In the time of the Old Testament, pagans regularly built temples for their gods. Before Solomon’s temple was built in I Kings, we read of temples built to Ashtoreth and Dagon. The structure Samson ultimately destroyed in Judges was a temple that doubled as a multilevel stadium.
So it only seemed right that God would ask for a temple to be built for him. But his temple was different from other gods’ for a number of reasons. The pagans franchised their temples. Anybody at any time could build a worship center for any god. No written approval necessary. God, though, required only one temple for himself in one place. This kept consistency.
Plus, there is only one God so there should only be one temple. Multiple temples communicated multiple gods. God’s temple came with a very specific, long list of rules. For God to live in his temple, the people needed to follow God’s commands. If they didn’t, he moved out and the blessings dried up. God does not make his home in a place of disobedience.
God asked for a home where he could establish his kingdom. This home was the kingdom of Israel, and through this nation would come the King of the Jews, who would establish the kingdom of God throughout the earth. Temples were places of sacrifice. Once Jesus arrived, the temple was no longer needed for sacrifices. Its purpose became obsolete because Jesus sacrificed once for all.
Now God builds his temple in the hearts of people through the Holy Spirit. Bricks and gold are no longer needed. You are the temple, the home of his Holy Spirit.
(from The American Bible Challenge)
YOUR BIBLE CHALLENGE:
1. How many years after the Israelites came out of Egypt did Solomon begin to build the temple?
2. How many years had Solomon been king when he began to build the temple? 3. What sound was not heard while the temple was built?
4. From what tree were the paneling and beams of the temple made?
5. From what wood were the cherubim in the inner sanctuary of the temple made?
Scroll down for answers.
ANSWERS TO: “The Temple”
1. 480 years (1 Kings 6:1)
2. Four (1Kings 6:1)
3. Hammer, chisel, or any other iron tool (1 Kings 6:7)
4. Cedar (1 Kings 6:10, 15)
5. Olive wood (1 Kings 6:23)