Solomon’s Old Testament temple was artfully designed with jewels and the best materials to reflect God’s worth. Its presentation showcased the value Israel placed on her God. It wasn’t a monument to glorify itself; rather, it was an edifice whose splendor pointed to the God who was worshipped in its courts. Therefore, my first self-examining question is “Does my life honor the God I worship, or does it bring glory to myself?” My self-expression must first and foremost be a God expression.
Secondly, I compare the temple furnishings to the furnishing of my temple. The temple courtyard had an altar for sacrifice and a large basin of water for cleansing. Two giant pillars, Jachin and Boaz, meaning “He will establish” and “fleetness,” stood on each side of the temple entrance, supporting the roof of the portico that prefaced the holy place. Like the temple interior, my inner man contais the greater treasures of the Spirit, but the external portion of my temple is important, too. On my bronze altar and in my Sea, I have sacrificed in repentance and washed in baptism. The beauty of what lies within could never be experienced without these preparations, for though they are performed on the outside, their influence is carried into the inner sanctuary. Symbolically, these are demonstrated with attitudes that submit to others, with daily dying to self, and with humbly requesting repeated cleansing and forgiveness. What I stand for is both guarded and supported by the stance I take, my pillars. At the doorway of my inner man, these external representations declare, “God will establish” and “fleetness” for just beyond the entryway lies the fulfillment of God’s promises and a confidence that He is swift to hear me and will quickly respond to my cries, my worship, and my song. My walls are fortified with my convictions.
Within the first portion of the temple was a table with 12 loaves of bread, 10 candlesticks offering light, and an altar of fragrant incense. The shewbread has been said was indicative of the Bread of Life and the unity of the 12 tribes. I, too, have bonds of fellowship--a singlemindedness with my fellow believers and communion of the saints--all because the body of Jesus, my Bread from Heaven, was broken for me. In my temple, there is harmony with Christ and His Body. I find sufficiency in His provision. And the hunger of my spirit is satisfied through mana from above. This bread of life is illuminated by the abiding presence of God. Psalm 119 says God’s word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. Jesus, the Light of the world, the incarnate Word, lives within me. His written word is hidden in my heart, guiding me away from sinful habits that are against God. He lights my way just as the candlesticks illuminated the inner workings of the temple. Swirling within the light, are my prayers. In Solomon’s temple, incense continually ascended with an aroma no other fragrance could mimic. In my temple, prayer ascends without ceasing. My lips speak my heart’s supplications, requests, and praises, and those prayers are like no one else’s. They come before God as a memorial, always rising before the throne of God, where His glory dwells.
Do I provide a place for that glory? Solomon’s temple did. It was surrounded by angelic beings, much like Revelation describes the heavenly throne, which sits amid the thunderous worship of “Holy, holy, holy.” Like cherubim, my worship and reverence of His holiness create an atmosphere of welcome for God’s presence. I am captivated by the wonder that such a high and holy God would dwell within my temple. But He does.
This is the real purpose of my temple.
Because of His presence and through His presence, I possess a storehouse with trophies of spiritual battles won, loot taken from the adversary, and treasures of intimate moments we’ve shared. These riches serve as reminders of what my mighty God has already done. But the real treasure is His abiding presence. I house the holy.
I have within me the image and reflection of God. My service and my worship are not only methods by which I honor God; they are ways He honors me. Like the tools and the tasks within the temple, what is for God is also a symbol of Him. I embrace Him, His Word, His people, His presence. All of me belongs to Him, outside in and inside out, and He dwells within the inner sanctum of my being, granting me blessing and mercy and the privilege of His presence. Within this earthen vessel, I hold the hallowed. I want my life to reflect that honor and to testify of God’s splendor so that all the world may, through me, see the majestic, holy One I serve so that they, too, can know the honor of becoming the temple of God.
Tip/tidbit: Is your temple one that depicts God is worthy of your best and that HE has given YOU HIS best?