November 12, 2017
Daybreak: 1 Kings 7:1-51
“And King Solomon sent and fetched Hiram out of Tyre. He was a widow’s son of the tribe of Naphtali, and his father was a man of Tyre, a worker in brass: and he was filled with wisdom, and understanding, and cunning to work all works in brass. And he came to king Solomon, and wrought all his work.” (1 Kings 7:13-14)
When I started my PhD course, I had no idea what to write my dissertation on. I did my course work hoping that one of my classes would help me in selecting a topic. After three years, I was asked to take a qualifying examination, and with God’s help, I passed. The next stage was for me to write a proposal for the dissertation, but I still did not have a topic.
One day, I decided to pray for wisdom regarding my choice, and I asked God to let me know what topic to work on. God led me to an article that gave me an idea, but no professor in my department was familiar with the topic and theory that God had put in my mind. Even my dissertation director told me that she would be learning with me since she was not familiar with the theory I wanted to use to analyze my data.
I went to work, and every time I got stuck in my data analysis, I would pray. Without fail, each time God would guide me to a solution. One day as I was working on my dissertation, I had a call from one of the professors who had proposed the theory that I was using. He offered to pay my way to visit him at his university in California. He wanted to collect some data from the language I was using for my dissertation. It ended up that he not only paid my way to California and paid me for the data he collected from me, but he also talked with me about many aspects of the theory! In one trip, God made so many details clear to me that I was able to finish my dissertation in a shorter time than expected.
When it was time to defend my dissertation, five professors asked me questions, and then dismissed me so they could evaluate my performance. When I was called back to hear their decision, my director asked the committee to award me Honors on the dissertation because, as she put it, “This student worked independently. I did not do much since I was not familiar with the theory used in this dissertation.”
I knew without a doubt that I did not do it myself: It was God! The wisdom and the understanding to complete the dissertation came from Him, from start to finish. Just as He gave Hiram the wisdom he needed to build the Temple, God was there to help me accomplish the task before me.
God truly is the source of all wisdom and understanding. As a result of this experience, I never hesitate to encourage others to pray for wisdom. God can give us wisdom and understanding to do whatever He wants us to do!
The previous chapter ended with the foundation of the Temple being laid and the information that the building of the Temple took seven years.
The beginning of this chapter shifts attention to the building of Solomon’s house and surrounding royal buildings. The palace was part of a collection of buildings near the Temple. In the center of Jerusalem was an outer court with the house of Lebanon and the porch of pillars. Then there was the middle court with the palace and the house for the queen, Pharaoh’s daughter. Next to the middle court was the Temple court where the Temple was built. Both the Temple court and the middle court were within the same outer court.
King Solomon engaged a man named Hiram from the city of Tyre as a craftsman. This was not King Hiram, who was known to King David. This man had an Israelite mother (see 2 Chronicles 2:14). He was “filled with wisdom” in building and metalworking, particularly in brass (bronze). For the building of God’s house, only the best man could be selected for the job, and Hiram was that man.
The entire plan for the Temple had been revealed to David, Solomon’s father, and this was the plan that was used. It followed the basic layout of the Tabernacle in the wilderness, whose plan God had revealed to Moses centuries before, but the Temple was permanent, unlike the temporary nature of the Tabernacle, and therefore had its own unique features with their own powerful significance.
The first feature mentioned in this text was the presence of two large pillars in front of the Temple. These stood twenty-seven feet high, and were eighteen feet in circumference. These pillars had names: one was Jachin, which means, “He (the Lord) shall establish.” The other pillar was named Boaz, which means, “In it is strength.” These names were reminders that God had established not only the Temple, but also the worship ceremonies performed there.
The Temple also had a “molten sea,” a very large bowl used for ritual purification at the front of the Temple. The bowl was about fifteen feet in diameter and held about 12,000 gallons of water. This stood between the brazen altar and the sanctuary. The priests washed themselves at this place before they offered sacrifices or entered the Temple.
Ten lavers, each holding over 200 gallons of water, were in the sanctuary. The lavers were on wheels so that when the water became dirty through washing of hands and instruments, the lavers could be taken to a place where the water was disposed of and the lavers refilled. The tremendous amount of water, both in the lavers and in the molten sea, shows how very important it was to constantly keep all things pure in the Temple.
(Hannah’s Bible Outlines - Used by permission per WORDsearch)
I. The reign of Solomon
E. The work of Solomon
2. The construction of the Temple
e. The construction of the royal palace (7:1-12)
f. The construction of the Temple furnishings (7:13-50)
(1) The master craftsman employed (7:13-14)
(2) The pillars (7:15-22)
(3) The brazen sea (7:23-26)
(4) The ten lavers (7:27-39)
(5) The summary of Hiram’s work (7:40-47)
(6) The golden utensils (7:48-50)
g. The construction completed (7:51)
A Closer Look
- What were the purposes of the Temple?
- How did the pillars convey a spiritual lesson?
- How do we express purity in our service to God today?
When we serve God in purity, we can receive His wisdom to do whatever is set before us, and the result will glorify God.