November 11, 2017
Daybreak: 1 Kings 5:1 through 6:38
“And the house, when it was in building, was built of stone made ready before it was brought thither: so that there was neither hammer nor ax nor any tool of iron heard in the house, while it was in building.” (1 Kings 6:7)
Have you ever been on or near a building construction site? If so, you will likely agree it is a very noisy place. You may hear the crackling of fire as wood burns on the scrap pile. There are conversations — sometimes loud conversations — going on between the workers as instructions and requests are shouted back and forth. The roar of heavy equipment, power saws, hammers, and air compressors can be almost overwhelming. However, all of these are necessary if the construction project is to progress.
In our text, we read about a massive construction project. With so many people working on the Temple, one would imagine that much construction noise would have been part of the scene, yet we read that there was no sound of a hammer, ax, or any other tool of iron heard in the Temple during construction. How could that be? All of the cutting of wood and chiseling of stone had been done off-site. When the building materials arrived on-site, they had been perfectly shaped to fit into their designated places in the Temple.
Our lives are like a construction site. We are bombarded daily with the “noise” of this world. There are pressures on our job and in our everyday lives. Noise from the political and moral pressures of the world surround us everywhere we turn. Sometimes it gets so loud we can hardly think, but we have this confidence: the Master Builder, the Lord himself, is on the job. He is chiseling, molding, and shaping us to prepare us to “fit” into His eternal Kingdom.
When we arrive in Heaven, there will be no more construction going on. We will be perfectly shaped to fit into our designated place in Heaven. The distracting and annoying “sounds” of earth will be a thing of the past. The sounds we will hear up there will be singing, rejoicing, praising, and thanksgiving for all God has done for us!
God had told David that he could not build the Temple because he was a man of war and had shed much blood; David’s son Solomon would be the one to accomplish that task (1 Chronicles 22:8-10). When the time had come for Solomon to begin construction on the Temple of God, he sent to Hiram, King of the great Phoenician city of Tyre, requesting building materials. Hiram had been a friend of David, and had already provided building materials that David had stored away until Solomon was ready to use them.
Hiram promised to have timbers cut in Lebanon, transported to the sea (the Mediterranean), made into rafts, and floated down to Joppa (see 2 Chronicles 2:16), which was the nearest port to Jerusalem. There the rafts would be taken apart and the timber transported overland to the construction site.
In return for cedar and fir trees, Solomon promised to provide wheat and oil on a yearly basis for Hiram’s storehouses. Wheat and oil apparently were not available in the region surrounding Tyre, so this benefited Hiram. The two kings set up this treaty, which lasted for many years and resulted in peaceful relations between the two nations.
Solomon recruited more than 180,000 laborers to work in the building program. Hiram sent Sidonians to Israel to assist Solomon in skilled labor, such as preparing the timbers and shaping stones for the construction. Ever mindful of how important the family unit was, and the hardship of having the man away from home, Solomon sent only 10,000 laborers a month to Lebanon to help cut down trees. After the month of labor was up, the men were sent home for two months. Then they were sent back to Lebanon for another month of duty. This rotation process continued for about seven years, until the completion of the Temple.
(Hannah’s Bible Outlines - Used by permission per WORDsearch)
I. The reign of Solomon
E. The work of Solomon
1. The preparations for the Temple(5:1-18)
a. Solomon’s message to Hiram (5:1-6)
b. Hiram’s league with Solomon (5:7-12)
c. Solomon’s labor force (5:13-18)
2. The construction of the Temple
a. The construction of the house, porches, and chambers (6:1-13)
(1) The construction (6:1-10)
(2) The divine promise (6:11-13)
b. The construction within the house (6:14-35)
(1) The decoration of the interior (6:14-18)
(2) The construction of the inner sanctuary (6:19-28)
(a) The decorations (6:19-22)
(b) The cherubim (6:23-28)
(3) The construction of the doors(6:29-35)
(a) The carvings and gold overlay (6:29-30)
(b) The doors of the inner sanctuary (6:31-33)
(c) The doors of the outer sanctuary (6:34-35)
c. The construction of the inner court (6:36)
d. The construction of the house completed (6:37-38)
A Closer Look
- What twofold promise did God give to Solomon concerning the Temple he was building?
- Why do you think Solomon specifically wanted cedar and fir trees for building the Temple?
- Look back over your spiritual walk with God. In what ways has God chiseled, molded, and shaped you for His Eternal Kingdom?
If we hold fast our confidence in God, make Jesus the Chief Cornerstone of our lives, and let God himself be the Masterbuilder, we have the assurance that someday we will see Jesus in Heaven.