When you compare Solomon’s building the temple to Moses’ constructing the tabernacle, one difference stands out: Moses crafted the tabernacle according to very specific instructions, spelled out in minute detail in Exodus 25–30. Moses followed the directions God had given him to the letter (Ex. 36–40). In chapters 39–40, the phrase “just as the Lord had commanded Moses” is used multiple times.
But while the description of the building of the temple is just as detailed in 1 Kings, the description relates to the completed temple—you won’t find God giving the blueprints for it anywhere. In fact, the only instructions from God are found in 6:12: “Concerning this house that you are building, if you will walk in my statutes and obey my rules and keep all my commandments and walk in them, then I will establish my word with you, which I spoke to David your father.”
The specific design of the temple didn’t seem to matter to God as much as the condition of Solomon’s heart. Perhaps the lack of specific directions in this passage should point us toward the day when there would be no temple building but that our very bodies would be temples of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 6:19-20), temples that exist only because of the gospel’s change of a person’s heart.
When you gather with others to worship as a church, do you tend to be more concerned with the state of the building, the state of music, the state of the sermon, or the state of your heart? Why?