1 Kings 7:13-51: Furnishing the Temple
Furnishing a new house can be fun as you indulge your artistic ideas, and put a personal touch on every room, catering for your personal idiosyncrasies, whether it is a certain type of reading chair, a colour scheme, or a theme. Furnishing the temple was very different to that. When Moses built the first tabernacle he was shown the design by God because it was God’s house, not Moses house, Heb. 8:5, ‘For when Moses was about to erect the tent, he was instructed by God, saying, “See that you make everything according to the pattern that was shown you on the mountain.” Solomon for the most part sticks to Moses design. The only real addition was an external one where he added the two pillars. But each piece of furniture was deliberate and functional to the whole process of the sacrifices that maintained the relationship between a holy God and a sinful people. As we look at the furniture of the temple, we are going to be looking at the pieces of bronze and gold. There are two big items not mentioned, the bronze altar which not being linked to the interior and was not explained in detail. Also it was made predominately of stone and did not need the attention of the artist. As well as the Ark of the Covenant which was not remade at all.
You will have picked up that there is a lot of detail about the various bronze items of furniture. The golden items would have been familiar to the Jews as being part of the tabernacle but the newer renovated items would have been unknown. We agree with those commentators who take this to be an indication of God’s delight in the beauty of the craftsmanship of the various parts of the temple. Since Solomon is a type of Christ, and the temple prefigures the church there is a powerful truth being communicated here: God the mastercraftsman is building a beautiful temple, which is us. The precious metals and the artistic care, are a reminder of the beautiful thing that God is making of us as His living temple. So as we wade through a large section luxuriate in the attention to detail. Remember as well that the common Israelite would not have ever seen the interior of the temple and this was the only way they would get to know what is inside. See the mercy of God who gives His people glimpses of the things they cannot see. Appreciate how God loves to tell His people about the beauty and detail of His presence.