The Lord Will See To It.
“So Solomon began to build the Temple of the LORD in Jerusalem on Mount Moriah, where the LORD had appeared to Solomon’s father, King David. The Temple was built on the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite, the site that David had selected.” – 2 Chronicles 3:1 NLT
I am always amazed at those who see some great gulf existing between the Old and New Testaments. They love reading the New Testament and seem to believe that because it contains the revelation of Jesus, it somehow trumps the Old Testament. The Old Testament to them is … well, old. It is antiquated, out of touch with modern day life and full of hard-to-understand images of sacrifice, war, and an angry, vengeful God. But the entire Bible is the revelation of God. It reveals God Himself, and His redemptive plan for mankind, which culminates in the life, death and resurrection of His Son, Jesus. If you look carefully, you will see this redemptive message all throughout the Bible. It is what is sometimes referred to as the Scarlet Thread. Pictures of God’s redemption of mankind can be seen throughout the Old Testament and our chapter for today is no different. At first glance, it appears to be just another description of Solomon’s Temple. There are measurements of pillars and foundations, descriptions of the various rooms and courtyards. There appears to be no real purpose behind these detail, unless you begin at verse 1. Hidden within these two sentences is a wonderful picture of God’s redemptive plan.
It tells us that Solomon was building the Temple on Mount Moriah. What is significant about that? Well, to begin with, it was on Mount Moriah that God commanded Abraham to offer up his son, Isaac, as a sacrifice (Genesis 22). Here was Abraham being told by God to sacrifice the one son he had waited so long for. He was the one through whom all the promises of God were to be fulfilled. And now Abraham was being told to end his life. Which Abraham was willing to do – out of faith in God and his belief that God would raise him up again. Abraham was willing to die to his dream in order to be obedient to God. And because of that, God told Abraham, “Do not hurt the boy in any way, for now I know that you truly fear God. You have not withheld even your beloved son from me” (Genesis 22:12 NLT). Instead of Abraham having to sacrifice Isaac, God provided a substitute, a stand-in. “Then Abraham looked up and saw a ram caught by its horns in a bush. So he took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering on the altar in place of his son” (Genesis 22:13 NLT). Abraham ended up calling the place on which this entire event took place, “Yahweh Yireh” or “The Lord will provide,” or literally, “The Lord will see to it.”
Fast-forward to the time of David. There came a time in David’s life when he sinned against God by refusing to trust Him. Instead, he placed his trust in his own military might and took an ill-advised census of the people in order to determine just how many able-bodied soldiers he had. David’s sin was in putting his faith in numbers rather than God. As a result, God punished Israel and 70,000 men died. God was going to destroy all of Jerusalem, and sent an angel to meet with David. The place where they met was the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite – the very same place where Abraham was commanded to offer up Isaac. David looked up and saw the angel standing before him with his sword drawn and stretched out over Jerusalem. At that point, David confesses that the sin was his and his alone. He takes ownership for what has happened and offers his own life in exchange for that of the people of Israel. “I am the one who called for the census! I am the one who has sinned and done wrong! But these people are innocent — what have they done? O LORD my God, let your anger fall against me and my family, but do not destroy your people” (1 Chronicles 21:17 NLT). God commanded David to build an altar on the very same spot where Abraham had built his altar. There David offered up sacrifices and offerings to God, and God spared the people.
Now years later, Solomon is erecting the Temple on the very same ground. He is building a house place for God where His presence can dwell and where the people can bring their sacrifices. Each year on the Day of Atonement, the high priest would offer a substitute sacrifice for Israel just as Abraham had done for Isaac. It would be a constant reminder that “The Lord Will Provide.” He will see to it. He has a plan for the sin of mankind. And while the sacrifices offered in the Temple could never completely forgive or wipe out the sins of men, it foreshadows God’s ultimate plan of substitionary sacrifice – the death of His own Son in our place. Jesus became the Lamb who was slain. He became our sin substitute. He was the one who would pay the ultimate price for the sins of mankind by giving His own life to satisfy the justice of God. God saw to it. He provided. And those of us in Christ have benefited greatly from that grand redemptive plan.
Father, thank You for providing a way for me to be made right with You. I could never have done it on my own. I could never have done enough to pay for my sin or earn Your good favor. But You mercifully and graciously provided a way. You saw to it. And I am eternally grateful. Amen
Grow Pastor & Minister to Men