“Then King David said to the entire assembly, “My son Solomon, whom alone God has chosen, is still young and inexperienced and the work is great; for the temple is not for man, but for the LORD God” (1 Chron. 29:1). To build a temple for the Lord God is not a small matter. It involves a great many things. It takes time, learning and experience. Many things ought to be overcome to build it. It is a great work which requires honesty besides great planning. Honesty is born from carefully listening to God’s message. It takes its true form in men when God’s message comes to fulfillment in them; fulfillment comes by belief and obedience. Honesty means full of truth. Truth leads into the great planning God has reserved for His children. And if you and I am the temple of God, how great is the work!
Beautiful things can be inferred from the words of wisdom. It is utterly important for Christians to first recognize the kind of temple they seek to build. If it is for God, it cannot be in accordance with their intentions. Every man and woman builds within them a temple, whether for God or for them; this is inescapable. Those building for themselves do it with intentions of their own. Their mind and spirit work together in building up a body that fits the world. In their case, the saying ‘the temple is not for man’ does not come true. For this reason, those made righteous by the Lord are always conscious of the temple they are building. They understand that by the Lord’s calling they have a unique responsibility to mature in Him. As they walk with the Lord they see the work present before them is great. They have intentions and they are from the Lord. So, they continue to walk with Him. Their walk is symbolized by their words and actions. There is no unrighteousness in it. Where there is righteousness there is no law against it. For it is of the perfect law of the Lord.
By the time we reach the end of our time each one would have had built a temple. Now, it is in our hands to define it. If our honesty has its true form from the Lord (for there can be no honesty in man without the Lord’s interference), He will define on our behalf the kind of temple we built. In fact, from the time we begin to believe and obey Him He begins defining it through us, His temple. The time we spent in Him, the learning we received and the experience gained shapes us to become the perfect temple for Him. This is indeed beyond any greatness one can achieve by himself or be bestowed upon by another man. For such temple has everything in it pertaining to life and godliness. Nevertheless, the factor that makes you and me the perfect place for Him is the great supply that comes from Him. So, the work of building ourselves for the Lord God is great.
The great supply from Him indicates that the temple we are building is indeed for the Lord. It separates us from the rest. Many worship the Lord, but not all are with honesty. Lack of God’s gift in them signifies it. When David prepared himself to gather all things necessary for the temple, he knew the magnitude of the work by the gift he first received from God. It was righteousness by faith. It led him to become mature for the Lord. This is perceived from the word regarding Solomon and also by the fact that the thought of building a temple for God came to David. Righteousness produced in David the wisdom to please and glorify God. Hence, even though God gave Solomon the right to build the temple, the work of gathering the great supply for it was given to David. For the temple to be built is for the Lord God. How important it is for Christians to realize the importance of building their temple for the Lord! True, they need the great supply from Christ. But, they ought to first obtain the gift to incorporate it in them. Know that without being made righteous, every Christian or church cannot be the temple of God. The chosen are the righteous. Solomon did mature having been made righteous. His building the temple with the great supply God provided through his father is indicative of it. And, the churches too, who are called through the gospel must first obtain righteousness to be His temple. They should be set for the stupendous work ahead of them with this word in them. “I shall run the way of Your commandments, For You will enlarge my heart” (Ps. 119:32). Then, God will provide them to do glorious things for Him. This denotes honesty!
Consider the attitude of a man of God that always believed God to enlarge his heart for a righteous decision. Hence, he also handed down a righteous work to his son. There is no better way than that which was revealed by him to obey everything that comes from God concerning any matter. Great things happen when a child of God seeks to run the way of His commandments! For God voluntarily enlarges his heart; He sets him to glorify Him. To run the way of His commands implies deep obedience. In the entire episode of building a temple for God David displayed it. At no point was he dejected with His decisions. It was because he first became His son by righteousness. Righteousness did not permit guile to mingle with obedience. He was with honesty. When the present day churches grasp the righteousness that paves the way for a voluntary work of God in them, they will undoubtedly receive the great supply. Then, the deeper things of His word hidden in figurativeness and parables will open up before them. Nothing will stop them from doing great things for the glory of God.
The work in building the temple of the Lord not only involves being made righteous, but also the things that must fill it. “He measured its length, twenty cubits, and the width, twenty cubits, before the nave; and he said to me, ‘This is the most holy place’” (Ezek. 41:4). Recollect all the things that were in the most holy place and the One resting upon them, and you will have the preliminary knowledge of God’s glory. When Solomon built the temple and brought the Ark of the Covenant into it, there were in it only the two tablets which Moses put at Horeb. Upon the Ark the glory of God rested. Nevertheless, Israel did not run the way of His word, and His glory departed from the temple. The Law too having faults (transgressions) could not bring them back to the faith of Abraham, though they had circumcision that was a seal of righteousness of the faith. So, God again measured the temple, but for the one that would appear without reference to the Law and to the works of flesh. He also called it the most holy place, which is the hearts of Christians. All that is to be present in them is His word. And, because of His word the glory of God, the Holy Spirit, would rest in them.
Hearing the word and believing it to the point where our hearts are circumcised by the Spirit gifts us God’s righteousness. This avails the great supply. And, the Spirit through Paul at one place indicating that circumcision is of the heart by the Spirit eliminated those circumcised by the letter. When Abraham believed God, he was first circumcised in heart by the Spirit for righteousness. By what God supplied he became the father of multitude of nations, i.e. Jews and Gentiles. Now, it will be well for the churches to examine themselves, since He said, “then it goes and takes along with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there; and the last state of that man becomes worse than the first. That is the way it will also be with this evil generation” (Matt. 12:45).
If they do not fill themselves with the word, the glory of God does not rest in them. Instead, greater sin will accumulate in them. To be the most holy place of God implies possessing the most holy things, which is His word and the things that come from it. This gives the churches honesty, as the Spirit that rests in them works to reveal to them the deeper things of God. Now, whatever they do or say, they are guided in relation to the intentions of God. He freely moves in them. For this reason, Paul bravely said, “For God has shut up all in disobedience so that He may show mercy to all” (Rom. 11:32).
He too was one among those shut up in disobedience. He knew it, because he too received mercy. See the effect of believing in Jesus. As we receive His mercy, we no longer run in unrighteousness. If God has not shut up all in disobedience, His gifts and calling will be revocable; none can become His temple. But, by shutting all up in it He resolved to stall the pervasive sin. Have you as a Christian or church received mercy as Paul? Then, you should be relishing the great things you do for the glory of God. Many are still in denial displaying disobedience. If they are willing to accept, God is willing to show mercy. There is yet hope for them, because of the word that is proclaimed. “He remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfill what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet: ‘OUT OF EGYPT I CALLED MY SON’. (Matt. 2:15).
All who received mercy will glorify God. They will be the perfect temple of God through Christ whom God sent to interfere for them with suffering. He did it without sin to redeem them that were shut up in sin. He was called out of Egypt even as Israel. Israel went out conquering, but was robbed of it by going into denial. But, Jesus fulfilled God’s call by displaying obedience even to the point of death. Hence, He conquered and continues to conquer for God the hearts of men. God shows mercy to those who believe in Him. He gifts them righteousness and the great supply. “Then he said to the bystanders, ‘Take the mina away from him and give it to the one who has the ten minas’” (Luke 19:24).