A Glimpse of God.
“I am about to build a Temple to honor the name of the Lord my God.” – 2 Chronicles 2:4 NLT
How would you describe God? What words would you use? How many adjectives would you have to string together until you came up with a suitable description of a God who is indescribable? The fact is, describing God is an impossible task for mere man to take on. We don’t even have the capacity to comprehend God, let alone describe him. So we are left at a loss for words. Which is part of the reason why I think God gave Moses the plans for the Tabernacle in the wilderness. Just think about it. God was VERY specific about how He wanted the Tabernacle to be constructed, right down to the exact materials and measurements. Nothing was left to chance or the imagination. Now when it comes to the Temple that Solomon built, the plans were not from God, but they seem to be patterned after the Tabernacle. You might want to think of the Temple as the Tabernacle on steroids. It was a bigger, better version of the same thing. And I think it was Solomon’s attempt to describe the indescribable – God Himself. He made it clear that he was building the Temple in order to honor the name of the Lord. This building was an earthly representation or symbol for a heavenly being.
When you read this portion of the book of 2 Chronicles, it’s easy to let your eyes glaze over and your mind drift as you work your way through the endless details and descriptions of basins and bowls, cherubim and chains, lampstands and ladles, courtyards and curtains. But if you slow down long enough to think about what this building and all its elements must have looked like when completed, it begins to give you an idea of what I think Solomon was trying to do – honor the glory of his God with a building that was truly glorious and spectacular. The Temple contained elements and attributes that correlate with God Himself. The Temple was filled with expensive and hard-to-come-by metals. In fact, there was so much bronze used, that they couldn’t determine its weight. There were precious stones and exotic woods. Only the finest fabrics were used, handwoven with painstakingly dyed thread and containing intricate designs of incredible beauty. Everything seems to be over-sized and out of proportion. The basin could hold 11,000 gallons of water. There were hand-carved and cast versions of pomegranates everywhere – symbolic of fruitfulness and abundance. Gold glistened everywhere. Lamps filled with the finest olive oil shed a shimmering light on everything. Light, beauty, abundance, immensity, quality, craftsmanship, creativity, order, peace – all these things speak of God. They reflect who He is. This building was not only a dwelling for God, it was a telling place. It told of His goodness, greatness, power, creativity, holiness, righteousness, order, and beauty. Our God is great. Our God is good. Our God is indescribable. But the good news is – He is knowable. I may not be able to describe Him, but I can know Him and be known by Him.
Father, I have no idea what the Temple really looked like, but I can imagine it was an incredible sight to behold. But even in all its glory, it couldn’t hold a candle to You. Open my eyes and let me somehow perceive just how great and good You are. You reveal Yourself around me each and every day, but I have grown blind to Your presence. Open my eyes and let me see. May the glory of Solomon’s Temple give me a little glimpse of just how great You really are. Amen
Grow Pastor & Minister to Men