My, Devotion to Him #270
King Solomon built the Temple around 960 BC. To understand the Temple and its purpose we must understand two things first. We need to understand that God is the sole creator of the galaxy and He has established rules that are not objective to our thoughts, views, etc. These rules are subject to His authority. Because of these rules being bound to God’s authority and not our own individual thinking there were consequences when Adam first disobeyed and broke the rules. Disease, sin, and death flooded the landed.
Verse Passage: Genesis 2:17 “but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.” – NIV
In spite of this disobedience and knowing how future mankind would behave, God still loved His creation, His people, and still showed mercy. Before Christ came to save the world, God provided a way to atone for the sins of the people. God allowed the blood of a perfect animal to temporarily take the place of the sinner’s life. This blood sacrifice took away sin and made the sinner right with God temporarily.
Verse Passage: Genesis 4:3-4 “In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of soil as an offering to the Lord. And Abel also brought an offering, fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The Lord looked with favor on Abel and his offering, but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor.” – NIV
Verse Passage: Leviticus 16:1-3 “The Lord spoke to Moses after the death of the two sons of Aaron who died when they approached the Lord. The Lord said to Moses: “Tell your brother Aaron that he is not to come whenever he chooses into the Most Holy Place behind the curtain in front of the atonement cover on the ark, or else he will die. For I will appear in the cloud over the atonement cover.“This is how Aaron is to enter the Most Holy Place: He must first bring a young bull for a sin offering and a ram for a burnt offering.” – NIV
Though from the Bible we know that this temporary atonement would not be for long. God loved the world so much that He sent His only Son to atone for our sins once and for all. Christ would be the final blood sacrifice.
Outside Temple breakdown
Brazen Altar (Bronze Altar)
God required the people to regularly sacrifice a perfect animal (lambs, goats, doves, bulls) for their sins. The blood of the animal justified the people before God and restored their relationship with Him. Today we live very differently. We know that Jesus is our perfect sacrifice. He led a sinless life and willingly died for our sins to make us right with God for all time. No more atoning and sacrifices are needed.
Verse Passage: Leviticus 17:11 “For the life of a creature is in the blood, and I have given it to you to make atonement for yourselves on the altar; it is the blood that makes atonement for one’s life.” – NIV
Verse Passage: John 1:29 “The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” – NIV
Verse Passage: Hebrews 10:10 “And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.” – NIV
The people bringing the sacrificial animal would put their hand on the animals head while it was being killed. This in turn would symbolize the sins being placed onto the animal. Jesus is the Lamb of God. He had our sins placed on Him so that the price of our sins may finally be paid in full. He was the lamb led to slaughter to be punished for something He did not do. But it was love that compelled Him and His mission. It was His purpose.
The Sea (Bronze Basin)
Priests would wash themselves at the basin. Cleaning themselves (purifying) before entering into the Temple. It was about 15 feet across and held more than 10,000-12,000 gallons of water. It stood on 12 bronze oxen.
Verse Passage: Exodus 30:18 “Make a bronze basin, with its bronze stand, for washing. Place it between the tent of meeting and the altar, and put water in it.” – NIV
Verse Passage: 1 Kings 7:23-26 He made the Sea of cast metal, circular in shape, measuring ten cubits from rim to rim and five cubits high. It took a line of thirty cubits to measure around it. Below the rim, gourds encircled it—ten to a cubit. The gourds were cast in two rows in one piece with the Sea. The Sea stood on twelve bulls, three facing north, three facing west, three facing south and three facing east. The Sea rested on top of them, and their hindquarters were toward the center. It was a handbreadth in thickness, and its rim was like the rim of a cup, like a lily blossom. It held two thousand baths.” – NIV
Thank God for His Son! Christ has washed us white as snow by pouring out His blood for us. We are cleansed by Him and through Him we are purified.
Verse Passage: 1 John 1:7-10 “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us.” – NIV
Brass Pillars (Bronze Pillars)
There were two pillars called “Jachin” which was on the right and “Boaz” which was on the left. These pillars supported the roof of the portico They were 27 feet high and 6 feet thick. These two names are very interesting because “Jachin” means “he will establish” and “Boaz” means “in Him is strength” put together we can conclude that God would establish the temple in His name with strength. We can also see that what He establishes has strength. That there is stability and might in what He does.
Verse Passage: Luke 1:33 “and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” – ESV
In 1 Timothy the church is called a “pillar” which once again points to this concept that He has established in strength the church. We could also point to the duality of Christ. He was man and God. He came to establish a kingdom and did so with supernatural strength. He came to save us and because He was also the Son of God, He was able to do so. There are a lot of messages that can be interconnected with these two pillars. This was not by mistake.
Verse Passage: Revelation 3:12 “The one who is victorious I will make a pillar in the temple of my God. Never again will they leave it. I will write on them the name of my God and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which is coming down out of heaven from my God; and I will also write on them my new name.” – NIV
Those who are faithful in Christ even through trials are to be made pillars in the temple of God. As Jesus is our established pillar and He is our strength.
Inside the Temple breakdown
Ten Gold Lampstands and Tables of Showbread
Verse Passage: 1 Kings 7:49 “the lampstands of pure gold (five on the right and five on the left, in front of the inner sanctuary)” – NIV
Verse Passage: John 6:48-51 “I am the bread of life.Your ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness, yet they died. But here is the bread that comes down from heaven, which anyone may eat and not die.I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.” – NIV
Verse Passage: John 9:5 “While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” – NIV
Just as there were lampstands and tables of showbread within the Temple now Christ has taken that place. He is the light to the lost and to the saved. He is food for the hungry and food for our maturity.
The Holy Place
Only Priest were allowed into the Holy Place. They did this daily. As Believers we have been made holy and can reside within the Holy Place without needing a priest to go for us.
Gold Incense Altar
Prayers were offered at a gold altar where a special incense required by God was burned.
Verse Passage: 1 Peter 2:5 “You yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” – ESV
Verse Passage: Hebrews 13:15-16 “Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name. Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.” – ESV
Verse Passage: Ephesians 5:1-2 “Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” – ESV
Today, our prayers, worship, and service all give off a fragrance to God. This sweet smell that is pleasing to Him.
The veil separated the Holy Place from the Most Holy Place (Holy of Holies) this is where the Ark of the Covenant rested, separating a Holy God from sinful people. Once a year only the High Priest could enter.
As christians we may now enter into God’s presence through prayer because we are made acceptable to God by the blood of Christ. Jesus is our High Priest. When Jesus died, the Temple veil tore in two from top to bottom to signify a change that has taken place between us and God.
Holy of Holies
The Most Holy Place was God’s throne room where He would meet and give His commands, between the two cherubim, on the Mercy Seat over the Ark of the Covenant. The High Priest sprinkled blood on the Mercy Seat on the Day of Atonement to atone for the sins of the people for that year.
Verse Passage: Hebrews 4:16 “Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” – NIV
I love this because now we may enter into God’s throne room with confidence. We don’t need to come with fear that we will be struck down. We have fear because of His sovereignty, but He wants us to come into the throne room with confidence because we’ve been given access to it. We may come knowing He will hear us, allow us in, wants to see us, and wants us there. We come with humble hearts and show respect for who He is but we may also come with boldness because we are His children.
Cherubim were massive olive wood sculptures. Winged creatures represented the guardians of God’s divine presence. These cherubim were overlaid with gold and they touched each other, wingtip to wingtip and wall to wall. When God banished man from the Garden of Eden, He placed a cherubim and a flaming sword to guard the way to the tree of life.
Verse Passage: Genesis 3:24 “After he drove the man out, he placed on the east side of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life.” – NIV
I think it’s interesting to have the Cherubim sculptures in the Holy of Holies and to be the ones who guard the tree of life. As believers we no longer have to be cut off from God by winged creatures or blocked from the tree of life. Because Christ is our life. He is our source.
Ark of the Covenant
The Ark was a carved wooden box overlaid with gold. Inside was the Law of God which would’ve been the Ten Commandments. It’s lid, the Mercy Seat, represented the meeting place between God and man.
Verse Passage: Exodus 25:10-22 ““Have them make an ark of acacia wood—two and a half cubits long, a cubit and a half wide, and a cubit and a half high. Overlay it with pure gold, both inside and out, and make a gold molding around it. Cast four gold rings for it and fasten them to its four feet, with two rings on one side and two rings on the other. Then make poles of acacia wood and overlay them with gold.Insert the poles into the rings on the sides of the ark to carry it.The poles are to remain in the rings of this ark; they are not to be removed.Then put in the ark the tablets of the covenant law, which I will give you. “Make an atonement cover of pure gold—two and a half cubits long and a cubit and a half wide. And make two cherubim out of hammered gold at the ends of the cover. Make one cherub on one end and the second cherub on the other; make the cherubim of one piece with the cover, at the two ends.The cherubim are to have their wings spread upward, overshadowing the cover with them. The cherubim are to face each other, looking toward the cover.Place the cover on top of the ark and put in the ark the tablets of the covenant law that I will give you.There, above the cover between the two cherubim that are over the ark of the covenant law, I will meet with you and give you all my commands for the Israelites.” – NIV
Just a God meet them at the Ark, God wants to meet with you. He has given you 24/7 access to Him as a way to say “come whenever. I am here, and want to talk.”
There were three-story rooms that contained the treasures of God’s Temple and dedicated gifts. These treasures were plundered several times.
This gives an interesting connection to tithe. As 10% belongs to God rightfully. Yet so many times we have decided not to give such to Him. Which in return points us back to these storerooms getting plundered. They were gifts, offerings, and treasures dedicated to Him yet they were plundered. We are also called to not lay up treasures for ourselves on earth, but instead we should lay up treasures in Heaven.
Verse Passage: Matthew 6:19-21 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” – NIV
God shall establish with strength. The Tabernacle was built around 1446 BC until 960 BC. Solomon’s Temple was built around 960 BC until 586 BC. Babylonians plunder and destroy the Temple. Zerubbabel rebuilt the Temple around 516 BC however, it was not as extravagant as Solomon’s. The Temple is desecrated 167 BC. The Temple is cleansed and rededicated 164 BC. The Temple was enlarged and rebuilt by King Herod 20 BC and completed around 64 AD. The Temple was destroyed by the Romans 70 AD. We now have access to the everlasting Temple. God’s throne room.
Interesting Things About the Temple
David came up with the idea to build the temple.
Verse Passage: 1 Chronicles 28:2 “King David rose to his feet and said: “Listen to me, my fellow Israelites, my people. I had it in my heart to build a house as a place of rest for the ark of the covenant of the Lord, for the footstool of our God, and I made plans to build it.” – NIV
David was not allowed to build the Temple.
Verse Passage: 1 Chronicles 22:7-10 “David said to Solomon: “My son, I had it in my heart to build a house for the Name of the LORD my God. But this word of the LORD came to me: ‘You have shed much blood and have fought many wars. You are not to build a house for my Name, because you have shed much blood on the earth in my sight. But you will have a son who will be a man of peace and rest, and I will give him rest from all his enemies on every side. His name will be Solomon, and I will grant Israel peace and quiet during his reign. He is the one who will build a house for my Name. He will be my son, and I will be his father. And I will establish the throne of his kingdom over Israel forever.’” – NIV
The Temple was build on Mount Moriah the place where Abraham was going to offer up Isaac.
Jeremiah warned that the Temple would be destroyed as punishment for their sins
Jesus declared that not one stone would be left upon another.
Jesus says that He is the Temple.
1 Corinthians 6:19 says that we are Temples of the Holy Spirit.
Paul says we are God’s Holy Temple.
When Nebuchadnezzar II destroyed the Temple, the Ark of the Covenant went missing and has remained hidden since then.
Copyright © 2021 by Jacob Olinger