This year, I committed to reading through the Bible and creating a podcast each day to help people to grow in their understanding and enjoying of God’s Word so that they can apply it in the power of the Holy Spirit. I have recently decided that writing a script for each podcast helps me to maintain an economy of words and not “chase too many rabbits.”
So, if you want to read some of my reflections on passages of Scripture as I make my way through the Bible, read on. If, instead, you want to listen, just search for “Enjoying the Bible” on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Spotify, and a few other platforms.
1 Kings 6
V.1-38 – building the Temple
The first verse gives us some VERY helpful historical information…
1 Kings 6:1 (CSB): “Solomon began to build the temple for the Lord in the four hundred eightieth year after the Israelites came out of the land of Egypt, in the fourth year of his reign over Israel, in the month of Ziv, which is the second month.”
Allow me to quote from the Bible Knowledge Commentary regarding this verse…
BKC: “This verse is one of the most important in the Old Testament chronologically because it enables one to fix certain dates in Israel’s history. The dates of Solomon’s reign have been quite definitely established through references in ancient writings. They were 971–931 B.C. According to this verse, in the fourth year of his reign, Solomon began to build the temple. That was in 966 B.C. The Exodus took place 480 years earlier (1446 B.C.).
Well, in verses 2-10, we read about the Temples dimensions and other relevant details. The Temple’s dimensions were 90 feet long and 30 feet wide. The front two-thirds formed the holy place where the priests would serve at the table of the Bread of the Presence, the Lampstand, and the Altar of Incense next to the Veil. Behind the veil was the back 1/3. The Holy of Holies was 30 x 30, and it is the place where God remained among His people.
If you are an architect, a builder, or you are a visual person, then you will really enjoy these sections of Scripture where the writer paints a picture with his words regarding what this incredibly beautiful place of worship looked like.
In verses 11-13, the Lord steps into space and time and encourages Solomon. But, God’s encouragement is conditional. IF Solomon obeys God’s Word, THEN God will remain in the Temple with His people. Listen…
1 Kings 6:11-13 (CSB): “11 The word of the Lord came to Solomon: 12 ‘As for this temple you are building—if you walk in my statutes, observe my ordinances, and keep all my commands by walking in them, I will fulfill my promise to you, which I made to your father David. 13 I will dwell among the Israelites and not abandon my people Israel.’”
As the years played out, God’s presence would come and go a couple of times. Yet, God showed up in a human body in the Temple about 1,000 years later. Jesus spent much time in the Temple area teaching and healing. God had shown back up to this place of worship. But just as 1 Kings 6 records God as saying, “I will stay with you as long as you are obedient,” we read in the Gospels that the Jewish leaders, in particular, did not recognize their Messiah. In fact, they flat out rejected Him. That’s why Jesus uttered the following words as He was preparing to go to the cross …
Matthew 23:37-39 (CSB): “37 Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her. How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing! 38 See, your house (the Temple) is left to you desolate (“ἔρημος” – “uninhabited, deserted”). 39 For I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord’!”
If Jesus uttered these words in about 30 AD, the Temple would sit empty, void of God’s presence, for 40 more years. In 70 AD, the Roman commander, Titus, came in to ransack Jerusalem and completely dismantled the Temple so that not one stone was left on top of another. God had permanently left the Temple, and the Temple was destroyed.
But for New Testament believers, we don’t look at that event with sadness. We understand that God has a New Temple and an unconditional promise to never leave it.
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (CSB): “19 Don’t you know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, 20 for you were bought at a price. So glorify God with your body.”
Did you get that? Our body is now the Temple of God! That’s why we are to glorify Him in our bodies. That’s why every moment of our day should be an act of worship. Because our body is God’s Temple, and He will never ever leave it again.
As we get back to the text of 1 Kings 6, we observe that the Temple continues to be prepared for worship. So much is done and explained in the biblical account. But there is one particular verse I want to draw our attention to.
1 Kings 6:19 (CSB): “He prepared the inner sanctuary inside the temple to put the ark of the Lord’s covenant there.”
So, the Ark of the Covenant that Moses built was placed inside Solomon’s Temple. But as history plays out and we eventually approach the Babylonian invasion of Judah, and the Jews are taken into captivity, we won’t hear of the Ark again. It is very doubtful that it was ever in the Temple that Zerubbabel rebuilt that Jesus would frequently visit during His time on earth.
This chapter ends with the following verses that let us know that it took 7 years to build the Temple …
1 Kings 6:37-38 (CSB): “37 The foundation of the Lord’s temple was laid in Solomon’s fourth year in the month of Ziv. 38 In his eleventh year in the month of Bul, which is the eighth month, the temple was completed in every detail and according to every specification. So he built it in seven years.”
1 Kings 7
V.1-14 – Solomon’s palace complex
In verses 1-14, we read the description of Solomon’s palace complex. This wasn’t a hastily built house that was constructed in a matter of weeks or months. Instead, with all of the skilled workers at his disposal, we read in verse 1 that it took a very long time to build it.
1 Kings 7:1 (CSB): “Solomon completed his entire palace complex after thirteen years of construction.”
One of the principles we learn from Solomon’s ambitious building projects is that if you want something done right, get the right person to lead the project. Get someone who is very skilled.
Solomon didn’t just get hired workers to build the Temple and the Palace. He got Hiram of Tyre who was incredibly gifted.
1 Kings 7:13-14 (CSB): “13 King Solomon had Hiram brought from Tyre. 14 He was a widow’s son from the tribe of Naphtali, and his father was a man of Tyre, a bronze craftsman. Hiram had great skill, understanding, and knowledge to do every kind of bronze work. So he came to King Solomon and carried out all his work.”
There’s a time and place where we just do what needs to be done. It doesn’t need skilled craftsmanship. It just needs to get done.
But, if we have self-respect and a love for the Lord, then we need to do some things very well. Whether it’s a building project or a ministry or business that needs someone skilled to lead it, we need to realize that Christians should lead the way in doing things the right way. If we can’t do it well, then we need to bring someone alongside us to do it well.
Well, let’s get back to the text…
In verses 15-22, we read about the two bronze pillars built for the Temple. They were massive. Both of them were 27 feet high and 18 feet in circumference. These pillars spoke of God’s strength available to the nation of Israel as they obeyed Him. When a king of Israel wanted to make a covenant with God, they might stand next to one of these pillars to symbolize their dependence upon God’s strength to fulfill their duty.
In verses 23-26, the basic was constructed. This was corresponding to the laver that had been built for the tabernacle. This was the basin that contained water for the priests to regularly wash their hands in as they did their duty. So, how big was it? It appears that it could hold about 12,000 gallons of water. The average baptistery that is built behind the pulpit holds about 500 gallons of water, so that is 24 baptisteries.
In verses 27-37, he built bronze water carts. In verses 38-40a, he built bronze basins and other utensils. And in verses 40b-47, Hiram completes the work of the things made of bronze.
In verses 48-50, we read of the furniture in the Temple, and that it was made of pure gold.
1 Kings 7:48-50 (CSB): “48 Solomon also made all the equipment in the Lord’s temple: the gold altar; the gold table that the Bread of the Presence was placed on; 49 the pure gold lampstands in front of the inner sanctuary, five on the right and five on the left; the gold flowers, lamps, and tongs; 50 the pure gold ceremonial bowls, wick trimmers, sprinkling basins, ladles, and firepans; and the gold hinges for the doors of the inner temple (that is, the most holy place) and for the doors of the temple sanctuary.”
I can only imagine how beautiful it was inside the Temple, with the lampstand providing the light against all of the gold items.
Then, we read in verse 51 that the Temple was completed.
1 Kings 7:51 (CSB): “So all the work King Solomon did in the Lord’s temple was completed. Then Solomon brought in the consecrated things of his father David—the silver, the gold, and the utensils—and put them in the treasuries of the Lord’s temple.”
The Temple has been completed. Now, it’s time to dedicate it to the Lord and then begin using it in Israel’s worship of the One True God. We will read about that tomorrow.
I hope today’s episode has helped you to understand and enjoy God’s Word so that you can apply it in the power of the Holy Spirit.
The “Enjoying the Bible” podcast is a ministry of the First Baptist Church in Polk City, Florida. Check us out at fbcpolkcity.com. See you tomorrow!