The entire inside, from floor to ceiling, was paneled with wood. He paneled the walls and ceilings with cedar, and he used planks of cypress for the floors. (1 Kings 6:15 NLT)
Reading about Solomon’s Temple for The LORD, I can’t help to stop and just think about the extravagance of the whole project. Cedar is not cheap. Building the walls and ceilings out of cedar not only makes the building smell good, it also communicates just how important this building is, too.
This inner sanctuary was 30 feet long, 30 feet wide, and 30 feet high. He overlaid the inside with solid gold. He also overlaid the altar made of cedar. Then Solomon overlaid the rest of the Temple's interior with solid gold, and he made gold chains to protect the entrance to the Most Holy Place. So he finished overlaying the entire Temple with gold, including the altar that belonged to the Most Holy Place. (1 Kings 6:20-22 NLT)
I’ve worked on a lot of building and remodeling projects in my life. I’ve seen expensive wallpaper, siding, and other wall coverings over those years. I’ve never seen one as expensive as pure gold, though. Talk about a statement!
Solomon also made all the furnishings of the Temple of the LORD: the gold altar; the gold table for the Bread of the Presence; the lampstands of solid gold, five on the south and five on the north, in front of the Most Holy Place; the flower decorations, lamps, and tongs--all of gold; the small bowls, lamp snuffers, bowls, dishes, and incense burners--all of solid gold; the doors for the entrances to the Most Holy Place and the main room of the Temple, with their fronts overlaid with gold. (1 Kings 7:48-50 NLT)
My parents generation used to get dressed up when they went to church services. It wasn’t to show off. It wasn’t to try and one-up our neighbors. It wasn’t to make homeless people feel bad about their situation. It wasn’t meant to distract others from worship. It was just a way of saying, “God, you deserve our best of everything. You’ve given us so much. We want to thank you.” Solomon’s temple would have fit right in to that mindset. Only the best of our best goes to God.
So King Solomon finished all his work on the Temple of the LORD. Then he brought all the gifts his father, David, had dedicated--the silver, the gold, and the various articles--and he stored them in the treasuries of the LORD's Temple. (1 Kings 7:51 NLT)
How about you? Do you see everything you have as a gift from God? Do you reserve the very best of what you receive to give back to God? How do you thank God?