Only the Best
Lord, as I set aside this time to hear from You, I come with expectancy and openness to Your Spirit.
Read 2 CHRONICLES 2:1-18
 Solomon gave orders to build a temple for the Name of the LORD and a royal palace for himself.  He conscripted 70,000 men as carriers and 80,000 as stonecutters in the hills and 3,600 as foremen over them.  Solomon sent this message to Hiram king of Tyre: “Send me cedar logs as you did for my father David when you sent him cedar to build a palace to live in.  Now I am about to build a temple for the Name of the LORD my God and to dedicate it to him for burning fragrant incense before him, for setting out the consecrated bread regularly, and for making burnt offerings every morning and evening and on the Sabbaths, at the New Moons and at the appointed festivals of the LORD our God. This is a lasting ordinance for Israel.  “The temple I am going to build will be great, because our God is greater than all other gods.  But who is able to build a temple for him, since the heavens, even the highest heavens, cannot contain him? Who then am I to build a temple for him, except as a place to burn sacrifices before him?  “Send me, therefore, a man skilled to work in gold and silver, bronze and iron, and in purple, crimson and blue yarn, and experienced in the art of engraving, to work in Judah and Jerusalem with my skilled workers, whom my father David provided.  “Send me also cedar, juniper and algum logs from Lebanon, for I know that your servants are skilled in cutting timber there. My servants will work with yours  to provide me with plenty of lumber, because the temple I build must be large and magnificent.  I will give your servants, the woodsmen who cut the timber, twenty thousand cors of ground wheat, twenty thousand cors of barley, twenty thousand baths of wine and twenty thousand baths of olive oil.”  Hiram king of Tyre replied by letter to Solomon: “Because the LORD loves his people, he has made you their king.”  And Hiram added: “Praise be to the LORD, the God of Israel, who made heaven and earth! He has given King David a wise son, endowed with intelligence and discernment, who will build a temple for the LORD and a palace for himself.  “I am sending you Huram-Abi, a man of great skill,  whose mother was from Dan and whose father was from Tyre. He is trained to work in gold and silver, bronze and iron, stone and wood, and with purple and blue and crimson yarn and fine linen. He is experienced in all kinds of engraving and can execute any design given to him. He will work with your skilled workers and with those of my lord, David your father.  “Now let my lord send his servants the wheat and barley and the olive oil and wine he promised,  and we will cut all the logs from Lebanon that you need and will float them as rafts by sea down to Joppa. You can then take them up to Jerusalem.”  Solomon took a census of all the foreigners residing in Israel, after the census his father David had taken; and they were found to be 153,600.  He assigned 70,000 of them to be carriers and 80,000 to be stonecutters in the hills, with 3,600 foremen over them to keep the people working. Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectWhat are you offering to God? What is it costing?
Since God had denied David the honor, the task of building the first Temple fell to Solomon. And what a task! How do you even begin to make something magnificent enough to be worthy of a God whom even the highest heavens cannot contain (2:6)? Knowing that he is aiming for the impossible, Solomon sets out to do the best job he can. The Temple will be built with the finest materials, by skilled and creative craftsmen, to the specifications given to his father by God himself (1 Chronicles 28:12). It is to be a great building, where a great God will be worshiped.How seriously do we take our worship of God? How deep does our awareness of his holiness go? Do we understand the awesome honor of being a temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 3:16)? Solomon got many things wrong, even in his building of the Temple, which relied heavily on the use of slave labor (2:17,18). But what he got right was his understanding that God deserved the very best of what he had or could source.
As the living temple, we are called to offer our very selves to God as a living sacrifice.
God, I do not want to stand before You and regret my offering. May I build that which will honor You.