Regarding the building of the temple by King Solomon we read this:
And the house, when it was in building, was built of stone made ready before it was brought thither: so that there was neither hammer nor axe nor any tool of iron heard in the house, while it was in building.
I love this. Stonework is rather noisy. A good noise mind you if you are the mason, but a bad noise if it is not welcome. It is this unassuming quality of scripture that points to its credibility. It is this matter-of-fact recording of that which was. It is equally verifiable, reliable, and truthful as:
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
But the lack of perpetual ‘pinging’ of iron against stone is a gentle reminder that the temple of Solomon, er rather, the house of God, is a different place than the house of pancakes, as the reverential awe began long before the corner-stone was set.
The wisdom of Solomon cannot be denied by any person of reason. ‘Cut the baby in half!’ was a masterstroke given to instantly discover the real mother by two making the claim. Then of course Queen Sheba, whose mind was blown away when she was in the presence of this great man.
Solomon the master architect, Solomon the wisest sage, Solomon the economic genius, Solomon the king, (and oh should I tell you about the way he walked? Pay attention to Queen Sheba’s opinion) and Solomon the son of David. Flawed yes, but who isn’t? But more importantly, the king had a good heart, a rare quality indeed by men of stature.
But take note. The Lord shall sit upon the throne of not Solomon, but of David. Ah yes, the lights and perfection of scripture. And yet the Lord commended Solomon by comparing him to a flower in all its natural glory. The Lord, He does all things well.
Truth be told, there are bad men who do good things, and good men who do bad things, but it was the son of God Himself who as the truly ‘fit’ man, died for our sins……….’according to the scriptures.’
This was not a serendipitous or unfortunate act aided by sinful men, but one of divine purpose with eternal consequences. Yes, Peter could say ‘ye have taken by wicked hands and crucified and slain the Lord of glory,’ but scripture is careful to point out that ‘He gave Himself……….for us,’ yep, like a mute lamb in the hands of its shearers, He opened not His mouth.
So to you who believe, you are thankful, and express your thanks in so many ways, and to you who malign as if the Lord did nothing new, useful or original………..I say to you:
He was made sin.
Oh, like this happened before, and like this happens every day. No, it never happened before, and the excellency of this One who endured such a sentence, assures there is no need that it happens again. He is that good. Notice, He IS that good. The right hand of God is occupied by a man by virtue of His own worth. Is it any wonder that the Jews of old had an issue with the statement: ‘how can David’s son be David’s Lord?’ The ramifications are thunderous.
‘Sit thou on my right hand……………………..until…………….’ That’s right brethren: until. There will come a day when He will arise, and once more regenerate God’s will regarding the earth. After all, the earth and all its fulness belongs to Him.
So we work while we wait. We sweat while we give thanks. We smile at the genius of the created eagle, the ocean’s guest the great whale, and we smile at that crafty fox whose steps are perfectly measured. We smile silently at the awesome vee formations above.
We smile at the record of the life and times of Abraham and Sarah, Solomon, David, Esther, Mordecai, Herod, Pilate, Agrippa, Saul then Paul, Peter, James, and John, Timothy, and we understand that city of gold as being paramount to God’s will and blessing, yep, even Jerusalem, the city of the great king.
But we must add a smile of sadness too, for we also know that God is never surprised at the actions and words of they who despise Him. After all, He did write all about it.
Does ‘ravenous wolves’ ring a bell? Does ‘ungodly speeches’ not ring true? ‘Does not ‘clouds without water’ prove true by they who attack the son of God? A thousand times yes, so we must be thankful too for God giving us a heads up, lest we be fooled or surprised.
So in this year 2016, we hear the pounding of the hammers against God’s word, we see the disrespect by the iron work against the scriptures which disrespect is more than a clanging cymbal, we see the daily antagonism against people of faith for no good reason, we see the false charges against good people, but we are reminded to somehow give thanks.
In spite of all the noise, we raise a cup of Thanksgiving, and say so, for One greater than Solomon, and we offer a smile upward.