message (with thanks to Peter Phillips who ‘read’ Philip’s manuscript in his absence due to illness)’
‘The King furnishes the Temple’ • Moving house… rearranging furniture • Everything where it should be • Maybe not everyone’s ‘cup of tea’… • Note from the text how it tells us of …
The outer items of bronze (v.13-47)
The inner items of gold (v.48-51)
See…the care of our Father See…the people of His Church See…the work of our Saviour!
King Solomon not only built the Temple of the Lord his God, but also a palace for him and his family to live in. The rext of 1 Kings 7:1-12 records this fact, informing us that as part of the palace where various Halls where Solomon would perform his royal duties. One of those halls was the ‘Hall of the Throne where he was to pronounce judgment, even the Hall of Judgment’ (verse 7). This hall reminds us that one of Solomon’s tasks was to rule over His people and be their judge, reminding us that King Jesus is now seated upon His throne, from where He ‘will come to judge the living and the dead’ and who is now building a palace for all His own!
Message (with many thanks to Andrew Kerr who ‘read’ Philip’s manuscript after he was unable to attend due to illness)
• God’s good gifts to Solomon… • Misusing those gifts • From the Temple to the palace… • Note from the text how the text tells us of …
The priorities the King put in place (v.1)
The buildings the King put in place (v.2-6,8-12)
The throne the King put in place (v.7)
The King who had nowhere to lay His head The palace our King is now building…
I was surprised and a liitle saddened to hear of the passing of Rev Tim Keller this week, that, is, his passing from earth to heaven. Saddened for his family and church family, but not for him!
Keller’s impact upon New York and upon the world has been nothing less than outstanding and a glowing testimony to the gospel which is ‘the power of God for the salvation of all who believe’ (Romans 1:18).
Below is an excerpt from a lengthy blog post called ‘Moved to heaven’ in which the author (a friend and fellow worker of Tim’s, not only shares the news of his death, but also the value and the impact of his life (including all his sermons and books) that continues to impact the Kingdom of God
This is how the post begins…
“Timothy James Keller went to Heaven earlier this morning, May 19, 2023. The New York City pastor was one of the world’s most insightful presenters of the good news of God’s forgiveness, acceptance, and charge to change the world for the better. He was born on September 23, 1950, in Allentown, Pennsylvania and founded Redeemer Presbyterian Church of New York City in 1989.
Yesterday, at 5:45 pm, Thursday, Michael Keller announced, “Today, Dad is being discharged from the hospital to receive hospice care at home. Over the past few days, he has asked us to pray with him often. He expressed many times through prayer his desire to go home to be with Jesus. His family is very sad because we all wanted more time, but we know he has very little at this point.”
Two nights before this message came, Michael’s father prayed in a family prayer, “I’m thankful for all the people who’ve prayed for me over the years. I’m thankful for my family, that loves me. I’m thankful for the time God has given me, but I’m ready to see Jesus. I can’t wait to see Jesus. Send me home.”
Then, his son Michael wrote, “Dad waited until he was alone with Mom. She kissed him on the forehead and he breathed his last breath. We take comfort in some of his last words, ‘There is no downside for me leaving, not in the slightest.’ See you soon Dad.”
This morning (May 19) at 11:18, Redeemer Presbyterian Church’s leadership passed the word, “Tim Keller, passed away this morning at age 72, trusting in the sure and certain hope of the resurrection.”
God didn’t care only about the appearance of the exterior of the Temple, but also the interior. The text of 1 Kings 6:14-38 tells the reader about the carvings, woodwork, gold and furnishings that could be seen inside its walls, all of which were designed to reflect something of God’s love of beauty, His evident glory and His all surpassing holiness. And yet, while the Temple is with us no longer, God’s interest in beauty, glory and holiness remains – all combined so wonderfully together in the cross of our Saviour, Jesus.
• Getting to know you by seeing your house! • The same is true for God… • Progress in the building of the Temple… • Note from the text how the interior reflects…
God’s perspective on beauty (v.14-18)
God’s expression of glory (v.19-22)
God’s character as holy (v.23-38)
The God of beauty, glory and holiness… His beauty, glory and holiness in another place!
There’s no doubt that the Temple built by King Solomon stands as one of the most important buildings ever constructed. The Temple would stand for all to see that the God of Israel was glorious, and that He lived among His people. In the text of 1 Kings 6:1-13, we are introduced to the size and the layout of the Temple under God’s instructions. But God wasn’t interested in the mere ‘shell’ of the building alone. This text also tells of the heart matters that Solomon needed to get right so he could walk before the Lord.
• The Temple of Solomon! • So much detail • Psalm 127: 1 ‘Unless the Lord builds the house…’ • Note from the text the…
Promises that were fulfilled (v.1)
Details that were recorded (v.2-10)
Responsibilities that were encouraged (v.11-13)
And what are you building? Where Solomon failed….!
“All hail the power of Jesus’ name! Let angels prostrate fall. Bring forth the royal diadem, and crown him, crown him, crown him, crown him Lord of all.“
It would be interesting to know if Edward Perronet (1721-1792) wrote this much-loved hymn after being inspired by watching a coronation service in his day, although in the end it doesn’t really make much difference. The Scriptures are already full of coronations – just think of Samuel’s anointing of Saul (1 Samuel 10:1) and fairly soon after of David (1 Samuel 16:13) and you’ve got the fiirst two covered – on occasions hardly anything at all like the service now underway for Charles III – but that’s what they were. Both Saul and David were anointed Kings over God’s people.
The rest of the Old Testament reveals that there were many Kings of both Israel and Judah, from Solomon, (David’s son and heir) right down to Zedekiah. Not all of them were ‘good’ (in the sense that they loved and served the Lord God with all their heart) and many of them were intent on following their own will and disregarding God as much as He would allow them to. Yes, reading through the lives and deeds of the Kings of Israel and Judah leaves a lot to be desired. Where was the True King, so longed for and promised? Where was the One who would bring lasting peace and joy to the people of God?
It is with a sense of irony that we read in John’s gospel, “He (Jesus) was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him.” (John 1:10). Nothing truer could be spoken. Though Jesus was that True King, He neither looked like nor lived like a King. With no royal carriage or palace or robes or even coronation ceremony, you could be almost understand why the people failed to see that He was a King at all. But He was and He was a King with a difference. These were His words to Pilate, “My kingdom is not of this world” (John 18:36) and by this He reminded all in authority that their kingdoms will one day bow and give way to His. But not yet. His coronation service is still coming. And when it does, the glory and grandeur of it will be seen by all, not just by many. The writer to the Hebrews reminds us of this fact, that in the present, “we do not yet see everything in subjection to Him” (Hebrews 2:9) But when we see Him next there’ll be no doubt as to who will bear the crown of the Kingdom that will have no end.
One of the most important aspects of Solomon’s reign as King was the construction of the Temple of the Lord. This great and significant work was something that God had forbidden King David from doing, but had made clear that David’s son would complete the task. And what a task it was! With the help of King Hiram of Tyre, the gathering of the raw materials was a project of note in itself. As Solomon poits us to Jesus, we are reminded that Jesus gathers His people in to be His new Temple. People of raw material – being transformed into ‘living stones’ that make up His glorious body – the church.
• The most notable building ever built? • Modern day? Taj Mahal? Sydney Opera house? • Moving on to Solomon and the Temple of the Lord • Note from the text…
The conversations that led to cooperation (v.1-9)
The cooperation that led to contracts (v.10-18)
The contracts that led to construction (v.13-18)
The Church – the new Temple Being ‘living stones’ for the glory of the builder!
With his throne and kingdom now well established, the text of 1 Kings 4:1-34, explains for readers the way in which Solomon’s kingdom was organized and structured. This was most necessary because of the size of the projects being overseen and the vast wealth that the King had amassed. The text also informs us that Solomon’s wisdom just kept of growing and was soon to be known throughout the world. All this blessing and prosperity reminds us of the greatness of the Kingdom that Jesus will bring in – that He will share with His people, blessings not created by taxes and forced labour but by and because of His great grace.
• That conflict between leaders and voters.. • The kingdom under Saul, David and now Solomon • Further details about the king’s wisdom • Note from the text… 1.The people of the King’s portfolios (v.1-19)
2. The vastness of the King’s wealth (v.20-28)
3. The extent of the King’s wisdom (v.29-34)
God’s promises to Abraham being fulfilled God’s better promises to us in Christ still to come!
With the previous part of the chapter telling us how God blessed Solomon with wisdom, the text of 1 Kings 3:16-28 gives us some information as to how that wisdom was expressed in Solomon’s life as king. Called upon to give a ruling in a case where it was ‘she said’ versus ‘she said’, the King quickly saw through the confusion to see a way of making the facts plain. The story reminds us that one day we will all need to appear before the throne of Christ to be judged by Him. There is only one safe place to be – on His side already!
• Like the challenge of a good riddle? • A real life circumstance! • Solomon’s wisdom is from the Lord • Note from the text… 1.The evidence of the case presented to the King (v.16-21)
The judgment of the case as determined by the King (v.22-27)
The fame of this case that glorified the King (v.28)
How not to apply this story Only one safe place to stand before the Judge!