1 Kings 7:13-51 (Part 7) – More Than Just Temple; More Than Just A House

Posted: November 28, 2018 in 11-1 Kings

1 Kings 7:13-51 (Part 7 of 7 – Conclusion of A Series)
Furnishings for the Temple

Today, we continue looking at the furnishings of the Temple in a 7-part series with Part 7. Because God is a God of order, everything in the Temple has a meaning. It symbolizes something in the relationship between God and His people.

Similarly, each of us has items that we have retained in our lives that are symbolic of some experience, particularly if you are a husband and wife. For Elena and me, we have things that we own that we have retained and not thrown away because they have significance to our relationship over the last 11 years (3 years of dating and 8 years of marriage). In my last blog, we talked about a dining room table that represents more than just a place to have a meal. They symbolize what God has done for us, to us, and through us.

For today, I think about our house itself. This house reminds Elena and me of just how blessed we are. First, we are blessed because this house is just so unique. Second, we see this house as confirmation of what can happen when we live more simply. Third, we blessed because it contains all treasures of a life built together. God’s blessings come from us seeing Him work in our lives. This house is an example of that fact. It reminds us God’s favor for those who seek Him.

First, we are blessed to have a home. One of the ways that we are blessed to have a home is that this house is just so unique. When I arrive home from work at the church each day I come in purposely from 39th Street so that I can drive past all four sides of our house and property. I come down 39th Street and see the north and the east side (front) of our house and then turn on to 20th Avenue to see the southside and the west side (back) of our house as I approach the detached garage on the very back edge of the west side of our property. It allows me to give myself a quick visual inspection of the house and property but I just love looking at our cute little house. I fell in love with it from the first time that we saw it. This house was built in 1914 so it is not some cookie-cutter house. It is distinctive. Further, it was completely remodeled on the inside by the previous owner who bought to “flip it” so it is modern on the inside, but yet, still has that 1914 character as well. It is just a neat old house that we consider ourselves lucky to have found. Every other house we looked at when shopping for a house when we moved here just had something wrong with it that was a deal breaker. There as so many old homes in this town that finding a perfect house is often difficult. But this house just spoke to us as it had no structural issues, was in our price range, and it had just been remodeled, and it was only 20 minutes from the church. We love older homes with character but that have been updated to keep up with modern amenities. This house just fit the bill.

Another way we look at this home and the two homes that we have purchased in our marriage before this one is that we are blessed to have a home. Since we began taking a biblical view of our finances where God calls us to be generous first, we have been able to rid ourselves of debt, live on less, and be generous to our church, family, friends and even strangers. The practical benefit of living biblically when it comes to your finances is that it changes your perspective on having to have stuff. It changes your perspective on the need for debt to finance what we want. As a result, practically, living life this way improves your credit rating. Over time, our credit rating has become quite excellent and we have had no troubles getting mortgage loans. That is such a blessing. Being able to own a home is just a blessing and we have achieved that is through learning to live more simply and doing our finances “God’s way”. What peace has come to us during the last 10 years! Being able not to worry about buying a house. Being able not to worry about making ends meet no matter our salary is simply a mindset reboot that we have received from God himself. And, then, when you think of people that are homeless on top of this mindset changing of managing money God’s way, then it brings you to tears. To know that we have been doubly blessed – learning to live more simply and to be blessed to have a place to live at all it can really bring you to tears when you sit and think on it. Especially on a day like today when it got down to 12 degrees Fahrenheit overnight last night and it is only 13 degrees outside in the Quad Cities at 8am this morning.

Another way to look at this house for us is that it contains our life. It may look simple on the outside. You may even say, like we do, that is such a cute house and it is. It’s not grand home. It’s not a mansion. But it is a cute, unique house. It is not the most expensive house in the Quad Cities, but it is nice looking. But the thing that makes it a cute home for us is that before we moved in it was a cute house. It is now a cute home. What makes it a home instead of just a house is the fact that it contains the treasures of a life built together. Everything in the house has a meaning. Everything in the house is a treasure to us. Otherwise, we would not keep the things that we have kept. Everything in this simple but cute house is a treasure to us. It represents what we have built together in our relationship over the last 11 years since we met. This house contains all of our meaningful things, some of which we have talked about in this blog series which we are concluding today. The life that we have built together is contained in this house. It is our place to be together after a hard day out in the world. It is our place to be ourselves and relax. It is our place to recharge. It our place to call home.

Thus, our house is a visual reminder of how God has blessed us over many years now. The house represents simply us submitting our lives and our finances and our everything over to Him. That’s the blessing and this house is a reminder of God’s blessing upon us. Similarly, It is this type of deeper meaning that we will look at in this passage today. Let’s continue today by discussing the storehouse of treasures in the Temple and what they mean and symbolize:

13 King Solomon then asked for a man named Huram[a] to come from Tyre. 14 He was half Israelite, since his mother was a widow from the tribe of Naphtali, and his father had been a craftsman in bronze from Tyre. Huram was extremely skillful and talented in any work in bronze, and he came to do all the metal work for King Solomon.

15 Huram cast two bronze pillars, each 27 feet tall and 18 feet in circumference.[b] 16 For the tops of the pillars he cast bronze capitals, each 7 1⁄2 feet[c] tall. 17 Each capital was decorated with seven sets of latticework and interwoven chains. 18 He also encircled the latticework with two rows of pomegranates to decorate the capitals over the pillars. 19 The capitals on the columns inside the entry room were shaped like water lilies, and they were six feet[d] tall. 20 The capitals on the two pillars had 200 pomegranates in two rows around them, beside the rounded surface next to the latticework. 21 Huram set the pillars at the entrance of the Temple, one toward the south and one toward the north. He named the one on the south Jakin, and the one on the north Boaz.[e] 22 The capitals on the pillars were shaped like water lilies. And so the work on the pillars was finished.

23 Then Huram cast a great round basin, 15 feet across from rim to rim, called the Sea. It was 7 1⁄2 feet deep and about 45 feet in circumference.[f] 24 It was encircled just below its rim by two rows of decorative gourds. There were about six gourds per foot[g] all the way around, and they were cast as part of the basin.

25 The Sea was placed on a base of twelve bronze oxen,[h] all facing outward. Three faced north, three faced west, three faced south, and three faced east, and the Sea rested on them. 26 The walls of the Sea were about three inches[i] thick, and its rim flared out like a cup and resembled a water lily blossom. It could hold about 11,000 gallons[j] of water.

27 Huram also made ten bronze water carts, each 6 feet long, 6 feet wide, and 4 1⁄2 feet tall.[k] 28 They were constructed with side panels braced with crossbars. 29 Both the panels and the crossbars were decorated with carved lions, oxen, and cherubim. Above and below the lions and oxen were wreath decorations. 30 Each of these carts had four bronze wheels and bronze axles. There were supporting posts for the bronze basins at the corners of the carts; these supports were decorated on each side with carvings of wreaths. 31 The top of each cart had a rounded frame for the basin. It projected 1 1⁄2 feet[l] above the cart’s top like a round pedestal, and its opening was 2 1⁄4 feet[m] across; it was decorated on the outside with carvings of wreaths. The panels of the carts were square, not round. 32 Under the panels were four wheels that were connected to axles that had been cast as one unit with the cart. The wheels were 2 1⁄4 feet in diameter 33 and were similar to chariot wheels. The axles, spokes, rims, and hubs were all cast from molten bronze.

34 There were handles at each of the four corners of the carts, and these, too, were cast as one unit with the cart. 35 Around the top of each cart was a rim nine inches wide.[n] The corner supports and side panels were cast as one unit with the cart. 36 Carvings of cherubim, lions, and palm trees decorated the panels and corner supports wherever there was room, and there were wreaths all around. 37 All ten water carts were the same size and were made alike, for each was cast from the same mold.

38 Huram also made ten smaller bronze basins, one for each cart. Each basin was six feet across and could hold 220 gallons[o] of water. 39 He set five water carts on the south side of the Temple and five on the north side. The great bronze basin called the Sea was placed near the southeast corner of the Temple. 40 He also made the necessary washbasins, shovels, and bowls.

So at last Huram completed everything King Solomon had assigned him to make for the Temple of the Lord:

the two pillars;
the two bowl-shaped capitals on top of the pillars;
the two networks of interwoven chains that decorated the capitals;
the 400 pomegranates that hung from the chains on the capitals (two rows of pomegranates for each of the chain networks that decorated the capitals on top of the pillars);
the ten water carts holding the ten basins;
the Sea and the twelve oxen under it;
the ash buckets, the shovels, and the bowls.

Huram made all these things of burnished bronze for the Temple of the Lord, just as King Solomon had directed. 46 The king had them cast in clay molds in the Jordan Valley between Succoth and Zarethan. 47 Solomon did not weigh all these things because there were so many; the weight of the bronze could not be measured.

48 Solomon also made all the furnishings of the Temple of the Lord:

the gold altar;
the gold table for the Bread of the Presence;
the lampstands of solid gold, five on the south and five on the north, in front of the Most Holy Place;
the flower decorations, lamps, and tongs—all of gold;
the small bowls, lamp snuffers, bowls, ladles, and incense burners—all of solid gold;
the doors for the entrances to the Most Holy Place and the main room of the Temple, with their fronts overlaid with gold.

51 So King Solomon finished all his work on the Temple of the Lord. Then he brought all the gifts his father, David, had dedicated—the silver, the gold, and the various articles—and he stored them in the treasuries of the Lord’s Temple.

In this passage, we see that Solomon placed all the treasures of the kingdom that David had accumulated over his reign and through all his military victories over the years. It was a wealth of gold and other precious metals. There was now a resting place for the valuable things that the Kingdom of Israel had acquired. It became the treasury storehouse of the kingdom. By modern standards, what we know of what became known as “The First Temple” or “Solomon’s Temple” it was simple by comparison to the rebuilt Temple grounds that continued from the time of return from the time of Nehemiah all the way through until the New Testament era. By the time of Jesus and for three decades after his death, it was an ornate facility that mushroomed what the original First Temple looked like. The First Temple was simple but yet ornate. It was small but yet was an architectural beauty. Its small size and simplicity from the outside belied the fact that it contained the most valuable items in the kingdom and held the treasury of gold, silver, gems and all the most valuable items belonging to the nation of Israel. It reminds me though our house looks cute by simple from the outside, the thing that makes it most valuable to us is that it contains our life together. This house contains the life of Mark and Elena that we have built over our lives together. In the same way, the Temple was beautiful in its outward simplicity but what made it wonderful was that it contained such beauty and treasure and it contained the presence of God.

In the same way, you and are simple vessels on the outside. Though we all have slight variations that make us all look different slightly, we are have the same physiology. We may have different heights, weights, facial features, hair color, and so on but we are all simple variations on the same human body. We all operate the same way. Process oxygen the same way. Process food the same way. Breath the same way. Process energy and expel energy the same way. We are all just basically the same. The human form is common to us all. That makes us, when you think about, rather unspectacular. We are all just human bodies that are basically the same physical structure operating on the same common operating systems. We are just common clay pots, as Paul called us in 2 Corinthians 4:7-9.

But, as Paul put it, our outward commonness belies the fact that within our clay jars we contain the greatest treasure of all – the message of the gospel! We who have made Jesus Christ our Savior and Lord contain Jesus Christ himself and the message of redemption that we have to offer the world. Clay jars containing great treasure. Simple houses containing great treasure. Simple temples containing the treasure of the kingdom. We are simple vessels containing the beauty of the gospel that makes us valuable and unique and worthy to God.

Amen and Amen.

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