As we continue reading through 1 Kings this week, we’ll read the meticulous and extravagant description of the temple Solomon built for God’s glory. It’s easy to switch off when reading descriptions such as these which are packed full of information about measurements, dimensions, building materials and design. But as I was reading, I was also struck by how worshipful the building of the temple was. Today, we’re so used to vast, ornate buildings that we forget the shear effort that it took to build such a structure with none of the modern technology we so easily take for granted. We see something of the worship on Solomon’s heart as he prays his prayer of dedication and gives God all the glory in 1 Kings 8 from verse 26. This humble and worshipful attitude is something we can learn from when we achieve something we’re proud of.
The Lord appeared to Solomon in 1 Kings 9 and first gives Solomon a promise, that if he walks with the Lord faithfully and obeys His commands, Solomon’s royal throne will be established over Israel forever. However, this promise goes hand in hand with a warning: if Solomon or his descendants turn away from the Lord, He will cut Israel off from Himself. Like Solomon, we are given a choice – will we walk faithfully in step with God each day, or will we turn away from him and go our own way?
We start our New Testament reading this week in Revelation chapter 5, where we read of the initial despair felt in God’s throne room when no one can be found who is righteous enough to open the scroll in God’s hand, sealed with seven seals. But then, John saw the Lamb, symbolising Jesus, at the centre of the throne who had been slain and was worthy to open the scroll. Then thousands upon thousands of angels worshiped the Lamb who was worthy. Jesus overcame death, through his own death and resurrection, symbolising him as the true Passover lamb, and the fulfilment of the promises God makes in the Old Testament.
What follows, is a group of three lots of sevens: the opening of seven seals, seven trumpets and seven bowls, each of which depict God’s judgment and justice coming to earth, ending with final judgment. This week, as you read, notice that God takes our sin seriously but that He does indeed keep his promises to His people.
Some questions to help you in your reading this week:
- The Lord didn’t want David to build the Temple because he had blood on his hands (1 Chronicles 22: 6-10). David obeyed and his son Solomon built it instead. Is there an area of your life where you need to obey God and wait for the His timing, rather than your own?
- In 1 Kings 8, we read of Solomon dedicating the Temple to God. When you achieve something which you are proud of and has taken a lot of work and effort, how quick are you to dedicate it to God and to give him the glory due to His name?
- As you read Revelation Chapter 5, imagine yourself into the throne room of God. What do you see? What can you hear? What emotions do you experience?