David, a man after God’s own heart and a man of war, was not going to be the man to build the First Temple. That task was given to his son Solomon. However, David drew up the plans. He said, “Solomon my son is young and inexperienced, and the house that is to be built for the LORD must be exceedingly magnificent, of fame and glory throughout all lands; I will therefore make preparation for it.” David understood the importance of building a dwelling place for the Lord. He dedicated the end of his life to gathering a great quantity of building materials for the Temple.
The building of the First Temple was a monumental task. It was built by 30,000 Israelites; 150,000 Canaanites & even Phoenician artists. Construction began in the fourth year of Solomon’s reign and took seven years (specifics from L. Dolphin).
After reading about the details of the Temple in 1 Kings 6, we learn in the next chapter that it took 13 years to build Solomon’s personal palace.
Did you catch it? I almost missed it the first time I read it.
Solomon spent twice as long building his own palace then he spent building the dwelling of the Lord. He used twice as much of his time, energy, & resources for HIMSELF than he did for His Lord.
This was the beginning of the descent. For many years Solomon pursued a self-centered (proud) instead of a God-centered (humbled) life. He wandered away from fellowship with His God, returning only much later, near the end of the life, to record for us in his book, Ecclesiastes, what he had learned about the emptiness of all of life apart from God.
But can we really judge him? How much of our time, energy, & resources are allocated to our own interests? How much is allocated to serving the Lord?
You may think, “It’s unrealistic for me to spend twice as much time on the Lord’s work as my own!” Is it? Or are we so self-consumed that we choose comfort and convenience over sacrifice and service for His glory?
I’m just as guilty. I’ve found over the last few months that even the small amount of my day that I spend in the Word and in prayer has been cut in half. Yet my time on Twitter and Facebook as more than doubled.
What is a “realistic” solution?
wake up early to spend time in His Word
pray throughout the day
find a new ministry opportunity within your giftedness
teach your children how much God loves them
encourage a friend with God’s hope
count your blessings (1000 gifts)
memorize a section of scripture
“Unless the LORD builds the house, those who build it labor in vain… It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives to his beloved sleep.” Ps 127:1-2
Lastly, with the new covenant (Christ’s death on the cross), the Temple curtain was torn. We were given access to the Holy of Holies, the One True God. His Spirit dwells within us…the dwelling place of the Lord.
Choose today where you will allocate your time, energy & resources…On the dwelling place of the Lord. Or on building your own personal, comfy palace.
Heather MacFadyen has been married for 12 years, is the mother of 3 young boys (pregnant with a 4th child) and, in her “free time”, writes for her blog, www.godcenteredmom.com. Her goal is to encourage other moms (and herself) to daily clothe themselves in humility by placing God in the center, so they can serve their families with joy and to bring God glory.