Going To Great Lengths For A Great God.
“This will be a magnificent Temple because our God is an awesome God, greater than any other.” – 2 Chronicles 2:5 NLT
Solomon was going to fulfill the dream of his father David and build a temple dedicated to the worship of God. And even though this was not Solomon’s personal vision, he was not going to treat it as insignificant or give it a second-rate effort. This was going to be a huge undertaking for Solomon that would require the expenditure of a huge sum of money, the coordination of tens of thousands of workmen, the purchase and shipment of vast quantities of material from all over the Middle East, and countless hours of project oversight on the part of Solomon. And Solomon jumped in with both feet. He was as dedicated to this project as his father had been; applying all his God-given wisdom to accomplish the task at hand. Solomon knew that there was no way that he or anyone else could build a structure worthy of the God of the universe. “But who can really build him a worthy home? Not even the highest heavens can contain him! So who am I to consider building a Temple for him, except as a place to burn sacrifices to him?” (2 Chronicles 2:8 NLT). He knew that this building was really going to be a place for men to show their honor and respect to God by offering the sacrifices He had commanded them to make. But rather than take a utilitarian approach and build a simple structure, functional and basic; Solomon determined to build a building like no other in the known world at that time. He would spare no expense. Why? Because it would be a reflection of the greatness and glory of the God of Israel. Solomon told King Hiram, “the Temple I am going to build will be very large and magnificent” (2 Chronicles 2:9 NLT). Today, there would be those who would say, “What a waste of money! Couldn’t you have taken all that gold, silver, and bronze and given it to the poor!” They would have bemoaned the fact that the Israelites were building a monument to their on glory, not God’s. They would have complained about the expense involved, the waste of manpower, the extravagance of the furnishings, and the overall distraction the construction process had become to the kingdom. But Solomon had his focus on one thing – to honor God. Even the pagan king, Hiram understood what Solomon was doing. “It is because the LORD loves his people that he has made you their king! Blessed be the LORD, the God of Israel, who made the heavens and the earth! He has given David a wise son, gifted with skill and understanding, who will build a Temple for the LORD and a royal palace for himself” (2 Chronicles 2:11-12 NLT).
Solomon was motivated by God’s grandeur, not a desire to impress men. He was determined to honor God and make His name great. If anything, he wanted the other nations to know that His God was the greatest god – the only true God. And the way he chose to do that was by building a structure that was worthy of His greatness. Solomon knew that men could not see God Himself, but they would be able to see His dwelling place – the Temple. So he was going to make it large, impressive, and awe-inspiring. Because it would be a reflection of the character and nature of God. This makes me wonder how much thought, time, effort and energy we are willing to put into the things we do for God. Do we give half-effort or do just enough to get by or are we willing to do all that we do with a level of excellence that gives an indication of how much we think of our God. Let’s move beyond buildings and think about the Sunday School lessons or Bible studies we prepare. Do we give them the time God deserves? Do they reflect our understanding of His greatness? Does the way we run our homes and manage our families reflect back on God in a positive way? Are we willing spare no expense and sacrifice great effort in whatever we do so that God gets the glory? Paul put it this way, “So eat your meals heartily, not worrying about what others say about you – you’re eating to God’s glory, after all, not to please them. As a matter of fact, do everything that way, heartily and freely to God’s glory” (2 Corinthians 10:31 MSG). Do everything heartily and freely to God’s glory. Do it with excellence. Give it your best effort. Think about Him when you do it. Make His name great. Honor Him at all times in all that you. Why? Because He deserves it.
Father, so much of what I do is not done well. It is not done with You in mind. I give half-hearted effort too often, just to get by and get it done. Give an attitude like Solomon had. Help me to understand Your greatness and in turn, have the desire to give You glory in all I do. Amen
Grow Pastor & Minister to Men