20 May 2017
Reading: 1 Kings 6; 2 Chronicles 3; Psalm 97; Romans 1
11 The word of God came to Solomon saying, 12 “About this Temple you are building—what’s important is that you live the way I’ve set out for you and do what I tell you, following my instructions carefully and obediently. Then I’ll complete in you the promise I made to David your father. (1 Kings 6:11-12 MSG)
David had specified the location, developed the plan, raised the money, collected the materials, and prepared everything he possibly could for the successful construction of a magnificent Temple for God. His son Solomon put the plan in place, organized the team for the construction, and set to work.
A little way into the project, God spoke to Solomon and reminded him that there’s more to doing God’s work than just “Git ‘er done!” You’ve also got to live the life. God told Solomon, “What’s important is that you live the way I’ve set out for you and do what I tell you, following my instructions carefully and obediently.”
God made us capable of dreaming big dreams, making big plans, facing great challenges, and undertaking great projects. However, we’ve got to remember, even when we’re doing the work, tackling the project, building the temple, that God is first and foremost interested in whether we’re living the life—living the way he set out for us to live and following his instructions carefully and obediently.
A little perspective: An invading army destroyed Solomon’s Temple a few centuries later. Ezra rebuilt a smaller version of the Temple in Jerusalem during the refugees’ return from exile. Herod’s Temple, built in the same place a few years before the birth of Christ, was destroyed by the Romans in 70 AD. Today a mosque occupies the spot.
It’s good to do projects for God and to get people involved in those projects. But the thing that will have the most lasting impact—the thing that’s really important—is that while we’re doing the work we’re living the life.
Father, Thanks for reminding me that Loving God and Loving People is more important than Loving Goals and Loving Projects. Please help us to live well and wisely in the tension between God and Goals, Projects and People. I want to focus on what’s important. Amen.