May 11, 2007
II Chronicles 2-5
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- And Solomon determined to build an house for the name of the LORD, and an house for his kingdom.
- And Solomon told out threescore and ten thousand men to bear burdens, and fourscore thousand to hew in the mountain, and three thousand and six hundred to oversee them.
- And Solomon sent to Huram the king of Tyre, saying, As thou didst deal with David my father, and didst send him cedars to build him an house to dwell therein, even so deal with me.
- Behold, I build an house to the name of the LORD my God, to dedicate it to him, and to burn before him sweet incense, and for the continual shewbread, and for the burnt offerings morning and evening, on the sabbaths, and on the new moons, and on the solemn feasts of the LORD our God. This is an ordinance for ever to Israel.
- And the house which I build is great: for great is our God above all gods.
- But who is able to build him an house, seeing the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain him? who am I then, that I should build him an house, save only to burn sacrifice before him?
- Send me now therefore a man cunning to work in gold, and in silver, and in brass, and in iron, and in purple, and crimson, and blue, and that can skill to grave with the cunning men that are with me in Judah and in Jerusalem, whom David my father did provide.
- Send me also cedar trees, fir trees, and algum trees, out of Lebanon: for I know that thy servants can skill to cut timber in Lebanon; and, behold, my servants shall be with thy servants,
- Even to prepare me timber in abundance: for the house which I am about to build shall be wonderful great.
- And, behold, I will give to thy servants, the hewers that cut timber, twenty thousand measures of beaten wheat, and twenty thousand measures of barley, and twenty thousand baths of wine, and twenty thousand baths of oil.
- Then Huram the king of Tyre answered in writing, which he sent to Solomon, Because the LORD hath loved his people, he hath made thee king over them.
- Huram said moreover, Blessed be the LORD God of Israel, that made heaven and earth, who hath given to David the king a wise son, endued with prudence and understanding, that might build an house for the LORD, and an house for his kingdom.
- And now I have sent a cunning man, endued with understanding, of Huram my father's,
- The son of a woman of the daughters of Dan, and his father was a man of Tyre, skilful to work in gold, and in silver, in brass, in iron, in stone, and in timber, in purple, in blue, and in fine linen, and in crimson; also to grave any manner of graving, and to find out every device which shall be put to him, with thy cunning men, and with the cunning men of my lord David thy father.
- Now therefore the wheat, and the barley, the oil, and the wine, which my lord hath spoken of, let him send unto his servants:
- And we will cut wood out of Lebanon, as much as thou shalt need: and we will bring it to thee in floats by sea to Joppa; and thou shalt carry it up to Jerusalem.
- And Solomon numbered all the strangers that were in the land of Israel, after the numbering wherewith David his father had numbered them; and they were found an hundred and fifty thousand and three thousand and six hundred.
- And he set threescore and ten thousand of them to be bearers of burdens, and fourscore thousand to be hewers in the mountain, and three thousand and six hundred overseers to set the people a work.
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- Then Solomon began to build the house of the LORD at Jerusalem in mount Moriah, where the LORD appeared unto David his father, in the place that David had prepared in the threshingfloor of Ornan the Jebusite.
- And he began to build in the second day of the second month, in the fourth year of his reign.
- Now these are the things wherein Solomon was instructed for the building of the house of God. The length by cubits after the first measure was threescore cubits, and the breadth twenty cubits.
- And the porch that was in the front of the house, the length of it was according to the breadth of the house, twenty cubits, and the height was an hundred and twenty: and he overlaid it within with pure gold.
- And the greater house he cieled with fir tree, which he overlaid with fine gold, and set thereon palm trees and chains.
- And he garnished the house with precious stones for beauty: and the gold was gold of Parvaim.
- He overlaid also the house, the beams, the posts, and the walls thereof, and the doors thereof, with gold; and graved cherubims on the walls.
- And he made the most holy house, the length whereof was according to the breadth of the house, twenty cubits, and the breadth thereof twenty cubits: and he overlaid it with fine gold, amounting to six hundred talents.
- And the weight of the nails was fifty shekels of gold. And he overlaid the upper chambers with gold.
- And in the most holy house he made two cherubims of image work, and overlaid them with gold.
- And the wings of the cherubims were twenty cubits long: one wing of the one cherub was five cubits, reaching to the wall of the house: and the other wing was likewise five cubits, reaching to the wing of the other cherub.
- And one wing of the other cherub was five cubits, reaching to the wall of the house: and the other wing was five cubits also, joining to the wing of the other cherub.
- The wings of these cherubims spread themselves forth twenty cubits: and they stood on their feet, and their faces were inward.
- And he made the vail of blue, and purple, and crimson, and fine linen, and wrought cherubims thereon.
- Also he made before the house two pillars of thirty and five cubits high, and the chapiter that was on the top of each of them was five cubits.
- And he made chains, as in the oracle, and put them on the heads of the pillars; and made an hundred pomegranates, and put them on the chains.
- And he reared up the pillars before the temple, one on the right hand, and the other on the left; and called the name of that on the right hand Jachin, and the name of that on the left Boaz.
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- Moreover he made an altar of brass, twenty cubits the length thereof, and twenty cubits the breadth thereof, and ten cubits the height thereof.
- Also he made a molten sea of ten cubits from brim to brim, round in compass, and five cubits the height thereof; and a line of thirty cubits did compass it round about.
- And under it was the similitude of oxen, which did compass it round about: ten in a cubit, compassing the sea round about. Two rows of oxen were cast, when it was cast.
- It stood upon twelve oxen, three looking toward the north, and three looking toward the west, and three looking toward the south, and three looking toward the east: and the sea was set above upon them, and all their hinder parts were inward.
- And the thickness of it was an handbreadth, and the brim of it like the work of the brim of a cup, with flowers of lilies; and it received and held three thousand baths.
- He made also ten lavers, and put five on the right hand, and five on the left, to wash in them: such things as they offered for the burnt offering they washed in them; but the sea was for the priests to wash in.
- And he made ten candlesticks of gold according to their form, and set them in the temple, five on the right hand, and five on the left.
- He made also ten tables, and placed them in the temple, five on the right side, and five on the left. And he made an hundred basons of gold.
- Furthermore he made the court of the priests, and the great court, and doors for the court, and overlaid the doors of them with brass.
- And he set the sea on the right side of the east end, over against the south.
- And Huram made the pots, and the shovels, and the basons. And Huram finished the work that he was to make for king Solomon for the house of God;
- To wit, the two pillars, and the pommels, and the chapiters which were on the top of the two pillars, and the two wreaths to cover the two pommels of the chapiters which were on the top of the pillars;
- And four hundred pomegranates on the two wreaths; two rows of pomegranates on each wreath, to cover the two pommels of the chapiters which were upon the pillars.
- He made also bases, and lavers made he upon the bases;
- One sea, and twelve oxen under it.
- The pots also, and the shovels, and the fleshhooks, and all their instruments, did Huram his father make to king Solomon for the house of the LORD of bright brass.
- In the plain of Jordan did the king cast them, in the clay ground between Succoth and Zeredathah.
- Thus Solomon made all these vessels in great abundance: for the weight of the brass could not be found out.
- And Solomon made all the vessels that were for the house of God, the golden altar also, and the tables whereon the shewbread was set;
- Moreover the candlesticks with their lamps, that they should burn after the manner before the oracle, of pure gold;
- And the flowers, and the lamps, and the tongs, made he of gold, and that perfect gold;
- And the snuffers, and the basons, and the spoons, and the censers, of pure gold: and the entry of the house, the inner doors thereof for the most holy place, and the doors of the house of the temple, were of gold.
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- Thus all the work that Solomon made for the house of the LORD was finished: and Solomon brought in all the things that David his father had dedicated; and the silver, and the gold, and all the instruments, put he among the treasures of the house of God.
- Then Solomon assembled the elders of Israel, and all the heads of the tribes, the chief of the fathers of the children of Israel, unto Jerusalem, to bring up the ark of the covenant of the LORD out of the city of David, which is Zion.
- Wherefore all the men of Israel assembled themselves unto the king in the feast which was in the seventh month.
- And all the elders of Israel came; and the Levites took up the ark.
- And they brought up the ark, and the tabernacle of the congregation, and all the holy vessels that were in the tabernacle, these did the priests and the Levites bring up.
- Also king Solomon, and all the congregation of Israel that were assembled unto him before the ark, sacrificed sheep and oxen, which could not be told nor numbered for multitude.
- And the priests brought in the ark of the covenant of the LORD unto his place, to the oracle of the house, into the most holy place, even under the wings of the cherubims:
- For the cherubims spread forth their wings over the place of the ark, and the cherubims covered the ark and the staves thereof above.
- And they drew out the staves of the ark, that the ends of the staves were seen from the ark before the oracle; but they were not seen without. And there it is unto this day.
- There was nothing in the ark save the two tables which Moses put therein at Horeb, when the LORD made a covenant with the children of Israel, when they came out of Egypt.
- And it came to pass, when the priests were come out of the holy place: (for all the priests that were present were sanctified, and did not then wait by course:
- Also the Levites which were the singers, all of them of Asaph, of Heman, of Jeduthun, with their sons and their brethren, being arrayed in white linen, having cymbals and psalteries and harps, stood at the east end of the altar, and with them an hundred and twenty priests sounding with trumpets:)
- It came even to pass, as the trumpeters and singers were as one, to make one sound to be heard in praising and thanking the LORD; and when they lifted up their voice with the trumpets and cymbals and instruments of musick, and praised the LORD, saying, For he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever: that then the house was filled with a cloud, even the house of the LORD;
- So that the priests could not stand to minister by reason of the cloud: for the glory of the LORD had filled the house of God.
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Thought for the day:
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David had left Solomon instructions for the building of the Temple. As Solomon enlisted the assistance of the king of Tyre, he made the following statement about the house of God:
"And the house which I build [is] great: for great [is] our God above all gods. But who is able to build him an house, seeing the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain him? who [am] I then, that I should build him an house, save only to burn sacrifice before him?"
Several things stand out to me in these verses. First of all, Solomon realized the majesty of God. He states that Jehovah is greater than any other god. Of course, there is no other God besides the Lord, but Solomon uses this expression to show the futility of believing in the pagan deities of the Canaanites. He then states that the Lord is not only greater than other so-called gods, but that He is so magnificent and so immense that He transcends the universe. Think about that concept for a moment. The heathen worships a god that is contained within an idol, or within an animal, or within the sun or some other celestial body. The Christian worships a God who created all those things, and is infinitely greater than all of them combined. This should be a source of great encouragement to us. If God created everything, then He is greater than everything, and in control of everything. That being the case, what can possibly take place in my life that God can not handle? What circumstance is He unaware of, or what crisis does He not have the wisdom to deal with? He made my body, so He can handle whatever physical ailments I have. He created my children, so He can lead me to raise them properly. He gave me my spouse, so He can give me the wisdom necessary to have a Scriptural marriage. He holds the lives of those who persecute me in His hand, and can deal with them at any moment that He wishes. The God Who can not be contained by Heaven and Earth will never be held hostage by any situation that I can ever face.
The second thing that Solomon realizes is that this great God is worthy of a great house. A God Who is as awesome as Jehovah should not be treated cheaply. I think that there is a great lesson here. I am not saying that a church building needs to have the most expensive furnishings, for quite honestly sometimes God's money could be better used for winning the world to Christ instead of creating a more elegant edifice. However, I do think that this teaches that any work that is done for God ought to be done to the absolute best of our ability. Shoddy work reveals our attitude about Who God is. Relegating God's service to an inconsequential level shows that we believe the Lord to be an inconsequential Person. People give great effort and great contributions to a great cause. Since the Lord is the greatest Cause, His program is worthy of our absolute best.
Finally, Solomon realizes his own insignificance. He asks the question, "Who am I?" David asked a similar question:
"What is man that Thou art mindful of him?" (
When confronted with the incredible magnitude of God, each one of us should ask ourselves, "Who am I?" We are but dust (Psalm 103:14), and we must thank the Lord continually that He was willing to allow His Son to die for our iniquities. As Christians, we should not look upon our ministry as a drudgery, but rather praise God that He has allowed sinners like us to be His servants. God could have chosen holy angels to carry out His work upon earth, but He allows us to have a part in His eternal plan. He is truly a great God, and worthy of the best that we sinful mortals can give.
Pastor Dr. Mark J Montgomery