1 Co 3:16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?
As Christians, we sometimes neglect to read the Old Testament because we sometimes think either that it is no longer relevant or that Jesus’ life’s work was so overwhelming that we’d rather concentrate on reading about him than delve into those old stories of kings and prophets. However, the Old Testament stories have so many shadows and prophecies of wonderful things to come that it is sometimes just as overwhelming to read those old stories.
This morning I found myself in just such a situation. I was listening to a Bible podcast, and the reader was reading from 1 Chr 28. In this passage, David is at the end of his life, and God has told him that it is not for him to build a house for the Lord, but rather for his son to build it. David loved the Lord so intensely and had such a passionate desire to build a house for the Lord. Imagine his disappointment when he could not accomplish it! Instead, he gathered building materials: gold, silver, brass, iron, wood, and precious stones 1 Chr 29: 2). He gave his son, Solomon, the pattern for the house. He did everything that he could possibly do to make it easier for his son to build the temple of the Lord. He encouraged his son and told him to be strong and of good courage (1 Chr 28:20, 21). Then he prayed to the Lord and asked him to give Solomon a perfect heart to keep all of God’s commandments, testimonies and statutes. He blessed the congregation as well.
As I was listening to the story, a beautiful picture began to form in my mind. Just as David provided everything that his son would need to build the temple and to worship the Lord in the temple, so did our Lord and Savior do for us. Jesus was not able to finish setting up a glorious kingdom of God on earth. By that, I mean that it didn’t happen naturally in his lifetime. During his life, he prepared all of the materials that anyone living after him would need in order to build that temple of God in their hearts. He left words, advice and even commandments for those who love him to follow so that they might also become his disciples in their sojourn on earth. He left a pattern to follow. At the end of his life, just as David prayed for his son, Jesus prayed for his disciples and future sons and daughters and left us beautiful verses in the gospel of John so that we too could know that his kingdom is within and that we can live in this world and yet be kept from the evil of it, so that we too could be one with the Father and have His kingdom living in and through us.
Jesus was not exactly like David. David was a man of war and had killed many men. Jesus only warred with spirits, but otherwise was a man of great love and wisdom. At the same time, David had a passionate love for God. Likewise, God was the all in all for Jesus. God was his only love and desire. Everything he did was to bring out God in the lives of those he met. What a beautiful treasure he left us! We can grab onto the raw building materials, which are his words and we can live them and build our own temple for the Lord so that he will live in us as well. We truly are the temple of the living God and the Spirit of God lives in us (1Co 3:16). May the Lord’s words and deeds live strongly in your life. Thank you, Jesus!