Wednesday, October 26, 2011

New beginnings and hard work

Thus all the work that King Solomon did on the house of the LORD was finished. And Solomon brought in the things that David his father had dedicated, the silver, the gold, and the vessels, and stored them in the treasuries of the house of the LORD.
1 Kings 7:51

This was the moment that became the spiritual high point of Solomon's reign in Jerusalem. The temple of the Lord is complete, furnished, and temple worship is about to begin. It has been a project Solomon has work towards for a long time. It was a passion that his father, David, also had. And now the work of two generations has come to a completion.

With every completion is also a new beginning. In the case of the temple project, the new beginning was a house of worship for the Lord in Jerusalem. The past had been symbolized in a tent of worship, testament to Israel's wilderness past. Now, with the temple complete, a certain established commitment to the worship of God and obedience to His Law is confirmed. This is the new beginning. The temple period of Israel's history begins.

With each new beginning come new challenges. The large temple complex with Solomon's palace adjacent to it would require constant attention. God was worshiped day and night and levitical duties kept priests and Levites at the temple complex around the clock. It said a lot that the king built his own house so close to God's temple. It meant that Solomon was a close worshiper. Yet, with that came heightened security and new concerns. All the treasures of Israel's throne were stored at the palace and in the temple vaults. This was like Fort Knox with an altar.

The administrative challenges of such a set up would require the kind of wisdom and manpower that Solomon could provide. Between the priests, Levities, soldiers, and king's household, a lot of coordination had to take place behind the scenes. And the effort was to promote Israel's big identity as a nation: the worship of Yahweh in His temple. With new beginnings come a balance of joy, hard work, worship, planning, and commitment -- all for the glory of God.

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