Different ways to build temples.

Solomon built God a temple. It took seven years. It was a remarkable structure.

For example, the lumber was cedar. It was cut in Lebanon, a country to the north. It was hauled down hills to the Mediterranean. The boards were tied together into rafts, floated along the coast, and then carried inland thirty-seven miles to Jerusalem. There were 10,000 Jewish workers at a time involved in the process.

Then there were the stonecutters. And Hiram the bronze-worker.

You can read the details yourself in 1 kings 5-6.

sanctuaryIn the middle of the building process, God talks to Solomon. I’m not sure how. It could have been through a prophet or in a voice in his head.

But somehow, God offered an interesting perspective on the new temple. “About this house,” God says, “I just want you to know that I care more about what you do every day in obeying me than about this house.”

The message shows up in the middle of the narrative about the building, with no comment or discussion. But it feels a little jarring. At least to me. Because Solomon is building God the most amazing house that could be imagined. It was second in size only to the house Solomon built for himself. And the one he built for one of his  many wives.

Because Solomon is building God the most amazing house that could be imagined. It was second in size only to the house Solomon built for himself. And the one he built for one of his  many wives.

And God says that what really matters isn’t the house built in seven years. It’s the life built an act of obedience at a time over decades.

Solomon’s life eventually spun out of control. His kingdom fell apart. His temple was destroyed.

He had built a house. He forgot the daily obedience.

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About Jon Swanson

Social media chaplain. Author of "Lent For Non-Lent People" and "A Great Work: A Conversation With Nehemiah For People (Who Want To Be) Doing Great Works." Writer of 300wordsaday.com. I help people understand. Understand some of the Bible. Understand what Lent can be about. Understand what it means to follow.