If you skimmed through those very long, detail-stuffed chapters, that’s okay. It’s Monday. Here’s a quick summary for you: Solomon enlists some help to finish building the Temple and begins furnishing it. Once it’s completed, he dedicates it to the Lord and makes a peace offering of sacrificing 22,000 cattle and 120,000 sheep and goats (aren’t you glad we don’t need animal sacrifices to get right with God anymore? Thank you, Jesus!). He throws a 14 day celebration and then everyone heads home joyful and glad. The end. You’re welcome.
What jumped out to me is how this chapter started: “Solomon also built a palace for himself, and it took him thirteen years to complete the construction.” That’s six years longer than it took to build the Temple of the Lord. The symbol of God’s presence. The dwelling place of his name. It’s also noted that his house was bigger and longer. This is the beginning of Solomon’s eyes wandering off from glorifying God to glorifying himself.
I just couldn’t help but think about how relatable that is: the vast difference between what you invest in God versus what you invest in yourself. I know my relationship with God isn’t about what it looks like on paper. He knows my heart and my intentions, but still. I think there’s something to be said about taking inventory of what you invest in yourself in life and what you invest in God. And then making changes.
Maybe this looks like getting up earlier to spend more time with him or giving more of your home to him by signing up for foster care or stretching your finances and increasing your tithing. Or, maybe it’s not about doing more for him, but doing less for yourself.
God didn’t need the Temple. It was a beautiful cultural feature that reminded the Israelites they were no longer nomadic. Their days of wandering the wilderness were over and they were finally in a permanent dwelling place. Similarly, God does not need our money, space or time. But it’s a beautiful act of love and a reminder that our lives are to be poured out to him as living sacrifices.
Take inventory of your life this morning. Is there something you need to give God more of?