Reading through the Bible together
Solomon starts building the temple in the 480th year from the Exodus, which coincided with the 4th year of his reign. The Lord gave him complete instructions, every detail of this marvelous enterprise. Solomon fulfilled everything to the letter. He had no desire to be pompous but wanted to have a home for the Lord. Just like the Tabernacle in the desert God had given strict recommendations and Solomon was going to obey! It is very significant that in the middle of the construction God comes to Solomon, probably in a dream, and gives him a promise. If he walked with Him, would keep all His statutes, execute His judgments, and keep His commandments, He gives him the assurance that He would dwell among the children of Israel. This is a wonderful promise revealed to Solomon and His people that the Lord wanted to abide with them. From the beginning it was the desire of God to dwell with man. Moses received a command from God: "And let them make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell with them" (Ex. 25:8).
It is a beautiful experience for the Christian, and for those who love God to know that He desires constantly to be with us. The Palmist said: "Lord, you have been our dwelling place in all generations (Ps. 90:1). This dwelling has several meanings: It means to reside in a house, to settle down, to remain and also to tent, and to tabernacle. Solomon was aware of the presence of God in his life and he wanted the people of Israel to understand what that meant. He wanted them to experience and to understand how God longs to fellowship and commune with us.
We are also the temple of the living God. Eventually the people would understand that the great temple that Solomon was building was to be a symbol of the spiritual temple. Just like Solomon was so careful to follow all the instructions so we as Christians must follow the guidance of God as He lives by His Spirit in our lives.
Retired GC Vice-president