Friday, June 24, 2011

Temple beginnings

This Psalm describes the early days of the temple, David's dreams for providing a beautiful place for God to dwell among man.  The pilgrims were so excited traveling to Jerusalem, remembering how it all began!

Psalm 132

David had many afflictions.  Deepest pits of despair and the highest heights of praise.  He was always at war. 
1 Lord, remember David
And all his afflictions; 
2 How he swore to the Lord,
And vowed to the Mighty One of Jacob: 
3 "Surely I will not go into the chamber of my house,
Or go up to the comfort of my bed
4 I will not give sleep to my eyes
Or slumber to my eyelids
5 Until I find a place for the Lord,
A dwelling place for the Mighty One of Jacob."

David was described as "a man after God's own heart."  (1 Samuel 13:14)  People must have known about David's dream of a Temple for God.   There were no TV's during this time period, stories were spread by word of mouth.  Then one day it was ready.  They heard about it from all over Israel.  Imagine the excitement!  The Ark of the Covenant would have an honored place.  There was such hope for Israel, the priests would be there.
6 Behold, we heard of it in Ephrathah;
We found it in the fields of the woods
7 Let us go into His tabernacle;
Let us worship at His footstool
8 Arise, O Lord, to Your resting place,
You and the ark of Your strength
9 Let Your priests be clothed with righteousness,
And let Your saints shout for joy.

The people honored David.  Even in memory, he is their beloved King. God loved him more.
10 For Your servant David's sake,
Do not turn away the face of Your Anointed.
11 The Lord has sworn in truth to David;
He will not turn from it:
"I will set upon your throne the fruit of your body
12 If your sons will keep My covenant
And My testimony which I shall teach them,
Their sons also shall sit upon your throne forevermore."
David's son, "Solomon," sinned.  He wound up marrying 700 wives and had 300 concubines.  His heart was no longer devoted to God but became open to other gods.  The gods of his wives.   Soon after, Israel was split into two kingdoms, Judah and Israel.  They were taken captive by Assyria and Babylonia.

Zion refers to a hill in Israel- it's where the city of David was built.  Later the region was expanded to include the location of the Temple.
13 For the Lord has chosen Zion;
He has desired it for His dwelling place
14 "This is My resting place forever;
Here I will dwell, for I have desired it
15 I will abundantly bless her provision;
I will satisfy her poor with bread
16 I will also clothe her priests with salvation,
And her saints shall shout aloud for joy
17 There I will make the horn of David grow;
I will prepare a lamp for My Anointed
18 His enemies I will clothe with shame,
But upon Himself His crown shall flourish."

Over time things changed.  God couldn't be present in the temple anymore.  With all of our strengths and creativity as humans- we just can't keep ourselves out of sin.  But God still loves us, His creation.  He never gave up.  A prophecy came through Isaiah.
Isaiah 9:7
7 Of the increase of His government and peace
There will be no end,
Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom,
To order it and establish it with judgment and justice
From that time forward, even forever.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.

Jesus came.  What He found wasn't good.  Jerusalem had fallen spiritually.  Soon it would fall literally.
Matt 23:37-39
37 "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing!  38 See! Your house is left to you desolate;  39 for I say to you, you shall see Me no more till you say, 'Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!'"

When Jesus and the disciples  left Jerusalem, Jesus predicted the destruction of the Temple.  In 70 AD, the Romans completely destroyed it- animal sacrifices by the Jewish people stopped.

Matt 24:1-2
24 Then Jesus went out and departed from the temple, and His disciples came up to show Him the buildings of the temple. 2 And Jesus said to them, "Do you not see all these things? Assuredly, I say to you, not one stone shall be left here upon another, that shall not be thrown down."

This looks like the best place to look at the New Jerusalem.  In my next post, I'll take a look at it.  I'm excited!  This verse was written after Jesus' resurrection.
Revelation 22:16
16 "I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things in the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, the Bright and Morning Star."