11 The word of the Lord came to Solomon: 12 “As for this temple you are building, if you follow My decrees, observe My laws and keep all My commands and obey them, I will fulfill through you the promise I gave to David your father. 13 And I will live among the Israelites and will not abandon My people Israel.”
1 Kings 6:11-13
Here we are in chapter six of 1 Kings and it is about Solomon building a temple of the Lord. In fact the chapter begins with the following detail about when it was built.
In the four hundred and eightieth year after the Israelites came out of Egypt, in the fourth year of Solomon’s reign over Israel, in the month of Ziv, the second month, he began to build the temple of the Lord.
1 Kings 6:1
Then verses 2 through 10 are details on how the temple is to be built. Plenty of details, then suddenly our three verses for today followed by details on how Solomon completed the building of the temple. So if the chapter is really about building the temple, what are these three verses doing there in the midst of all these details including it took seven years to complete it (v38)?
I believe it is as the Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges notes The Temple has no value of its own, except so far as it is the sign and witness of obedience to Jehovah. Thus we have the conditional promise God made to Solomon’s father David I will live among the Israelites and will not abandon My people Israel. What was the condition or conditions? [I]f you follow My decrees, observe My laws and keep all My commands and obey them. The fate of the nation of Israel sat upon Solomon’s shoulders and his behavior – his obedience to the Lord.
How different it is for us as Christians when the Holy Spirit dwells within us. Paul makes this clear when he exhorts us to avoid sexual sin because our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit in 1 Corinthians 6.
18 Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body. 19 Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, Who is in you, Whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.
1 Corinthians 6:18-20
So obedience is still greatly desired, but in this case it is to avoid sin, especially sin against your own body.
Returning to Solomon and what God intended for him to understand while building a temple for the Lord. Matthew Henry wrote the following.
None employ themselves for God, without having his eye upon them. But God plainly let Solomon know that all the charge for building this temple, would neither excuse from obedience to the law of God, nor shelter from his judgments, in case of disobedience.
Important insight for us as often when we do what we know is right, we at the same time want to believe the good behavior we have exhibited will excuse our bad (sinful) behavior. It does not. Jesus has already paid the price for all of our sins, but we may not be able to avoid paying a debt (consequences) for our sins in this life. The key for us is to follow Jesus as we live out our lives in this world.
It’s Friday and I hope everyone has a Great Weekend and remembers to Go To Church. Prayers continue for all of those who have suffered loss through the tornados that swept through our area – Miami Valley of Ohio – Sunday night and Monday morning.