Prayer for the day
The LORD has made known his victory; his righteousness has he openly shown in the sight of the nations.
Scripture for the day
The house that Solomon built for God was a thing to behold. Richly dressed with gold and ornament, the Temple was the centrepiece of Jerusalem. It was set at the pinnacle of the hill around which Jerusalem sat. All homes would have looked up to see the beauty of the work of Solomon and the dwelling place of the Lord.
Interestingly, while the temple only took seven years to complete, Solomon spent twice that amount of time on his own palaces. Grandiose hardly begins to describe the palace of Solomon, the stables and the other buildings. These buildings, in addition to the temple, were to trumpet the wealth, success, and loved-ness of the Israelite people. Solomon’s work boasted of their riches and wisdom. It was a good thing. But it wouldn’t last.
It wouldn’t last because the covenant God made with his people required them to keep his law and his word. God’s requirements of his people were never kept and so the house that was so impressive came crashing down.
Jesus talked about similar benefits of big houses when he spoke to his disciples about the teachers of the law, who love to be adored and honoured because of their position. They built themselves up by thinking of themselves as more than others, by lording their position over others, by insisting that they were worthy of honour. And at the end of the day, their grandeur, like the grandeur of the temple and the palace, would be overturned.
Building ourselves up is like that. We get recognition early. We are sometimes stared at and sometimes admired, sometimes loved and sometimes longed for, until we’re not. Better to build something that lasts.