My friend Linda works as a church secretary. The church a beautiful old red brick building, but as old goes, it needs occasional repair. When I talked with her this summer, the blessed old place was going through another face lift, this time with concrete. That meant her office was anything but quiet. I can only imagine the pleasant sound of jackhammers outside her office walls…
Which makes this phrase from the building of the Lord’s temple during the reign of King Solomon even more intriguing.
“The stones used in the construction of the Temple were finished at the quarry, so there was no sound of hammer, ax, or any other iron tool at the building site.”
I’m not a construction person, doing well to wield a household hammer without causing much damage. But I know these sites can messy, and LOUD. So I wondered what the deal was with this decision of King Solomon? He is considered the wisest of kings, so maybe he was already aware of the health effects with noise-pollution and concrete dust (typically ahead of his day).
I did a little research and found that the stones were generally cut to a basic size at the stone quarry, then chiseled into shape at the actual construction site before being fitted into place. But that wasn’t good enough for Solomon. This meant that precise measurements had to be made in advance so that when the stone arrived at its destination, it was ready to be put in place.
In place—now there’s a good concept. How often do I feel “out of place” in this world, in our society, in my job or even among friends? Could it be, at least in part, because I’m not to my final destination yet?
Dexter Wakefield seems to think so, in his article The Quarry of Living Stones:
“We are all being shaped and polished for our place in that ultimate temple as living stones…Every trial we have, every difficult choice, every act of love or mercy matters to us and to God. That is because what we do changes us. The choices we make change us and affect our character… Christ is working with each of us, chipping a piece here, polishing some there…”
Oh! You mean God’s still working on me? Right, sometimes finely with chisel and toothbrush strokes, sometimes (more than I care to admit, perhaps) with the jackhammer, but my Creator already has the exact measurements for just who He is fashioning me to be—
“Dear friends, we are already God’s children, but he has not yet shown us what we will be like when Christ appears. But we do know that we will be like him, for we will see him as he really is.”
And that will be the perfect fit!
1 Kings 6:7; 1 John 3:2 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.