Solomon’s temple was probably the most beautiful building in the world at the time of its construction even standing up to structures built in more modern times. Most of wood used in the temple construction was ultimately overlaid with gold. When the complex was completed the rising sun would have reflected bright light into the eyes of people walking in view of the magnificent structure. This glare would have caused travelers to protect their eyes or shield their faces from the bright orange hues spilling out and over the white limestone blocks. Like a Devine artist using the earth as His palette the temple complex would have indeed done its best to convey the infinite glory of our Almighty God!
Solomon, like his father David, got a great start out of the blocks. He kept his relationship with God a priority in his life as he jumped over hurdle after hurdle eventually crossing the finish line. Soon he began collecting all the prizes due the winner of a great Olympic foot race. Fame, fortune and an overflowing amount of God given wisdom was earning him honor and prestige around the known Mediterranean world. As the world began to shower Solomon with gifts and praise he began to lose sight of the Almighty God who was the One that was providing for him and his people.
“But King Solomon loved many foreign women, as well as the daughter of Pharaoh: women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Sidonians and Hittites - from the nations of whom the Lord had said ‘You shall not intermarry with them, nor they with you. Surely they will turn away your hearts after their gods.’ Solomon clung to these in love. And he had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines; and his wives turned away his heart.” 1 Kings 11:1-11.
So Solomon did not ultimately follow God. Instead he turned and began sliding away from Him, building high places for the gods of his wives burning incense and sacrificing to them. This truly is a remarkable thing how Solomon was able to forsake the One, True and Living God, the God of his father’s Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
God had even pre warned the fledgling nation of Israel while still living in the desert even before a single step was taken into the Jordan River. In the scrolls written by Moses; Deuteronomy 17:14-20 God warned them that this exact sequence of events would unfold in the lives of Israel’s kings if they did not follow His commandments. He cautioned them to always look to Him, remembering His great deliverance from Egypt and all of His provisions for them while wandering in the wilderness of the Sinai.
But now, as Solomon is being puffed up by his perceived individual success, pride begins to lure him away; enticing him towards all the worldly lusts that lurked just out in the darkness. Eventually, God speaks to Solomon “Because you have done this, and not kept My covenant and My statues, which I have commanded you, I will surely tear the kingdom away from you and give it to your servant.”
You see, when we don’t follow God’s instructions we end up reaping a cornucopia of heartache, hopelessness and a sense of worthlessness. All the gold in the world can’t buy us God’s favor. A palace full of women can’t satisfy the human heart’s need for true love and companionship. All of mankind desperately needs to be in a loving relationship with their Creator.
There is actually a hole in our DNA that can only be filled by surrendering our will to our Creator. He alone holds our destiny in His hands being the author and finisher of our salvation. God is light, pure light and while existing outside of time, He is able to see our universe as a completed thought. He is the beginning as well as the end. Fortunately, we He gave us the instruction book for life complete with all the correct answers to life’s final exam.
The answer, in a word, is Jesus! While Jesus was dying on the cross, our mortal enemy believed that he had finally defeated God at His own game. The truth is the death of Jesus on a cross was God’s greatest triumph. The blood, shed from the spotless Lamb of God, is a gift to us, a cleansing agent more powerful than anything in this universe. So while the glitter of sunlight off the gilded façade of the temple was blinding to all passersby it will be nothing compared to the glory that will emanate and shine from our Father in heaven. Remember, we are the temple of God, so let your light so shine that people will see the glory of God as it shines through you!