I tend a bit to the Phyllis Diller end of the housework continuum:
I like a clean and orderly home, naturally, but it needs to reach a critical mass before I’m overly motivated. If I don’t dust the furniture, it will only gather more dust and so much the better in which to write Bob a love note. On the other hand, if I’m not out in my garden watering and such, my green babies might DIE!
Now really, which is more important??
So it’s pretty amazing what King Solomon did in building God’s temple. When you read about the gold and silver and bronze, the precious woods and ornate artistry—and I’ll be happy just to get my garage resided!
One of the things that is quite telling at this stage of Solomon’s political career is his humility. In spite of this amazing architectural marvel, the king new that the God of Israel couldn’t actually be “contained”; after all, He did create the universe.
Which makes God’s reassurance to Solomon even more poignant:
“I have heard your prayer and your petition. I have set this Temple apart to be holy—this place you have built where my name will be honored forever. I will always watch over it, for it is dear to my heart.
Dear to His heart! Of course, the end result of the story is kind of sad, but obviously not unexpected, at least to God. The temple was destroyed, rebuilt later, destroyed again, rebuilt, repeat. Perhaps there is a deeper, more permanent understanding to be had about this statement?
One of the (many) things that makes Christianity, as a faith system, stand out from so many other religions is the concern God has for our physical bodies. Romans 12:1,2, and Psalm 16:10 for starters. Our corporeal existence wasn’t just some afterthought in the Garden, but an intentional work of the Creator as the pinnacle of His artisanship. My body is important to Him. And in light of the description of, (and God’s reaction to), the grandeur of Solomon’s temple, we are now told that—
“…your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God…”
Which means we are also “dear to His heart”! Even more so, in fact, based on the spiritual housecleaning that took place on the Cross.
Do our physical bodies wear out? Of course. Does that mean we are no longer dear to God’s heart? Of course not. Just as God’s “residence” was transferred from a temple of gold and silver to a temple of human flesh and bone, so will this temporary temple be replaced with with a permanent one. One that will no longer needed any maintenance.
(Too bad I can’t say that about my house…)
1 Kings 9:3; I Corinthians 6:19 Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.