November 09, 2021 – Tuesday
1 Kings 5:17 NIV
17 At the king’s command they removed from the quarry large blocks of high-grade stone to provide a foundation of dressed stone for the temple.
This verse doesn’t make much sense by itself so let me provide some context. The king is Solomon, and he is building a temple to God. It was the temple King David could not build because God had said in 1 Chronicles 28:3,
You are not to build a house for my Name, because you are a warrior and have shed blood. The temple was completed about 957 BC and was known as Solomon’s Temple until it was looted and destroyed in 587-586 BC at the hands of the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar. It became known as the First Temple when the exiled Jews were permitted to return to Jerusalem and built the Second Temple which stood from 516 BC to 70 AD.
Getting back to our verse for today, in the next verse we find The craftsmen of Solomon and Hiram and workers from Byblos cut and prepared the timber and stone for the building of the temple. Hiram was the king of Tyre and he worked with Solomon to build the temple by providing workers and all the cedar and juniper logs he needed (v8).
At first it seems somewhat odd to build the temple with dressed or cut stones when alters could not use stones that cut to size. But these were not simply stones, but stones that had to be cut out of a quarry. And in the next chapter 1 Kings 6:7 we learn, In building the temple, only blocks dressed at the quarry were used, and no hammer, chisel or any other iron tool was heard at the temple site while it was being built. It is likely the dressing of the stone at the quarry, ensuring as little noise as possible at the temple building site, was a result of the command from Exodus 20:25 that no iron tool would be used in building an altar. It has been noted that the stones for Temple fit together exceedingly well.
It is interesting to consider McLaren’s Expositions on this when he compares it the building of prepared stones for God’s house in heaven. He writes, This world is the quarry where the stones are dressed for the Temple in the heavens. Life is the chipping and hewing. The unnecessary pieces are struck off with heavy mallet and sharp chisel. Pain and sorrow are thus explained, if not wholly, yet sufficiently to bring about submission and trust. The Builder has His plan clearly before Him, and works accurately to realise it. He perfectly knows what He means to build, and every stroke of the dressing-tool is accurately directed. There are no mistakes made in His quarrying. Of course, this is only for those who have accepted Christ as we will be the stones for His church.
Bottom Line: What we experience as Christians is God shaping us for our place in heaven. He begins His work on each of us here on earth and finishes it here as well. Scary and comforting at the same time.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, Thank You for the Blessing of Salvation through Your Son. Also, for Your shaping us for our home in heaven. – In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Riley D. Driver – Pastor
Calvary Chapel of Dayton in Beavercreek