I Kings 5:1-6:38; Acts 7:1-29;
Psalm 127:1-5; Proverbs 16:28-30
Unless the Lord builds the house, its builders labor in vain. ~Psalm 127:1
I Kings 5:1-6:38
The Temple was conceived by David, Solomon's father. David was disturbed that he lived in a palace, while God moved around in a tent. God would not allow David to build the Temple because he was a man of war, but God did provide David with the detailed plans of what the Temple should look like. David gave those plans to Solomon, and as a man of peace, Solomon constructs the Temple.
Speaking of peace, we see that Solomon works out a peace agreement with Hiram of Tyre that includes Hiram providing the cedar and cypress wood that will be used in this gigantic project. Solomon conscripted thousands of Israelites to live in Tyre and harvest the trees to be used in the construction of the Temple.
We see that wood and gold overlaid is used again in the construction. The symbols of pomegranates and palm trees, as well as cherubim are carved into the wood. The Temple was a jewel in the city. Its construction took seven years. Seven is the number of completion. We see that in this project envisioned by his father, Solomon honors David by diligently completing his vision. Solomon uses the best of what is available to honor the Lord with this Temple. Solomon is obedient and faithful in this work. He is diligent and enthusiastic. God is with him in the building of this Temple.
In what fashion do you approach the work that the Lord has given you? Would you say that you are enthusiastic? What about diligent?
When we last saw Stephen he was brought before the High Council of the Sanhedrin. The Bible says that his face shown like that of an angel. When this Council asks Stephen if the accusations were true that he blasphemed Moses and God, Stephen launches into a history of their people starting with Abraham.
It is interesting to note that Stephen, who is filled with the Holy Spirit, is compelled by God to recount Israel's history of God's rescuing them and preserving them as a chosen people for His purposes. Stephen has not attempted to defend himself.
Do you know your Bible well enough to recount the stories of God's faithfulness throughout history to someone? Stephen is a remarkable man of faith.
The psalm for today deals with the Lord needing to be the builder of our lives. He must build our house or else our lives are lived in vain. He must also be the protector of our lives.
This psalm also speaks of children being a blessing from the Lord. God describes children as arrows in a man's quiver. Do you see children as a blessing or a burden?
Gossips separate the best of friends. How true. Do you gossip?
What did you notice today?