August 24, 2021
Tacoma United Methodist Church
I Kings 6:1-14 (NIV)6 In the four hundred and eightieth[a] year after the Israelites came out of Egypt, in the fourth year of Solomon’s reign over Israel, in the month of Ziv, the second month, he began to build the temple of the Lord.
2 The temple that King Solomon built for the Lord was sixty cubits long, twenty wide and thirty high.[b] 3 The portico at the front of the main hall of the temple extended the width of the temple, that is twenty cubits,[c] and projected ten cubits[d] from the front of the temple. 4 He made narrow windows high up in the temple walls. 5 Against the walls of the main hall and inner sanctuary he built a structure around the building, in which there were side rooms. 6 The lowest floor was five cubits[e] wide, the middle floor six cubits[f] and the third floor seven.[g] He made offset ledges around the outside of the temple so that nothing would be inserted into the temple walls.
7 In building the temple, only blocks dressed at the quarry were used, and no hammer, chisel or any other iron tool was heard at the temple site while it was being built.
8 The entrance to the lowest[h] floor was on the south side of the temple; a stairway led up to the middle level and from there to the third. 9 So he built the temple and completed it, roofing it with beams and cedar planks. 10 And he built the side rooms all along the temple. The height of each was five cubits, and they were attached to the temple by beams of cedar.
11 The word of the Lord came to Solomon: 12 “As for this temple you are building, if you follow my decrees, observe my laws and keep all my commands and obey them, I will fulfill through you the promise I gave to David your father. 13 And I will live among the Israelites and will not abandon my people Israel.”
14 So Solomon built the temple and completed it.
Building any sort of edifice can be a daunting task. One needs adequate finances to build, a dependable supply and variety of materials, reliable and skilled workers, and - perhaps most important of all - a plan. My husband and I discovered the importance of these resources years ago when we undertook the task of building our home ourselves. While we had occasional and much-appreciated help from friends and relatives, we were primarily responsible for the project.
Fortunately, we developed a plan several months ahead of the actual construction. Our plan included hiring a reputable mason to build our basement, and then purchasing materials on sale during the subsequent winter months. We would need those materials in the spring when we planned to begin construction. While we encountered several issues that we had to resolve together, we kept our overall plan in mind. We were able to move into our new home after a little more than a year.
King Solomon was fortunate to have the Master Builder directing his construction of the Temple in Jerusalem. God was very specific in his directions, giving the exact dimensions of the Temple, the types of quarry blocks to be used, and specifying the famous beams of cedar that connected the side rooms to the main Temple. Solomon was meticulous in following the plan, and his efforts resulted in one of the most revered buildings in the world.
How much more should we be following God’s plan for our lives! Just as any building must be carefully planned and constructed if it is going to withstand the ravages of time and weather, so should our lives. We have a solid foundation already laid for us through the sacrificial death of our Lord Jesus, and we have the plans available in the Holy Scriptures. In fact, Jesus himself promised abundant life if we accept Him and follow His plan for our lives. This is not abundance in the material sense, but abundance that will lead us to joyful living through him no matter what we may encounter.
Psalm 127:1 tells us, “Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it…” (KJV). Solomon knew this precept well. As we, too, acknowledge our need to follow the plan God has for our lives and allow him to lead us each day, we will find ourselves growing in our Christian walk and in our love for God and our fellow human beings.