God has a plan. He never does things randomly, but he always does them redemptively. Every project he begins he brings to a completion befitting his glorious sovereign plan for the ages—which includes you.
Going Deep // Focus: 1 Kings 6:11-13
Then the Lord gave this message to Solomon: “Concerning this Temple you are building, if you keep all my decrees and regulations and obey all my commands, I will fulfill through you the promise I made to your father, David. I will live among the Israelites and will never abandon my people Israel.”
As you read 1 Kings 6, you could pick any verse in the chapter, save for those I have selected as our devotional focus, and you will encounter details about the construction of the temple. This is a chapter that an architect or a builder might enjoy, but the endless accounting of the building materials that were used in this project are mind-numbing for ordinary people like you and me. And this isn’t the first place in the Bible, nor will it be the last place, that we will be treated to the architectural minutiae of buildings belonging to God.
When Moses constructed the tabernacle, we were treated to the details. Between Exodus 25-31, pick a verse, any verse, and you will get more information on the construction of the tabernacle, its furnishings and the priestly garments that you will know what to do with. But those details mattered to God, who told Moses, “And see to it that you make them according to the pattern which was shown you on the mountain.” (Exodus 25:40)
When we go to the end of the Bible, we are again invited into the architectural details of the heavenly Jerusalem—and this place we will call our eternal home is beautiful beyond words:
The foundations of the wall of the city were adorned with all kinds of precious stones: the first foundation was jasper, the second sapphire, the third chalcedony, the fourth emerald, the fifth sardonyx, the sixth sardius, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh jacinth, and the twelfth amethyst. The twelve gates were twelve pearls: each individual gate was of one pearl. And the street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass. (Revelations 21:19-21)
I am not even sure what some of those precious materials are, but my guess is the stunning wonder of the place will cause my jaw to drop in amazement. And then John the Revelator adds this word at the end of his description:
But I saw no temple in the heavenly Jerusalem, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. (Revelation 21:22)
So why is God so enamored with the details? Why did the Holy Spirit inspire the writers of scripture to include the minutiae of the building projects. Well, there are probably more reasons than I understand, but at the top of the list is the fact that God is preparing a place where he can dwell with us forever. As the Lord told Moses, “make it according to the pattern I gave you,” and as he showed John, “I will be the temple,” God is giving exacting attention to the place where you and I live forever.
In light of that, there are several things we learn about God as we consider his concern over how things get done:
- God is a God of details. He is orderly and purposeful; creative and organically artistic. What that means, among other things, is that he hovers over the chaos, as he did by his Spirit over the formlessness of creation in Genesis 1, and forth brings order, purpose and beauty out of it. And if he did that for the larger creation, he will do that for even the smallest features of his creation—you and me.
- God has a plan. He never does things randomly, but he always does them redemptively. Every project he begins he brings to a completion befitting his glorious sovereign plan for the ages—which includes you and me.
- You are God’s building. You are God’s temple. The Apostle Paul said, “Don’t you realize that all of you together are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God lives in you?” (1 Corinthians 3:16) The implication of Paul’s context is that God cares about the details of how you are being built as his dwelling place. He is not pleased when his temple—you—are violated with unholy things, and he is pleased when you are edified with holy and eternal things. As he reminded Solomon, he is working on you because he plans to make his home with you and in you.
Why the details; why does God fixate on the minutiae of his buildings; why does he include these “laborious” accounts so often in scripture? Because he has you in mind. He cares about the details of you. He is watching over you, constructing you and has great plans for you that will be lovingly displayed throughout all eternity.
When you are getting bogged down in the details, just read yourself into the description. Just as God worked on the details of the tabernacle, and the temple, and is working on the details of the New Jerusalem, God is also just as committed to working out the details of you.