Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Holy Places

Today's passage:  I Corinthians 6:9-20
     Solomon built the first Temple for Jehovah God.  All the other nations had erected temples in the names of their gods.  Baal had a temple.   Ashtaroth had a temple.   Dagon had a temple.  Jehovah did not have a temple.  When David was burdened about this, God allowed him to prepare the way for another king to build, but he would not allow David himself to carry out his vision.  Why?  Because his hands were unclean.  He had spent his reign fighting Israel's enemies.  How could he start a building project when much of his kingship was spent away from the throne either fighting his enemies, or fleeing those who wanted to usurp his power?  God let David fight the battles, so his son, Solomon, could reign in peace.  The peace and prosperity during Solomon's reign would allow him to focus on constructing something magnificent and deserving to the God of gods.  David provided the materials, but was never able to see his Temple dream fulfilled.  He died before this glorious vision was realized. 
     Solomon spent seven years on the Temple construction task.  He spent money on the finest materials.  He hired the most skilled laborers.  Every detail was carefully planned.  The finished product put the temples in the surrounding nations to shame.  What was also a shame was when it was burned to the ground by the Chaldeans.  This structure that meant so much to the Jewish people was destroyed, and though rebuilt numerous times, never matched that first showing.
     "What?  know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?  For ye are bought with a price:  therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's."
     God provided us with the most costly material in order to make us His temple.  He sacrificed the Lord Jesus Christ.  Such care went into that provision.  Such planning went into building me.  God has not spent only seven years, He has spent a lifetime.  To be compared to His temple is not a light thing.  It was a place of reverence and worship.  It was a place of confession and praise.  It was a place of thanksgiving and awe.  Regrettably, it also at times became a place of corruption and deceit.  The original Temple did not see such activity, but subsequent temples did.  There have been times in my life when I have needed rebuilding.  There have been occasions when the breaches have needed repaired and the walls patched.  Through all these times, my purpose has remained the same.  My temple was designed to bring glory to God.  Just as Solomon's Temple was a gathering place for worship, so am I.  Paul says to flee fornication for this very reason.  So I can represent the Lord.  The wear and tear of regular activity is damaging enough, I do not need to participate in activities and recreation that would further erode my capabilities to bring honor to the Lord.  God bought this temple with His Son's blood.  He has spent years on the blueprints, and though He is still perfecting me,  I can show my gratitude by taking as good care of this body as possible.  My body is a vessel that He wants to use to bring worship to Himself.  How careful am I to treat it that way?

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