It was such a captivating place. This first Temple, having been built by 30,000 Israelites, 150,000 Canaanites and countless others in some way, shape or form, was one of the great historical wonders of the world.
It remains so today.
After seven grueling and long-awaited years, King David’s vision was realized completely by King Solomon. Or so it would have seemed at the time. By nearly every measurement imaginable, THIS was it … THIS is where God would live among them once and for all. So much so, in fact, that upon dedication of the temple, Solomon oversaw the sacrifice of 220,000 oxen, 120,000 sheep, and held a 14-day feast in celebration.
But oh, how wrong and mistaken they ultimately were. For the real King … the real Messiah … wouldn’t arrive on the scene until nearly 1,000 years later (as the First Temple is believed to have been completed around 957 B.C.). His presence among us would eventually come in a way that no one saw coming … except for the widely ignored prophets who spoke of it all through the Scriptures. And as Steve Valdez explained Sunday, He who would come—who continues to live today—serves as the only foundation strong enough to make the Church exactly what it is meant to be. Only He can make us exactly who we were created to be, doing things as His Church that only we can do as the workers He has commissioned to do so.
It is not about the building that He “lives in”; it is about Him alone. It is about His great love for us, and it is about what we can do in response.
For we are God’s fellow workers. You are God’s field, God’s building. According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and someone else is building upon it. Let each one take care how he builds upon it. For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. (1 Cor. 3:9–11, ESV)
We must go out and be the Church!
For as Paul writes in another one of his letters, he has this to say about what it means for us to be a part of the Church, and how the Church is to be viewed. Here is what it says in Ephesians 1:19-23 (ESV):
“What is the immeasurable greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His great might that He worked in Christ when He raised him from the dead and seated Him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. And He put all things under His feet and gave Him as head over all things to the Church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.”
Where God came down in the form of His Son Jesus, we get the chance to celebrate the Good News all year long, including right now at Christmas time. And so, as you are going about the holiday hustle and bustle, remember what Christmas is at its core. Remember the who we celebrate at this time of year, and the what we are blessed to now do and be a part of as a result.
Jesus has come, and no building will ever be necessary for His presence, again.
The wait for our Savior is officially over!
QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF:
- What can we learn from the way King David and King Solomon approached the building project of the First Temple? (Reference scriptures 2 Chronicles 2-8).
- What are some of the biggest takeaways from 1 Cor. 3:1–11? How would you sum up his line of argument?
- How should we balance a church building and our own ministry efforts?
- What is your foundation built on?
- Do you know why Jesus is a foundation worth building on? (And if not, reach out to someone to Harvest and find out: https://www.harvestworld.com/contact-us/).
OUR “IMPATIENTLY WAITING” CHRISTMAS SERIES IN REVIEW …
Sermon: “A Star at Its Rising”
Sermon: Christmas Eve Candlelight Service
Sermon: “Impatiently Waiting, Part III“ / Blog post and study guide: “A Christmas Half Story Made Complete”
Sermon: “False Foundation” / Blog post and study guide: “The Joy of a Building With No Walls”
Sermon: “Impatiently Waiting” / Blog post and study guide: “Waiting With the Strength of a Child”