“Behold, a son shall be born to thee, who shall be a man of rest; and I will give him rest from all his enemies round about: for his name shall be Solomon, and I will give peace and quietness unto Israel in his days. He shall build an house for my name; and he shall be my son, and I will be his father; and I will establish the throne of his kingdom over Israel for ever.” (1 Chronicles 22:9-10)
The previous two devotions spoke of first the relationship between David and Solomon, as a Messianic prophecy of the relationship between God the Father and God the Son. And second, the relationship of Temple built by Solomon, David’s son, to the Church built by Christ, the Son of God. If we understand our text passage to be a Messianic prophecy, with its fulfillment in Jesus Christ, we ought to be able to draw a practical application from the fact that the Church is the fulfillment of the prophesied Temple. We draw such an application from the instruction to the princes:
“Now set your heart and your soul to seek the LORD your God; arise therefore, and build ye the sanctuary of the LORD God… the house that is to be built to the name of the LORD.” (1 Chronicles 22:19)
The first directive is to set your heart and your soul. The heart is linked to the emotions and desires and affections; setting your heart on something usually means that we have a great yearning for it. The soul is more closely associated with the life of an individual; setting your soul would then indicate that you have made a thing your life. The combined view is that the directive is to purpose and proceed, to desire and dedicate, to the task at hand.
The task of seeking the Lord may well be misunderstood by some. Of course, God is omnipresent. So the seeking is not a determining of geographic location. To seek the Lord means that we want to do His Will, therefore we must know that will. We must therefore seek such out. But how do we do this seeking?
Our mind must be set upon doing God’s will. This we accomplish by the all-important denial of self. We cannot hope to do anything for God if our motives are in the wrong place. God is not a puppet or robot, and we cannot serve Him with any self-serving acts. In order to come to the Lord we must remove “us” from ourselves and seek Him first (Matthew 6:33).
Then, with our mind fixed in the right attitude, we have to but follow God’s revealed plan. Didn’t David make provisions and plans for the construction of the Temple? The princes had to follow those plans in order to obey the command and achieve their purpose. Even so, the Church has been instructed in building itself up.
A word should be added regarding the labor of building up the Body of Christ. Primarily, this labor is a work done in each and every believer. This is the work of God, causing them to believe (John 6:29). Then, because the Born Again are lively stones (1 Peter 2:5), there is the effectual working of God within each of us which causes us to be molded and shaped into His likeness (Philippians 2:13). We see then the perfect work of Christ in building us up as He makes Plan, Purpose, and Provision for us to be His Temple.
Still, there is the work of God done through each member in the Body of Christ. This is seen in two distinct areas. First, 1 Chronicles shows us the commissioning of the princes to carry out the work. This is paralleled by the commissioning in the New Testament of the called and ordained man [or men] of God – the apostles, evangelists, pastors/teachers, etc. whose duty is to feed the sheep; to sow seeds and water them; to guard against false beliefs; to instruct, reprove, rebuke, and exhort every member in the Body. As ambassadors of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:20), this is the work of ministering to the needs of each member and is the purpose for the diversity in Spiritual gifts:
“For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:” (Ephesians 4:12-13)
Secondly, each member within the Body of Christ has the duty as Born Again Children of God to keep His Commandment of Love (Matthew 22:37-40). As these members are instructed by their pastor, they contribute to the work by making “…increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love” (Ephesians 4:16). This encompasses their assembling together for worship (Hebrews 10:25), offering themselves as a living sacrifice (Romans 12:1-2), sanctifying God in their hearts, as well as being ready to give an answer for the reason of the hope that is within them (1 Peter 3:15). By their labor of love they show themselves to be the Church of God, the New Jerusalem, the Eternal Kingdom, the Eternal Temple.
We see then our position within the Temple of God. As the Father has chosen us as the building material, and made the provision of Faith that we should be built as His Eternal Temple; and as we have received this calling, let us “set our heart and soul to seek the Lord” following His Plan to be established as that Temple.