David couldn’t build the temple because he was always at war. He could not build until the Lord gave him victory over his enemies. His son, Solomon, would experience peace and prosperity in order to carry out the plan.
4 But now the Lord my God has given me peace on every side; I have no enemies, and all is well. 5 So I am planning to build a Temple to honor the name of the Lord my God, just as he had instructed my father, David. For the Lord told him, ‘Your son, whom I will place on your throne, will build the Temple to honor my name.’ 1 Kings 5:4-5 NLT.
And even though Solomon was the direct son who would build a physical temple, I see Jesus in the words–a son who would raise a temple to honor God’s name.
Sometimes I feel like I’m on the front line. Sometimes I feel like I’m wearing the target. Inside my skin there is a turmoil, a commotion, a storm that stirs. I get hit by cross fire of devil and flesh and the fight in me rises, ugly. I sense the commander of a spiritual warfare; and I remember who I was without Jesus.
2 You used to live in sin, just like the rest of the world, obeying the devil—the commander of the powers in the unseen world. He is the spirit at work in the hearts of those who refuse to obey God. 3 All of us used to live that way, following the passionate desires and inclinations of our sinful nature. By our very nature we were subject to God’s anger, just like everyone else. Ephesians 2:2 NLT.
When another’s words wound, I am strengthened by reminders (“Love is manifested in how we treat people, not in how they treat us.” Joyce Meyer Ministries; “Don’t you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Does this mean nothing to you? Can’t you see that his kindness is intended to turn you from your sin?” Romans 2:4 NLT).
Jesus raises something new. He is the foundation, the cornerstone. He is victor over sin.
4 But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, 5 that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!) 6 For he raised us from the dead along with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ Jesus. 7 So God can point to us in all future ages as examples of the incredible wealth of his grace and kindness toward us, as shown in all he has done for us who are united with Christ Jesus.
8 God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. 9 Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. 10 For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. Ephesians 2:4-10 NLT. (emphasis mine)
I try to wrap my mind around the thought: that kindness could turn one away from sin. And not force or fight or even silence. Saved by grace.
A Temple for the Lord
19 So now you Gentiles are no longer strangers and foreigners. You are citizens along with all of God’s holy people. You are members of God’s family. 20 Together, we are his house, built on the foundation of the apostles and the prophets. And the cornerstone is Christ Jesus himself. 21 We are carefully joined together in him, becoming a holy temple for the Lord. 22 Through him you Gentiles are also being made part of this dwelling where God lives by his Spirit. Ephesians 2:19-22 NLT.
Oh, God, I need you! Help me with this kindness/mercy/love idea. When someone pushes my buttons long enough, sometimes I want to push back. Thank you for reminders in the day–you play by different rules. Your fight is the good fight. When I look in the mirror, or even back at the day, will I see the reflection of my former self, or who I am in you?