Then David gave Solomon his son the plan of the vestibule of the temple and of its houses, its treasuries, its upper rooms, and its inner chambers, and of the room for the mercy seat; and the plan of all that he had in mind for the courts of the house of the Lord, all the surrounding chambers, the treasuries of the house of God, and the treasuries for dedicated gifts; for the divisions of the priests and of the Levites, and all the work of the service in the house of the Lord; for all the vessels for the service in the house of the Lord. –
1 Chronicles 28:11-13
This is David’s instruction to Solomon about the creation of God’s temple. In the Old Testament, the temple and tabernacle were the specific places to experience a relationship with God. It was where God’s Spirit dwelt, offerings we made, and where God interacted with His people. We read in Exodus 25-31, that even the construction and design of the Tabernacle was given with precise instruction. Every detail, measurement, material, and color of the fabric was dictated by God. All of that existing as a shadow to the true Tabernacle and Temple to come which is Jesus Christ. The Bible tells us that we are now temples of the Holy Spirit and that God’s Spirit lives in us. We have become the holy place and likewise, God demands respect of His temple no matter where it resides.
In Scripture, God describes objects to be used in the temple ceremonially but there is also a symbolic truth that remains true for all generations. Here are a few examples:
- The Bronze Altar used for burning sacrifices symbolizes the just payment for sin
- The Brazen Laver that was used for the washing of hands symbolizes sanctification
- The Table of Showbread symbolizes God’s provision and spiritual nourishment
- The Lampstand provided light and symbolizes God’s light that leads His people
- The Altar of Incense symbolizes the prayer and devotion that surrounds God
- The Ark of the Covenant symbolizes God’s throne on earth. It symbolizes the covenant with His people the place where his presence resides.
These instruments are now alive in you and you are God’s temple! There are still temple rules that bring order and life but more importantly, there is the one who still rules over the temple which is God. Though many times when hardship comes we neglect the temple. This is what happened in Haggai’s day as everyone became busy with rebuilding their own homes but left God’s temple in ruins.
Then the word of the Lord came through the prophet Haggai: “Is it a time for you yourselves to be living in your paneled houses, while this house remains a ruin?” Now this is what the Lord Almighty says: “Give careful thought to your ways. You have planted much, but harvested little. You eat, but never have enough. You drink, but never have your fill. You put on clothes, but are not warm. You earn wages, only to put them in a purse with holes in it.”
Let’s get back to building the neglected temple. When you feel unworthy, unholy, or apathetic, remember that the Holy Spirit has set up a temple residence within you where His presence is protected, holy, blameless, and pure.
Let’s take some time to meditate on how special it is to be a temple of the Holy Spirit.
What does the temple of your heart look like right now? How can you make your inner temple holy?
– Pastor Josh Ryan