Read 1 Kings 5-6 at Bible Gateway.
And behold, I propose to build a house for the name of the LORD my God, as the LORD spoke to my father David, saying, “Your son, whom I will set on your throne in your place, he shall build the house for My name.” 1 Kin 5:5
The promise the LORD made to David was that his son would build the house for the LORD’s name to dwell. The prophecy was partly fulfilled in Solomon, and is completely fulfilled in Yeshua, the Son of David. We are the house where the name of YHVH dwells! We are the holy Temple which the presence of the LORD inhabits! (Eph 2:19-22)
The Temple was made of stone, lined with carved cedar wood. The carvings were of cherubim (angels), palm trees, and open flowers, from floor to ceiling. Then the carved wood was overlaid with gold, even the floor. The thing is, the Temple is a physical representation in this world of a spiritual reality. There is a Temple in heaven, where God dwells. I don’t think the Temple in heaven is a building necessarily, but we do know from reading Revelation that there are altars there. Jesus poured out His own blood on the altar before God in heaven to make atonement for the sins of the world (Heb 9:11-12). But the Temple in heaven is that place where God is, where prayers come before Him, where worship comes before Him, and where the sacrifices of lives lived for Him are offered before Him.
If Solomon’s Temple pictures it, then we know that the presence of God is surrounded by angels, palm trees, and open flowers – in other words, like the Garden of Eden. God loves gardens and landscaped beauty. When He wanted to make a Paradise for man to dwell in with Him, He didn’t make a city or technology – He made a beautiful garden.
The gardens in heaven must be magnificent, and I have no doubt that heaven is full of them. God’s love for the beauty of cool green, quiet waters, abundant fruit and flowers is even reflected in the identities He has given us: precious pearl, sparkling jewel, fragrant rose, hidden treasure, oak of righteousness, refreshing oasis. We read in yesterday’s reading that the fruit that the Bride prepares for the Bridegroom is the fruit which the Spirit causes us to bring forth to glorify God (Son 7:13). Every natural reality has its spiritual counterpart.
The gold, I imagine, besides being the most precious metal and making the Temple glorious, would have reflected the sunlight from the windows and the light from the menorahs to a dazzling degree. It would have filled the Temple with blinding light.
“God, the blessed and only Ruler, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone is immortal and who lives in unapproachable light, whom no one has seen or can see.” 1 Tim 6:15-16
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