Wednesday, February 6, 2019
You Shall Build Me a House
By Dan & Brenda Cathcart
The video version of this teaching is available at:
The reading for this teaching is: 1 Kings 5:12-6:13
The haftarah portion of the scriptures that we will examine today is the account of Solomon building the temple. On the surface, it is uninteresting, merely an account of where Solomon obtained the materials, who did the work, and where it was done. Sort of like telling someone all about the process of building a house, from the first step of choosing an architect and builder, including who actually worked for them; to the selection of the counters, cabinets and fixtures. Really boring—unless you were a builder. So, why is this recorded? What does this tell us about Solomon and the other people involved? What does this tell us about God and His relationship to His people?
As always, let’s start by examining the historical context. Solomon begins to build the temple in the fourth year of his reign. However, the idea and the plans for the temple came from his father David.
2 Samuel 7:1-3 NKJV 1 Now it came to pass when the king was dwelling in his house, and the LORD had given him rest from all his enemies all around, 2 that the king said to Nathan the prophet, "See now, I dwell in a house of cedar, but the ark of God dwells inside tent curtains." 3 Then Nathan said to the king, "Go, do all that is in your heart, for the LORD is with you."
Nathan, the prophet of God, endorsed David’s idea and told David to do all that was in his heart. David had a heart to build a dwelling place for God. Why didn’t David actually build the temple? David explains the reason to his son Solomon.
1 Chronicles 22:6-8 ASV 6 Then he called for Solomon his son, and charged him to build a house for Jehovah, the God of Israel. 7 And David said to Solomon his son, As for me, it was in my heart to build a house unto the name of Jehovah my God. 8 But the word of Jehovah came to me, saying, Thou hast shed blood abundantly, and hast made great wars: thou shalt not build a house unto my name, because thou hast shed much blood upon the earth in my sight.
David could not build the house for two reasons; he shed a lot of blood and he made great wars. David was a military man from the time he slew the giant Goliath. He was a general under Saul and, after Saul rejected him, under the Philistines. As king, he conducted the wars that extended his kingdom nearly to the borders of the land God promised to give to the children of Israel. Many of these battles and victories came after David expressed his desire to build a house for God.
Solomon understood David’s answer to be related to this necessity of establishing the safety of the kingdom before building the house of God. The house could not be built until David’s enemies were beaten.
1 Kings 5:3-4 NKJV 3 You know how my father David could not build a house for the name of the LORD his God because of the wars which were fought against him on every side, until the LORD put his foes under the soles of his feet. 4 But now the LORD my God has given me rest on every side; there is neither adversary nor evil occurrence.
One of the reasons that David could not build the house for God was that it was not the right time! But God had also said that David couldn’t build the house because he had shed much blood. And He said it twice! This is cited as being separate from making wars. In what situations did David shed blood other than war? Two situations come to mind. The first is in the murder of Uriah. David had gotten Uriah’s wife Bathsheba pregnant and tried to cover his sin by having Uriah killed. David had his general Joab leave Uriah stranded in the hottest part of a battle. Uriah wasn’t the only person killed as a result of Joab withdrawing his support. Many of those who fought next to Uriah also lost their lives! Psalm fifty one records David’s repentance of that sin and acknowledgment of his guilt of shedding blood.
Psalms 51:14 NKJV 14 Deliver me from the guilt of bloodshed, O God, The God of my salvation, And my tongue shall sing aloud of Your righteousness.
In addition to the deaths of Uriah and the soldiers with him, David was also responsible for the deaths of thousands of men of Israel. David grew proud of all his accomplishments and decided to take a census of Israel against God’s standing orders not to number his people. As a result, David, as leader of the people, had to choose his punishment. He had a choice of three years of famine, three months of defeat in war, or three days of the wrath of God. David chose to put himself in the hands of God and trust to His mercy.
1 Chronicles 21:13-14 NKJV 13 And David said to Gad, "I am in great distress. Please let me fall into the hand of the LORD, for His mercies are very great; but do not let me fall into the hand of man." 14 So the LORD sent a plague upon Israel, and seventy thousand men of Israel fell.
As the angel of the LORD stood poised over Jerusalem with sword upraised, David acknowledged his sin and interceded for Jerusalem.
1 Chronicles 21:16-17 NKJV 16 Then David lifted his eyes and saw the angel of the LORD standing between earth and heaven, having in his hand a drawn sword stretched out over Jerusalem. So David and the elders, clothed in sackcloth, fell on their faces. 17 And David said to God, "Was it not I who commanded the people to be numbered? I am the one who has sinned and done evil indeed; but these sheep, what have they done? Let Your hand, I pray, O LORD my God, be against me and my father's house, but not against Your people that they should be plagued."
Although David repented, he was still guilty for shedding the blood of the seventy thousand men who died in the plague in the wake of his sin. The consequences of his actions included forfeiting the blessing of building a house for God.
God commanded David to build an altar at the site of Ornan’s threshing floor where the angel of the LORD stood with upraised sword. There at the altar he built for the LORD, David declared that this would be the site of the house of God, and as we read in 1 Chronicles 22:6-8, that his son Solomon would be the one to build the house. In fact, God specifically chose Solomon to build His house. God promised David that a son would be born to him who would build this house and that David should name him Solomon.
1 Chronicles 22:9-10 NKJV 9 'Behold, a son shall be born to you, who shall be a man of rest; and I will give him rest from all his enemies all around. His name shall be Solomon, for I will give peace and quietness to Israel in his days. 10 'He shall build a house for My name, and he shall be My son, and I will be his Father; and I will establish the throne of his kingdom over Israel forever.'
The name Solomon, Shalomoh in Hebrew, is number 8010 in Strong’s Concordance meaning “peaceful.” Solomon’s birth and reign are intimately tied to God’s promise to David that his son would build a house for God!
David instructs Solomon to ask God for wisdom and understanding for both keeping the Torah of God and building the temple!
1 Chronicles 22:11-12 NKJV 11 "Now, my son, may the LORD be with you; and may you prosper, and build the house of the LORD your God, as He has said to you. 12 "Only may the LORD give you wisdom and understanding, and give you charge concerning Israel, that you may keep the law of the LORD your God.
Although David couldn’t build the house for God, he could and did gather materials to build it.
1 Chronicles 22:14 NKJV 14 "Indeed I have taken much trouble to prepare for the house of the LORD one hundred thousand talents of gold and one million talents of silver, and bronze and iron beyond measure, for it is so abundant. I have prepared timber and stone also, and you may add to them.
God had even given David the plans for the temple including all the furnishings and even how the temple was to operate!
1 Chronicles 28:11-13 NKJV 11 Then David gave his son Solomon the plans for the vestibule, its houses, its treasuries, its upper chambers, its inner chambers, and the place of the mercy seat; 12 and the plans for all that he had by the Spirit, of the courts of the house of the LORD, of all the chambers all around, of the treasuries of the house of God, and of the treasuries for the dedicated things; 13 also for the division of the priests and the Levites, for all the work of the service of the house of the LORD, and for all the articles of service in the house of the LORD.
David charged Solomon to begin to build the temple even before he died!
1 Chronicles 22:19 NKJV 19 "Now set your heart and your soul to seek the LORD your God. Therefore arise and build the sanctuary of the LORD God, to bring the ark of the covenant of the LORD and the holy articles of God into the house that is to be built for the name of the LORD."
Before his death, David gave generously to the fund for building the temple and encouraged the other leaders of Israel to do likewise.
1 Chronicles 29:3,4b-6 NKJV 3 "Moreover, because I have set my affection on the house of my God, I have given to the house of my God, over and above all that I have prepared for the holy house, my own special treasure of gold and silver: … 4b Who then is willing to consecrate himself this day to the LORD?" 6 Then the leaders of the fathers' houses, leaders of the tribes of Israel, the captains of thousands and of hundreds, with the officers over the king's work, offered willingly.
Under the wisdom God gave Solomon, Solomon began the task of building the temple by reaching out to David’s friend and ally King Hiram of Tyre.
1 Kings 5:12 NAS95 12 The LORD gave wisdom to Solomon, just as He promised him; and there was peace between Hiram and Solomon, and the two of them made a covenant.
Hiram had a personal friendship with David and expressed faith in David’s God.
2 Chronicles 2:11-12 NKJV 11 Then Hiram king of Tyre answered in writing, which he sent to Solomon: Because the LORD loves His people, He has made you king over them. 12 Hiram also said: Blessed be the LORD God of Israel, who made heaven and earth, for He has given King David a wise son, endowed with prudence and understanding, who will build a temple for the LORD and a royal house for himself!
Moses had written that the nations around Israel would recognize the greatness of God when Israel carried out God’s Torah!
Deuteronomy 4:6 NKJV 6 "Therefore be careful to observe them; for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the peoples who will hear all these statutes, and say, 'Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.'
Solomon had obtained a worthy and dependable partner in building the house of the LORD. David had already worked with Hiram to obtain the best cedars from Lebanon of Tyre. Solomon utilized the wisdom that God gave him to make decisions about the building of the temple. Solomon selected the best materials choosing the cedars from Lebanon, the best marble, olive wood, cypress, gold and bronze.
Solomon continued in David’s path and worked together with Hiram to organize a labor force that would rotate in and out of Tyre of Lebanon.
1 Kings 5:13-14 NKJV 13 Then King Solomon raised up a labor force out of all Israel; and the labor force was thirty thousand men. 14 And he sent them to Lebanon, ten thousand a month in shifts: they were one month in Lebanon and two months at home; Adoniram was in charge of the labor force.
The work force consisted of workers from both Israel and Tyre. Jew and Gentile working together!
1 Kings 5:18 NKJV 18 So Solomon's builders, Hiram's builders, and the Gebalites quarried them; and they prepared timber and stones to build the temple.
When all was in readiness, Solomon began to build the temple.
1 Kings 6:1 NKJV 1 And it came to pass in the four hundred and eightieth year after the children of Israel had come out of the land of Egypt, in the fourth year of Solomon's reign over Israel, in the month of Ziv, which is the second month, that he began to build the house of the LORD.
The month of Ziv is currently called Iyar. The name Ziv, #2099 means brightness. The name Iyar has the same linguistic derivation as the word “or” meaning light. Ziv, then, is the month of brightness and radiance. This was the month that the children of Israel left Mt. Sinai to begin their journey to the Promised Land. The foundation of the second temple was also begun in the month of Ziv.
The scriptures record the dimensions of the temple as being twice that of the inner structure of the Tabernacle of Meeting maintaining the three to one ratio of the length to the width given by God in the wilderness.
1 Kings 6:2 NKJV 2 Now the house which King Solomon built for the LORD, its length was sixty cubits, its width twenty, and its height thirty cubits.
Around the outside of the temple, Solomon constructed rooms for the priests and Levites who would serve in the temple, as well as rooms for storage and working.
1 Kings 6:5 NKJV 5 Against the wall of the temple he built chambers all around, against the walls of the temple, all around the sanctuary and the inner sanctuary. Thus he made side chambers all around it.
The plans for all of this were given to Solomon by David under the inspiration of the Spirit of God! As Solomon finished building the temple, God reminded Solomon that the temple was not the most important thing—following God’s Torah was the most important thing to maintain God’s presence in the temple.
1 Kings 6:11-13 NKJV 11 Then the word of the LORD came to Solomon, saying: 12 "Concerning this temple which you are building, if you walk in My statutes, execute My judgments, keep all My commandments, and walk in them, then I will perform My word with you, which I spoke to your father David. 13 "And I will dwell among the children of Israel, and will not forsake My people Israel."
There is currently no temple in the land of Israel. However, there are plans in place to build a temple as soon as the political climate allows them to build once more on the temple mount. But these are man’s plans and not necessarily God’s plans. The building of this temple may or may not ever actually happen. However, God does have plans for rebuilding His temple. Like in the time of David, the timing must be right. One of reasons David couldn’t build the temple was that it was a time of war and the land of Israel was besieged on every side as we read in 1 Kings 5:3.
When Yeshua returns, He, like David, will have wars to fight.
Revelation 19:11-12 NKJV 11 Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. 12 His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself.
When David took the throne, he did so with all the tribes acknowledging that He was the king of Israel that God had selected.
2 Samuel 5:1-3 NKJV 1 Then all the tribes of Israel came to David at Hebron and spoke, saying, "Indeed we are your bone and your flesh. 2 "Also, in time past, when Saul was king over us, you were the one who led Israel out and brought them in; and the LORD said to you, 'You shall shepherd My people Israel, and be ruler over Israel.'" 3 Therefore all the elders of Israel came to the king at Hebron, and King David made a covenant with them at Hebron before the LORD. And they anointed David king over Israel.
When Yeshua takes the throne, He will do so to the acknowledgment of all the tribes of Israel.
Ezekiel 39:21-22 NKJV 21 "I will set My glory among the nations; all the nations shall see My judgment which I have executed, and My hand which I have laid on them. 22 "So the house of Israel shall know that I am the LORD their God from that day forward.
Isaiah said that this time would be a time of light and radiance, and that the Gentiles will see that light and be drawn to it!
Isaiah 60:1-3 NKJV 1 Arise, shine; For your light has come! And the glory of the LORD is risen upon you. 2 For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, And deep darkness the people; But the LORD will arise over you, And His glory will be seen upon you. 3 The Gentiles shall come to your light, And kings to the brightness of your rising.
Like Hiram, the Gentiles will desire to join with Israel to build the temple. They will send their wealth to Israel.
Isaiah 60:5 NKJV 5 Then you shall see and become radiant, And your heart shall swell with joy; Because the abundance of the sea shall be turned to you, The wealth of the Gentiles shall come to you.
When Yeshua returns, it will be a time of the resurrection of the dead. Paul writes of Yeshua’s resurrection and of the time when all those who belong to Christ will rise from the dead.
1 Corinthians 15:22-23 NKJV 22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive. 23 But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ's at His coming.
Ezekiel describes the temple that Yeshua, the prince, will build at that time. Then, at the end, there will be one more great battle where even death is defeated.
1 Corinthians 15:24-26 NKJV 24 Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power. 25 For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet. 26 The last enemy that will be destroyed is death.
Death and Satan will be cast into the lake of fire and the New Jerusalem will come down from heaven and peace, Shalomoh, will reign. The Lord God Almighty and the Lamb will be its temple.
The account of Solomon building the temple was included in the Bible to remind us that building God’s house is totally in God’s hands. It was written to demonstrate the connection between David’s reign and Solomon’s reign and the integral role that building the temple was to both of them.
We can look forward to the time when Yeshua returns to establish His nation, His throne, and His temple. But even as we wait, God is building His spiritual temple. We are God’s chosen materials and workmen being used to build this temple.
1. Discuss the connection of this teaching to the Torah Portion Terumah, Exodus 25:1-27:19.
2. David’s actions toward Bathsheba and Uraiah “displeased” the LORD (2 Sam. 11:27) The literal translation uses the word “evil.” The literal translation would read, “the thing which David hath done is evil in the eyes of Jehovah. Psalm 51 records David’s repentance of this evil. Discuss David’s “evil” against God and his repentance.
3. What is the significance of the site of the temple as described in 1 Chr. 21:16-22:1? What connection does it have with the actions of David? What connection does it have with the angel standing with raised sword?
4. David said the Spirit of the LORD gave him the plans for the temple (1 Chr. 28:11-13). What were some of the specifics that the Spirit gave to David? How did this influence temple worship? How does it influence our worship today?
5. God gave David’s son the name Solomon meaning “peaceful.” What is the significance of this name? One of the offerings God’s people are to bring is the “peace” offering. Is there any connection between Solomon and the peace offering?
6. Last week, we discussed the Hebrew concept of slavery. David and Solomon both used slave labor in building the temple (1 Chr. 22:2-4 and 2 Chr. 2:17-18) Do you think this was right? How did this act fit in relation to the culture and accepted practices at that time?
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