Lesson 15 | Sabbath, 8 October 2022
“And, behold, I purpose to build an house unto the name of the Lord my God, as the Lord spake unto David my father, saying, Thy son, whom I will set upon thy throne in thy room, he shall build an house unto My name.” 1 Kings 5:5.
“Of surpassing beauty and unrivaled splendor was the palatial building which Solomon and his associates erected for God and His worship. Garnished withprecious stones, surrounded by spacious courts with magnificent approaches, and lined with carved cedar and burnished gold, the temple structure, with its broidered hangings and rich furnishings, was a fit emblem of the living church of God on earth, which through the ages has been building in accordance with the divine pattern, with materials that have been likened to ‘gold, silver, precious stones,’ ‘polished after the similitude of a palace.’ 1 Corinthians 3:12; Psalm 144:12. Of this spiritual temple Christ is ‘the chief Cornerstone; in whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord.’ Ephesians 2:20, 21.” –Prophets and Kings, p. 36.
- Considering that he lived in a house lined with cedar and the ark of the Lord was in a simple tent, what desire did David have? What did the prophet Nathan answer when David told him of his plan?
2 Samuel 7:2, 3 That the king said unto Nathan the prophet, See now, I dwell in an house of cedar, but the ark of God dwelleth within curtains. 3And Nathan said to the king, Go, do all that is in thine heart; for the Lord is with thee.
“David, while dwelling in his palace of cedar, felt disturbed in his conscience as he considered that there was no suitable dwelling place for the ark of God, which symbolized His presence. It still rested in the tabernacle which had been constructed in the wilderness, and borne all the way from Horeb to Jerusalem in a pilgrimage of nearly forty years. But now the nation had ended their pilgrimage and obtained a permanent location. David looked around him upon the costly buildings of cedar, the homes of the inhabitants settled in the goodly land of Canaan, and conceived the idea that a temple should be built, more worthy for the residence of God.” –Christ Triumphant, p. 155.
The Lord’s response to David’s desire
- Although the king and the prophet agreed, what answer came from the Lord? Why did He respond in this way?
1 Kings 8:19 Nevertheless thou shalt not build the house; but thy son that shall come forth out of thy loins, he shall build the house unto my name.
1 Chronicles 22:8 But the word of the Lord came to me, saying, Thou hast shed blood abundantly, and hast made great wars: thou shalt not build an house unto my name, because thou hast shed much blood upon the earth in my sight.
2 Samuel 7:12-14, first part And when thy days be fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom. 13He shall build an house for my name, and I will stablish the throne of his kingdom for ever. 14I will be his father, and he shall be my son….
“As David had desired to build a house for God, the promise was given. ‘The Lord telleth thee that He will make thee a house…. I will set up thy seed after thee…. He shall build a house for My name, and I will stablish the throne of his kingdom forever.’
“The reason why David was not to build the temple was declared: ‘Thou hast shed blood abundantly, and hast made great wars: thou shalt not build a house unto My name…. Behold, a son shall be born to thee, who shall be a man of rest; and I will give him rest from all his enemies:… his name shall be Solomon [peaceable], and I will give peace and quietness unto Israel in his days. He shall build a house for My name.’ 1 Chronicles 22:8-10.” –Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 712.
- However, what did David do before his death? What did Solomon resolve to do after his father passed away?
1 Chronicles 22:2-5 And David commanded to gather together the strangers that were in the land of Israel; and he set masons to hew wrought stones to build the house of God. 3And David prepared iron in abundance for the nails for the doors of the gates, and for the joinings; and brass in abundance without weight; 4Also cedar trees in abundance: for the Zidonians and they of Tyre brought much cedar wood to David. 5And David said, Solomon my son is young and tender, and the house that is to be builded for the Lord must be exceeding magnifical, of fame and of glory through- out all countries: I will therefore now make preparation for it. So David prepared abundantly before his death.
1 Kings 5:5 And, behold, I purpose to build an house unto the name of the Lord my God, as the Lord spake unto David my father, saying, Thy son, whom I will set upon thy throne in thy room, he shall build an house unto my name.
“From the very opening of David’s reign one of his most cherished plans had been that of erecting a temple to the Lord. Though he had not been permitted to execute this design, he had manifested no less zeal and earnestness in its behalf. He had provided an abundance of the most costly material–gold, silver, onyx stones, and stones of divers colors; marble, and the most precious woods. And now these valuable treasures that he had collected must be committed to others; for other hands must build the house for the ark, the symbol of God’s presence.” –Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 751.
Organization of the mission
- What great assembly of people did the king enlist to build the temple for the Lord? What characterized the builders?
2 Chronicles 2:1, 2, 17, 18 And Solomon determined to build an house for the name of the Lord, and an house for his kingdom. 2 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…. 17 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. 18 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.
“The people that built the temple were many and the house that they built was large and grand; and the Lord God of heaven honored them because they had built Him a sanctuary where they could meet to worship Him. Those that worshiped Him sincerely had His blessing.” –Christ Triumphant, p. 155.
- What site was selected for the temple? How long did the construction take? Once the work was completed, whom did Solomon call to be pres- ent for the dedication?
2 Chronicles 3:1-3 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. 2 And he began to build in the second day of the second month, in the fourth year of his reign. 3Now 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.
1 Kings 6:37, 38 In the fourth year was the foundation of the house of the Lord laid, in the month Zif: 38 And in the eleventh year, in the month Bul, which is the eighth month, was the house finished throughout all the parts thereof, and according to all the fashion of it. So was he seven years in building it.
2 Chronicles 5:1-3 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 dedi- cated; and the silver, and the gold, and all the instruments, put he among the trea- sures of the house of God. 2Then 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. 3 Wherefore all the men of Israel assembled themselves unto the king in the feast which was in the seventh month.
“The care shown in the building of the temple is a lesson to us regarding the care that we are to show in our character building. No cheap material was to be used. No haphazard work was to be done in matching the different parts. Piece must fit piece perfectly. Just as God’s temple was, so must His church be. Into their character- building His people are to bring no worthless timbers, no careless, indifferent work….
“Now we are in the workshop of God, and the process is going on in these hours of probation to fit us for the glorious temple. We cannot now be indifferent, and negligent, and careless, and refuse to depart from sin,… and expect to become pure and holy and fashioned in character after the similitude of a palace…. Now is the day of preparation; now is the time when we can have our defects removed.
“A stone that does not shine is worthless. That which constitutes the value of our churches is not dead, lusterless stones, but living stones, stones that catch thebright beams from the Chief Cornerstone, even the Sun of Righteousness.” –Our High Calling, p. 165; Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 2, p. 1030.
Transfer from the tent to the temple
- What took place after the work on the temple was completed?
2 Chronicles 5:4-7 And all the elders of Israel came; and the Levites took up the ark. 5And 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. 6Also 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. 7And 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.
“It is impossible to describe the beauty and splendor of this sanctuary. Into this place the sacred ark was borne with solemn reverence by the priests, and set in itsplace beneath the wings of the two stately cherubim that stood upon the floor.
“The sacred choir lifted their voices in praise to God, and the melody of their voices was accompanied by all kinds of musical instruments. And while the courts of the temple resounded with praise, the cloud of God’s glory took possession of the house, as it had formerly filled the wilderness tabernacle.” –(Review and Herald, November 9, 1905) Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 2, p. 1030.
Solomon’s dedication prayer
- What did Solomon express in his prayer to God during the temple dedi- cation?
2 Chronicles 6:18-21, 41, 42 But will God in very deed dwell with men on the earth? behold, heaven and the heaven of heavens cannot contain thee; how much less this house which I have built! 19 Have respect therefore to the prayer of thy servant, and to his supplication, O Lord my God, to hearken unto the cry and the prayer which thy servant prayeth before thee: 20 That thine eyes may be open upon this house day and night, upon the place whereof thou hast said that thou wouldest put thy name there; to hearken unto the prayer which thy servant prayeth toward this place. 21 Hearken therefore unto the supplications of thy servant, and of thy people Israel, which they shall make toward this place: hear thou from thy dwelling place, even from heaven; and when thou hearest, forgive…. 41 Now therefore arise, O Lord God, into thy resting place, thou, and the ark of thy strength: let thy priests, O Lord God, be clothed with salvation, and let thy saints rejoice in goodness. 42 O Lord God, turn not away the face of thine anointed: remember the mercies of David thy servant.
“At the appointed time the hosts of Israel, with richly clad representatives from many foreign nations, assembled in the temple courts. The scene was one of unusual splendor…. Solomon then knelt upon the platform, and in the hearing of all the people offered the dedicatory prayer….
“‘Will God in very deed dwell with men on the earth? Behold, heaven and the heaven of heavens cannot contain Thee; how much less this house which I have built? Have respect therefore to the prayer of Thy servant, and to his supplication, O Lord my God, to hearken unto the cry and the prayer which Thy servant prayeth before Thee: that Thine eyes may be open upon this house day and night, upon the place whereof Thou hast said that Thou wouldest put Thy name there; to hearken unto the prayer which Thy servant prayeth toward this place. Hearken therefore unto the supplications of Thy servant, and of Thy people Israel, which they shall make toward this place: hear Thou from Thy dwelling place, even from heaven; and when Thou hearest, forgive….’” –Prophets and Kings, pp. 38, 40.
David’s response to God’s message
“Though the cherished purpose of his heart had been denied, David received the message with gratitude. ‘Who am I, O Lord God?’ he exclaimed, ‘and what is my house, that Thou hast brought me hitherto? And this was yet a small thing in Thy sight, O Lord God; but Thou hast spoken also of Thy servant’s house for a great while to come;’ and he then renewed his covenant with God.
“David knew that it would be an honor to his name and would bring glory to his government to perform the work that he had purposed in his heart to do, but he was ready to submit his will to the will of God. The grateful resignation thus manifested is rarely seen, even among Christians. How often do those who have passed the strength of manhood cling to the hope of accomplishing some great work upon which their hearts are set, but which they are unfitted to perform! God’s providence may speak to them, as did His prophet to David, declaring that the work which they so much desire is not committed to them. It is theirs to prepare the way for another to accomplish it.” –Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 712.