A Lesson from the Sanctuary (2 Chronicles 3:8)

2 Chronicles 3:8 – And he made the Most Holy Place. Its length, corresponding to the breadth of the house, was twenty cubits, and its breadth was twenty cubits. He overlaid it with 600 talents of fine gold.

It is sad that, when we read through the Bible about the construction of the temple, we so often want to nod off and wait for the slow stuff to get by. We tend to get ourselves fixed on the stories, and we miss the beauty of the important descriptions that God gives to us in the text. Second Chronicles 3 is a chapter that gives us description of how Solomon built the temple (though we must remember the he is following the plan David got from God and using the materials that David Gathered.

As we read about this beautiful structure, the question that we should rays is just what is it that God might teach us about him or about our worship. And I think verse 8 of chapter 3 (above) gives us something to ponder. Solomon made the most holy place, the holy of holies, as a perfectly square (actually cubed) room. It was 20 cubits by 20 cubits by 20 cubits. That comes out to being a room that was 30 feet by 30 feet by 30 feet—not a small little sanctuary. And the walls of the room were overlaid with fine gold (not just ordinary gold, fine gold). How much fine gold was used? Six hundred talents, with a talent being anywhere from thirty to sixty pounds depending on whose estimates you read. So, imagine, a room that is 30 x 30 x 30, whose walls are covered with at least 18,000 pounds of fine, jeweler-quality gold. The sight would have been spectacular.

Now, why? Why did God have Solomon make such a room? The extravagant use of such costly materials was commanded by God so that the place in which his holiness would be most centralized would also be a place where that holiness was clearly reverenced. There would not be a room like that holy place in the ordinary houses of the people. There would be nothing like it when a priest entered into that most holy room. There should be nothing like it, because that room was set aside for the glory of God.

One more question: So what? What are we to learn from this today? Surely we are not going to go out and build rooms that are coated by 18,000 pounds of gold, are we? I don’t think that would please God at all. But we should, as a people, make our lives reflections of God’s holiness. Whether you are in public or in private, your life should gleam like 9 tons of fine gold. Your character should shine out for the world to see that God’s Holy Spirit lives within you. Everyone should be able to observe a difference in your character because your heart is a dwelling place of the holiest.

Besides your character looking holy like we see in the temple, do you not also think that this room gives you a model for thinking about your worship of God? Far too often, we approach the worship of our God with a flippant attitude. We arrive at church in a rushed frenzy, grumble about who might be sitting in our seat, sing the songs we know with gusto and the ones we dislike with a mumble, and sit through a sermon with an eye on our watches. Do any of those things make our lives look like little holy of holies? OF course they do not. We need to learn to take the worship of our God, the privilege we have every Sunday morning, and treat it with the kind of awe and respect that Solomon did that room in the temple. Let’s learn to live our lives for the glorious act that we get to perform, the act of offering praise and worship to the God who created us and who saved our souls. Let’s arrive early enough to quiet our hearts. Let’s sing with passion that befits the King of kings, even when the song choice is not our particular style preference. Let’s listen to the message for what it truly is, the word of God being expounded for us to hear and obey (assuming, of course, that your pastor is committed to Biblical exposition). Let us enter our centers of worship, and treat those places like truly holy places (not because the walls are golden, but because the God we are worshipping is worth far more than gold).


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