So behold, I plan to build a house for the Name of the LORD my God, according to what the LORD said to my father David: 'I will put your son on your throne in your place, and he will build the house for My Name.'
Hebrews 10:1). The Temple was to form a part of this preparation.
I. IT WAS A VISIBLE SYMBOL OF THE PRESENCE OF GOD WITH HIS PEOPLE. This was the only way in which such an idea could be brought home to men in the state of rude infancy in which they then were, and with their incapacity to apprehend directly spiritual graces. The material was thus the necessary medium of the spiritual.
II. The erection of a holy place for worship REMINDED MEN THAT THE EARTH WHICH THEY INHABITED WAS DEFILED; it developed in them the sense of sin.
III. THE POSSIBILITY OF DRAWING NEAR TO GOD IN THIS HOLY PLACE pointed to the time of reconciliation, when every spot of a redeemed earth might be a place of prayer; when there should be no longer one sanctuary for one nation alone, but when all the nations should have free access to God as worshippers in spirit and in truth. The fact that Solomon sought out workmen for the Temple, not only among the Israelites, but among the Gentiles, is prophetic, and prefigures the time when the multitude of worshippers shall be "of every kindred, and nation, and people, and tongue" (Revelation 5:9).
IV. THERE IS NOT A SINGLE CHRISTIAN LIVING WHO HAS NOT A TASK LIKE THAT OF SOLOMON TO FULFIL. Every Christian ought to say, "I purpose to build an house to the name of the Lord." (a) He must first become himself a living stone of the spiritual temple (2 Peter 2:51). (b) His body must be the temple of the Holy Ghost (1 Corinthians 6:19), his whole being a sanctuary (1 Corinthians 3.) His house should be a house of prayer (Joshua 24:15). Are not these human temples themselves the stones elect, precious, to be used by and by in that great heavenly temple which the Lord shall build and not man? (2 Corinthians 5:1.) - E. DE P.
The foundation of the house.
I. THIS IS GOD'S METHOD.
1. Observe the work of creation. God took care that even in the material universe there should be a grand foundation for His noble edifice.
2. The same is true of God's work called Providence. No event happens but He has planned it, and ordained that a multitude of other events should precede or follow it. The doings of Providence are threaded together, like pearls upon a string; there is a relation of this to that, and of that to another. Events dovetail the one into the other. Every fact is fitted and adapted to take its place in the design of the Great Architect.
3. But we come into clearer light when we look at the Lord's greatest work of redemption. You and I are not saved haphazard. It is not as though God had saved us on the spur of the moment, as an after-thought which was not in His first intent. No; redemption plays an essential part in the purposes of the Lord.
II. THIS MUST BE OUR METHOD. We must build after this fashion, and make sure of our foundations.
1. Let it be so in the building up of our own life.
2. So it must be, next, in the building up of a church. Is that a church of God which is not founded on everlasting truth? There are numbers of hasty builders with wood, hay, and stubble; but these neither attend to foundation nor to material laid thereon.
3. In the building up of character in others we must mind that we do the foundation work well. Sunday-school teachers are those who do the foundation work; for they begin first with young hearts, while they are tender and susceptible. It is a most important thing that we have our children and young people well instructed in Divine truth and soundly converted.
III. IT IS A WISE METHOD.
1. Because it is suitable for God. You build your temple for God, and not for men: you should, therefore, make that part of the building good which will be seen by him; and as he sees it all, it must be all of the best.
2. Next, look well to the foundation that is out of sight, for your own sake. No builder can afford to be negligent over the unseen part of a building; for it would involve a serious injury to his character. The very act of scamping is mean and degrading, and lowers a man's tone.
3. Further, lay the foundation well, and look to that part which is out of sight, because in this way you will secure the superstructure. There was a bit of a flaw in the foundation, but nobody saw it; for the builder covered it up very quickly, and ran up the whole concern as quickly as possible. The walls were built, and built well. It seemed clear that the fault down below was of no consequence whatever; and as it had a little cheapened the underground construction, was it not so much the better? How long was this the case? Well, the next year nothing happened: a longer time passed away, and then an ugly crack came down the wall. Had there been an earthquake? No, there was no earthquake. Perhaps a cyclone had beaten upon the work? No, there was no cyclone: the weather was the same as usual. What was the cause of that gaping space which marred the beauty of the building, and threatened to bring it down? It was that blunder long age: that underground neglect produced the terrible mischief above, which would involve a great expense, and perhaps render it needful to take all the building down. That which was out of sight did not always remain out of mind; it only needed time to produce a dangerous settlement.
4. Besides, to lay a good foundation, on Solomon's hart was the way to save himself from future fears. Buildings which have to hold a crowd endure seasons of test and trial. Years ago, I was preaching in a building which was exceedingly crowded, and, to my apprehension, there was a continuous tremor. I grew so anxious that I said to a friend, who understood such matters, " Go downstairs and see whether this building is really safe; for it seems hardly able to bear the weight of this crowd." When he returned he looked anxious, but gave me no answer. The service ended quietly, and then he said, "I am so glad that everything has gone off safely. I do not think you should ever preach there again; for it is a very frail affair; but I thought that if I frightened you there would be more risk in a panic than in letting the service go on." Solomon had built with "great stones, costly stones, and hewed stones"; and therefore, when the vast multitudes came together around the temple, it never occurred to him to fear that the great weight of people might cause a subsidence of the foundation.
5. Do look well to the foundation, and to the secret part of your dealings with God, because there is a fire coming which will try all things. "Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is."
( C. H. Spurgeon.)
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