God's Holy Temple of Living Stones
1 Kings 8:55-61
It was the third king of Israel, Solomon, son of David, that God appointed to
build the temple in ancient Jerusalem. The project took seven years to
complete. Nine centuries later, Paul would observe that the Creator of the
Universe did not dwell in human made temples (Acts 17:24,25). But it ought to
be recognized that Solomon also understood that God would not literally dwell
in His temple as its resident. He observed, "Now
therefore, O God of Israel, let Your word, I pray, be confirmed which You have
spoken to Your servant, my father David. But will God indeed dwell on the
earth? Behold, heaven and the highest heaven cannot contain You, how much less
this house which I have built! Yet have regard to the prayer of Your servant
and to his supplication, O LORD my God, to listen to the cry and to the prayer
which Your servant prays before You today; that Your eyes may be open toward
this house night and day, toward the place of which You have said, ‘My name
shall be there,' to listen to the prayer which Your servant shall pray toward
this place.’” (1 Kings 8:26-30).
The temple was “God’s house” in the sense that it would be the center of
worship offered unto Jehovah. It would be there that God would meet His people
and that, as long as they were faithful, they would have access unto Him.
Building Solomon's Temple
Later the prophet Habakkuk would speak of silent reverence in recognition that
the Lord's presence is in His temple. "But the LORD is in His holy temple. Let
all the earth be silent before Him." (Habakkuk 2:20).
Imagine a large construction project such as the building of this temple. Now
take away all the noise. To show the reverence, the building of the temple was
accomplished in silence! Now there were thousands of workers including
builders and transporters (1 Kings 5:17-18; 6:7). You may think that "prefab"
buildings are a modern invention, but that is not quite so. The stones used to
build the temple were quarried from beds of beautiful white limestone. They
each were carefully cut and dimensioned while at the quarry and then
transported to the temple site where thy would fit perfectly together. The
wood was hewn and cut in the cedar forests of Lebanon and then transported to
the temple site. The site was considered too sacred to allow the noise typical
at construction sites. It may have been silent, but it spoke loud and clear
about the respect our God deserves.
God had fulfilled all that He had promised and this was acknowledged by
Solomon in the benediction of the opening ceremonies at the newly built
temple. God is trustworthy! In fact, as we read this portion of Solomon’s
benediction, we are caused to reflect on how meaningful it is for us today.
Consider 1 Kings 8:55-61 ...
1. Not one promise of God has failed (vs. 56).
2. May our hearts be inclined to obeying the Lord's will in our lives today
3. May our prayers rise to be near to the Lord, and may He maintain His cause
each day as required (vs. 59).
4. May all the earth know there is one God and no other. (vs. 60).
5. May His people today be wholly devoted in heart and deed to the Lord (vs.
These acknowledgements are just as profound and meaningful today as they were
when Solomon first spoke them 900 years BC.
God's Temple in the Gospel Age
The temple Solomon built is gone. God eventually withdrew His presence from it
when the people became faithless, and it was torn down by the Babylonians. But
did you know that God still has a temple upon the earth today? It is still in
the process of being built. Its glory by far outshines the glory of the old
temple! Though the stones and wood Solomon used were quite expensive, the
purchase price of the stones of the new temple is far greater! How much does
it cost? Well, you can't afford it! But do not worry because someone else has
already paid the cost!
But first, consider the stones used for the new temple. We are the building
stones! Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone (Ephesians 2:20-22). The
purchase price? His blood (Ephesians 1:7; 2:13).
The Temple of the Old Testament was simply a forshadowing, or copy, of this
spiritual reality we have in Christ - today's temple is the real thing;
Solomon's temple was simply a prophetic illustration (John 4:20-24; Hebrews
A temple is a house, or dwelling place of God. God dwells in us, His church;
therefore, we, as His church, become, in effect, His temple on the earth (1
Timothy 3:15; 1 John 3:24; 4:16). As we live by faith and grow spiritually, we
are being built together as a habitation of God. Those who through
selfishness, or greed, or divisiveness would destroy the peace and stability
of God's living temple stand condemned before God (1 Corinthians 3:16-17).
The rock quarried by Solomon's workers was not useable until it was worked
with and cut and shaped. We were dead in our sins. He has made us alive!
Likewise, to become living stones in God's spiritual house takes the work of a
skilled craftsman (1 Peter 2:4,5). It is by His calling that we are permitted
to become living stones and all that this entails (1 Peter 2:9-10).
We now live in hope to the glory and praise of God (1 Peter 4:11; 1:20-23). In
eternity, having overcome the world, we look forward to being alive and
rejoicing forever (Revelation 3:12).
Solomon, the son of David built a house for God. That was a great and
successful work undertaken, but something better was coming (Matthew 12:42).
There would be another Son of David, Jesus, who would one day build God's
spiritual house. One temple would ultimately be destroyed. The other will be
forever. By the grace of God, we can be living stones in that house, granted
the opportunity to offer up praise unto God which is acceptable to Him. If you
have never done so, it is certainly time to leave the quarry of dead rock
behind, and become a living stone in God's house.
By Jon W. Quinn
From Expository Files 19.6; June 2012