Daily Readings & Thought for August 11th. THE LITTLE WORD ‘IF’
Today’s reading in 1 Kings 6 describes how Solomon in the 4th year of his reign began to build that remarkable temple on the mount in Jerusalem. This is what his father wanted to build, it took him 7 years (v.38) and “when the house was built; it was with stone prepared in the quarry, so that neither hammer nor axe nor any tool of iron was heard in the house while it was being built”[v.7]
Imagine those 7 years, there has never been a building site like it. The stone almost certainly came from a quarry right next to, if not partly under the present walls of the city that the Saracens rebuilt 500 years ago. I have been down into it, one walks into history, the stones for the Wailing Wall also came from there, you can see where they were cut out and the faulty ones they left behind.
There are references throughout the chapter to overlaying all the stones with cedar and then the cedar with pure gold (v.18,21,22), it would have been totally awesome to work there and see it completed.
There is the little word “IF” in verse 12 that we simply must take notice of – “concerning this house that you are building, if you will walk in my statutes and obey my rules and keep my commandments and walk in them, then I will establish my word with you which I spoke to David your father and I will dwell among the children of Israel.”[v.12,13]
This principle of God applied to all Solomon’s descendants. In Jeremiah we are reading of the last king, a useless ruler, and there came the terrible destruction of the temple and the city.
Let us realize that God looks for a house to dwell in today! Look at 1 Peter 2 v.4,5 ; “As you come to him, a living stone, rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house …” Can you sense that spiritual house? Can you sense you are being shaped, as “a living stone” to fit into God’s building? Remember that little word “IF” !! Are you co-operating with God so that his “spiritual house” is taking proper shape. Sadly, there are stones he rejects, they cannot be shaped as God desires..
Paul complained of those who were not “holding fast to the Head, from whom the whole body, nourished and knit together through its joints and ligaments, grows with a growth that is from God” (Coloss. 2 v.19)
Would he make the same complaint today? Paul bluntly told the Corinthians (2nd letter ch. 6 v.1) they should be “working together with God” Let us, in a spiritual sense, build our lives, so that we will be fit for a place in God’s “Temple” – a temple that will last for ever.