Day 22

Building the Temple

from the reading plan

2 Chronicles 3:1-17, 2 Chronicles 4:1-22, 2 Chronicles 5:1-14, Exodus 26:31-35, Hebrews 9:11-14

Everybody worships something. It doesn’t matter if we are particularly religious or not. Every person is a worshiper. We all give of ourselves—our love, affection, energy, and resources—to something because we believe it will provide us with abundant life. The choice is not whether we will worship or not. The choice before us is: what will we worship? What will we sacrifice for? What will we set our love and affection upon?‌

As an Israelite, life revolved around the temple. To be sure, it was the center of all religious life, but its gravitational pull was felt far beyond merely spiritual matters. As a result of its centrality, we would do well to remember the temple’s purpose.‌

In 2 Chronicles 3:1, we are told, “Then Solomon began to build the LORD’s temple…” Would you believe that the Hebrew word translated here as “temple” is the same word used most commonly for “house?” Per divine instruction, Solomon was building a house for the Lord—a place for God to reside among His people. It was God’s desire to live with His covenantal people, so He built His home, the temple, at the very center of their lives. 

We frequently take for granted that God has chosen to have a relationship with us and desires to be involved in our everyday lives.

Think about it like this. There are all kinds of powerful and influential people in our world—people with the power to change our lives by their blessing—wealthy individuals, politicians, or cultural heroes like actors or athletes. We can all think of people with immense power and influence. 

Yet we have something far greater than any influential person because we have the means to come before the presence of the One who made the heavens and the earth. What’s more, we can speak with Him in intimate and real ways—all because He chose to make His home with us. 

So let us return to the question: what will we worship? Every day a thousand things compete for our love and worship. They promise abundant life, but we know from experience that they rarely deliver. We’ve been given the offer of a lifetime to center our lives on the giver of life Himself. What will we choose to worship? 

Lent is the perfect season to take inventory and reorient our lives. Consider this our annual reminder that our hearts need recalibrating. If we are in Christ, then our God has made His home with us and within us. Let us then ask the Spirit to refocus our hearts on the true center, where we can find abundant life. 

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