Glorious temple….and a Glorious Saviour

23 07 2011

DAY ONE HUNDRED AND SEVENTY : 1 Kings 6 v. 1 – 7 v. 22; Acts 13 v. 13 – 41; Psalm 75 v. 1 – 10

1 KINGS
Solomon Builds the Temple – we are told it is 48o years since the Israelites had come out of Egypt, and the fourth year of Solomon’s reign as king of Israel, when the temple building began (in the month of Ziv).
Dimensions – sixty cubits long, twenty wide and thirty high.
A portico to the front of the main hall, also twenty cubits wide, and ten cubits extending further.
It had narrow windows, a main hall, an inner sanctuary, side rooms.
Dressed blocks of stone from the quarry were used – no hammers (etc) were used on site.
There were entrances to the three levels built; the temple was roofed with beams and cedar planks.
The side rooms were build all around the temple, five cubits high.
God encourages Solomon during the building, ‘As for this temple you are building….if you follow my decrees….I will fulfil through you the promise I gave David, your father….’

The temple is built to king David’s plans, and there is a reminder from God that building a temple is not ‘it’! Obedience will still be the doorway to experiencing God’s richest promises.

The building work completed, Solomon got on with the interior decor – cedar boards, panelling, pine flooring; he formed the inner sanctuary with cedar boards (the Most High Place). Carved gourds and flowers adorned the interior, and everything inside the temple was made of cedar, not stone.
The inner sanctuary (20 cubits long, 20 high and 20 wide), was overlaid with gold, including the altar. An identical pair of olive wood cherabim, ten cubits high, were carved, their wings (five cubits long)  were placed in the inner room, with their wings spread out, touching opposite walls, and touching each other. These, too were overlaid with gold. The inner sanctuary had olive wood doors (with five-sided jambs), with carved cherubin, palms and flowers.
The whole interior of the temple was overlaid with gold, and the walls adorned with carved cherubim, palm trees, open flowers. The doors to the main hall were made of olive wood.
The inner courtyard was three courses of dressed stone, and one of cedar beams.
It took seven years to build this temple, completed in Solomon’s eleventh year (in the month of Bul).

Solomon Builds His Palace – Solomon’s palace takes thirteen years to build. The ‘Palace of the Forest of Lebanon’ was one hundred cubits long, fifty wide and thirty high – cedar columns supporting cedar beams, roofed with cedar, high windows in sets of three. Great doorways, in sets of three, facing each other were included. A colonnade (50 x 30 cubits), with a portico in front, and then pillars with an overhanging roof.
A throne hall (‘the Hall of Justice’), where the king would do his judging.
There was a palace of residence for Solomon, set further back; and he built a palace for Pharaoh’s daughter, one of his wives.
All this was made with ‘high-grade stone cut to size and trimmed with a saw’. Only the finest materials.

The Temple’s Furnishings – Solomon sends for fine bronze craftsman – Huram, whose mother was a Naphtali-ite, his father from Tyre. Huram came and worked brilliantly for Solomon.
Two bronze pillars, eighteen cubits high, and twelve cubits round, with five-cubit-high capitals to set on the pillar tops.
Interwoven chains ‘festooned the capitals’.
Pomegranates galore were crafted as decoration.
The portico capitals were lily-shaped, four feet high.
He even named the great pillars Jakin and Boaz. The pillars were complete!


ACTS
In Pisidian Antioch – continuing Paul’s first missionary journey, they set sail from Paphos to Perga, where John leaves them to return to Jerusalem. From Perga, they journeyed to Pisidian Antioch, entering the synagogue there on the Sabbath day, and sitting down. After the reading of the word, the synagogue rulers invite Paul and the group to bring ‘a message of encouragememt’.
Paul stands up to address the congregation.
Paul grounds his address in God’s choosing of His people, their forefathers, leading them out of Egypt, through forty years in the wilderness, overthrowing nations in Canaan, and His people inheriting the land – around 450 years.
Then he speaks of the period of the judges and the prophet Samuel, then the kings – Saul, David and others – linking ‘the Saviour Jesus’ to the line of David, preceded by John the baptiser, quoting him saying, ‘He is coming after me, whose sandals I am not worthy to untie.’
Then addressing the ‘children of Abraham and you God-fearing Gentiles’, he outlines the ‘message of salvation’.
Though having no grounds for a death-sentence, the Jerusalem rulers asked Pilate for an execution. Jesus is crucified and buried, but is raised from the dead, and appears to may who are His witnesses.
Paul says it is good news  – the fulfilment of prophecies and promises – and uses Psalms to show them that Jesus was God’s Son. Unlike David, who died, was buried, and whose body decayed, ‘the one whom God raised from the dead did not see decay’.
Paul tells them that through Jesus the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed.
‘Through Him everyone who believes is justified from everything you could not be justified from by the Law of Moses’.

Here is the essence of Paul’s message, that Jesus brings a freedom and a complete ‘justification’ which is impossible for people, or for the Law to bring. Jesus’ life, death and resurrection IS the proclamation of forgiveness.

PSALM
Musical direction for this song includes the tune ‘Do Not Destroy’ (would love to know what some of these tunes sounded like).
‘We give thanks to You, O God…for Your Name is near.
You say….’it is I who hold earth’s pillars firm.
To the arrogant I say, ‘Boast no more’.’
It is God who judges: He brings down one, he exalts another.
As for me, I will declare this for ever – I will sing praise to the God of Jacob.’

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