1 Kings 7:22
And on the top of the pillars was lily work: so was the work of the pillars finished.
In the porch of this building were two pillars, strength and "beauty." Even they, besides their immediate purpose, would suggest meanings to the reverent observer. Solomon was not what we should call a utilitarian. The pillars could and Should be made beautiful as well as useful. People might say, "Why this waste?" But he did not think it waste at all, and he was right. God has given to some men special genius for things of beauty, men like Aholiab and Bezaleel and Hiram. And such genius can hardly be better employed than in making God's house beautiful. But the temple was used by prophets and by apostles as a type of the great spiritual church. And do not these pillars, divinely designed, in the material temple, bring home to ministers and all church officers, the pillars of our churches, some qualities which they also should possess?
I. ESSENTIAL QUALITIES.
1. Strength. The pillars had to uphold, to give security to the building. They must be strong enough to sustain the weight which is to rest upon them. So pillars of the church should be strong men, with a faith in God which makes them upright, reliable characters. They should be men who do not need propping and persuading, but with an independent and tenacious strength.
2. Soundness. Some hidden flaw in a pillar might one day be the cause of disaster to the whole edifice. The discovery of a serious flaw in the moral character of a leading man in a church has sometimes wrought irremediable mischief.
3. Suitable and staunch material. Any substance will not do for a pillar. Wood will not. It is not stern enough, and it is liable to catch fire. But it would be madness to use unseasoned wood for such a purpose. So all members are not made for pillars. There needs endurance and firmness. A pillar must always be there — should uphold his church in good report and evil report, should be present when. ever possible, night as well as morning, week-night as well as Sunday. This steadiness and fidelity is an invaluable quality in a pillar. Between the pillars Hiram made five mouldings in imitation of pomegranates. There should be a connection of mutual trust and reciprocal courtesies between the officers of a church. Now on the top of the pillars was lily-work.
II. NON-ESSENTIAL BUT VERY DESIRABLE QUALITIES. The lily-work did not add to the strength of the pillar. There have been very useful pillars of the church who had little enough lily-work about them. But these men would have been still more useful if their characters had been winsome too. A church is not like a prison. It needs to attract men. For this it should be beautiful as well as strong.
(David Brook, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And upon the top of the pillars was lily work: so was the work of the pillars finished.