David said, “My son Solomon is young and inexperienced, and the house to be built for the Lord should be of great magnificence and fame and splendor in the sight of all the nations. Therefore I will make preparations for it.” So David made extensive preparations before his death. –1 Chronicles 22:5
We often credit Solomon for building the first Temple of the Lord in Jerusalem, which is a correct fact, but we often overlook David’s role.
It was David who first had it in his heart to build the Temple. Not only did he have it in his heart, but he also gathered provisions for it and drew up the designs for it. However, the Temple was to be Solomon’s building project. This assignment shows me God’s heart when it comes to His being real to the children of His children (He’s a God who loves generations); this shows me, too, how God gives specific tasks for people to do.
But before we plunge into Solomon’s activities, I want to zero in on his father, David’s attitude, regarding the Temple. When David said, “… the house to be built for the LORD should be of great magnificence and fame and splendor in the sight of all the nations…” we see something marvelous about David.
First of all, David spared no expense to make this house for God magnificent. Truly, such a building could not hold the vastness of the Creator of the Universe—the small earth being a footstool (Isaiah 66:1)— but this Temple was to David a beautiful display of HONOR toward His God. In 1 Chronicles 29:3, we see that David not only gathered material specific for the Temple; he also provided his own personal treasures to it. He says, “Besides, in my devotion to the temple of my God I now give my personal treasures of gold and silver for the temple of my God, over and above everything I have provided for this holy temple.” This, to David, was not just a national project, but a very personal one; one dear to His heart because of Who it was for.
Second, we see that David wanted God’s name to be known in all the nations, not just the nation of Israel. Again, we go back to the verse, “… the house to be built for the LORD should be of great magnificence and fame and splendor in the sight of all the nations…” David wanted the nations to know about the Temple; or more specifically, the God of the Temple.
Ancient civilizations would always honor the gods of their land with edifices, whether they be temples or altars or high polished stones. David knew something that the other nations did not know: his GOD was real. The God of Israel was the One, TRUE God, Maker of Heaven and Earth; worthy of worship. Yes, God was a God more splendid than any of the gods of the ancient world; more magnificent, Someone who deserved fame. This echoes Psalm 105:1— “Give thanks to the LORD and proclaim his greatness. Let the whole world know what he has done.” David wanted the world to know God.
This should make us reflect on the work of our hands (our projects, our tasks, our “temples”), and even the plans for future projects (remember that for David, the Temple was only in its planning stage; the completion in his mind’s eye). Are the works of our hands and the plans of our heart directed toward making people know who God is? Do we believe deep down that our God deserves the best from us because He is worthy of the best? Do we believe that God is worthy of applause?
Remember the Scripture that says, “Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men” (Col.3:23). We have to embrace the attitude that what our hands build and what our hearts plan for, are powerful in pointing people to Jesus and in giving Him glory!
Let’s take this moment to assess the plans we have in our hearts and the work we have in front of us. We want our hearts to be set on God, mindful that what we do and plan can light up our surroundings with the knowledge of Who He Is.
Janina Marie Rivera is the Editor-in-Chief of One Voice Magazine, a teacher of world literature, and a student of the Bible. She enjoys reflecting on life’s curve balls and plateaus. She resides in the Philippines, the country known for people who smile a lot.