The Expository Files


Are You Helping The Son Build His Temple?

1 Chronicles 22

It was something that David had wanted to do so very much. But sometimes things just do not work out exactly the way we want them to. David had the spiritual strength to do his best for the Lord even when things did not go his way. It takes spiritual courage to accept disappointment and to remain committed to the Lord's cause. David was not perfect, but he was loyal to God. When he failed to be what he ought to be, he diligently searched for his way back to the Lord God of Israel.

The thing that David had especially wanted to do was to build the temple at Jerusalem. Before he died, he wanted to build a magnificent structure where Jehovah would be praised in accordance with the teachings of the Law. He had such vision for the structure!

But the Lord told David that it would be his son Solomon, and not David, who would build the temple. The reason? "You have shed much blood, and have waged great wars; you shall not build a house to My name, because you have shed so much blood on the earth before Me." (1 Chronicles 22:8). Through no fault of his own but a simple matter of timing, David had been a man of war. There were enemies on every side during his reign which forced him to do battle to secure a homeland for God's people. It was not as a punishment that God forbade David to build the temple, but rather because of association. It was important that the temple not be associated with the brutality of war. It was to foreshadow a spiritual temple of peace and reconciliation; the church of Christ.

Preparation for the Son

"And David said, 'My son, Solomon, is young and inexperienced, and the house that is to be built for the Lord shall be exceedingly magnificent, famous and glorious throughout all lands. Therefore, I will make preparation for it.' Therefore, David made ample preparations before his death." (1 Chronicles 22:5).

David appointed workers and gathered materials (vss 1-4; 14-16). He wanted his son to be successful in this awesome task. But it would be Solomon who would be directly responsible for the building. As David promises, "Then you shall prosper, if you are careful to observe the statutes and the ordinances which the Lord commanded Moses concerning Israel. Be strong and courageous, do not fear or be dismayed." (1 Chronicles 22:13).

Though there are differences, of course, there are also many similarities between the building of the physical temple by David's son Solomon and the building of the spiritual temple by Jesus, the Son of God. Jesus said that "My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to accomplish His work" and "For I came down out of heaven not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me." (John 4:34; 6:38). Jesus had been sent to this world on a mission. Even as David had encouraged his son to put the will of God first in his life, so Jesus put the will of the Father first in His life. He trusted the Father in everything. Like the son of David and the Son of God; so let the sons and daughters of God be today; let us put our trust in the Father's care; His plans and His providence as we put His will first in our lives.

The Son Given Control
"Now, my son, the Lord be with you that you may be successful, and build the house of the Lord your God, just as He has spoken concerning you. Only the Lord give you discretion and understanding and give you charge over Israel, so that you may keep the Law of the Lord your God." (1 Chronicles 22:11,12).

Solomon was placed in charge of the task of building the temple. Success depended upon the Lord being with him, and as always, discretion and understanding means having the wisdom to "keep the Law of the Lord your God." The wise and acceptable way to serve God is to apply His law to our lives and allow His word to be our authority. Solomon was a wise man, but not so "wise" that he took it upon himself to build the temple according to his plan and not God's.

Likewise, Jesus has built the spiritual temple, the church, according to God's eternal plan (Ephesians 3:10,11). In describing this spiritual temple the New Testament says that disciples "having been built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the chief cornerstone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together is growing into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit." (Ephesians 2:20-22).

Jesus has promised to build His church and was granted authority to do so from the Father (Matthew 16:16-18; 28:18-20). As David commanded the builders in Israel to listen to his son, so also the Father commands us concerning His Son Jesus, "This is My beloved Son, in Whom I am well-pleased; listen to Him!" (Matthew 17:5b).

Building Materials for the Son to Use
"Of the gold, the silver and the bronze and the iron, there is no limit. Arise and work, and may the Lord be with you." (1 Chronicles 22:16).

In addition to the above mentioned materials, there was also large cut stones (verse 2) and large quantities of cedar logs (verse 3). Specific instructions regarding how the temple was to be assembled were given. After David's death, Solomon would begin the construction of the temple on Mount Moriah at Jerusalem. The account of this building process is given in 2 Chronicles 2-5 and the dedication of the temple is given in chapter 6.

Of course, the temple that Jesus built is not made with silver and gold, iron, stone and wood. The Scriptures inform us that Christians are the "stones" out of which the spiritual temple of God is constructed. "You also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ." (1 Peter 2:5). The church of God at Corinth was told, "Do you not know that you are a temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?" (1 Corinthians 3:16).

The important point of this is to realize that it is the people of Christ that form God's spiritual temple today; people in whom God dwells by faith. "Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body." (1 Corinthians 6:19,20).

Will You Help the Son Build the Temple?
"David also commanded all the leaders of Israel to help his son Solomon, saying, "...Now set your heart and your soul to seek the LORD your God; arise, therefore, and build the sanctuary of the LORD." (1 Chronicles 22:17-19).

Of course those loyal to God, to David and Solomon, would lend their strength to the task at hand of building Jehovah's house. And, as history and the Scriptures record, build it they did. Though subsequently destroyed, a wall of the temple which had been underground survived and still stands today, now known as "The Wailing Wall".

And this brings us to our responsibility to the Father and the Son with reference to the spiritual temple. Jesus said, "The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Therefore, beseech the Lord of harvest to send out workers into His harvest." (Matthew 9:37,38). Will you help the Lord gather His harvest? Will you help the Son build His house? "For the word of the cross is to those who are perishing foolishness, but to us who are being saved, it is the power of God." (1 Corinthians 1:18). Will you help the Son build His house? "Therefore those who had been scattered went about preaching the word." (Acts 8:4). Will you help the Son build His house? "For the word of the Lord has sounded forth from you, not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith toward God has gone forth..." (1 Thessalonians 1:8). Will you help the Son build His house? What will the Father say if you say "no"?

By Jon W. Quinn
From Expository Files 13.4; April 2006