Tag: build the temple

The Crowning of Joshua!

Scripture reading for September 30th: Zechariah 5-6

Zechariah, other than Isaiah, has more references to the coming of Jesus and His ministry than any other prophet.  In today’s reading we have more of the eight visions that God gave Zechariah to encourage the workers who were rebuilding the temple and city of Jerusalem.  Eight is the number of ‘new beginnings’.

Zechariah has already mentioned the ‘Branch’ who was symbolized by Joshua, the High Priest.  This ‘Branch’  would come and be fully obedient to God and take away the sins of the nation in a single day. (Zechariah 3:8-9)  The High Priest symbolically did this on the Day of Atonement each year.  He would go behind the veil of the Holy of Holies and sprinkle the blood of a lamb on the mercy seat.  This offering of blood was for the sins of the nation.  (Leviticus 16:15-17)

Zechariah was told to take silver and gold from the returned exiles and make a crown to be placed on the head of Joshua, the High Priest.  He was to say to him: “Here is the man whose name is “Branch”, and He will branch out from His place and build the temple of the Lord.  It is He who will build the temple of the Lord, and He will be clothed with majesty and will sit on His throne.  And He will be a priest on His throne and there will be harmony between the two.” (Zechariah 6:12-13)

As we reflect on this vision, the ‘Branch’ is a picture of Jesus Christ who was and is both priest and king!  He holds both offices without any conflict!  He is our “High Priest” before God interceding for us. (Romans 8:34)  He is the “King of Kings” who is coming in power to claim His bride, the Church, and punish His enemies. (Revelation 19:11-16)

We who believe are the new Temple of the Lord where Jesus is enthroned as Lord!  He has given us the Holy Spirit and we have overcoming power to share with the lost world the good news of His coming again.  We are watching for His return as King of Kings and Lord of Lords!  When He comes, we will worship Him who alone is worthy!  (Revelation 5:13-14)

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Smooth transitions!

Scripture reading for April 21st: 1st Chronicles 22-27

I have attended and worked in different church families and one of the things that was often done poorly was the transition of leadership.  When the pastor resigned, no planning had been done by the core leadership of the church and a confusion resulted.  The ensuing power struggles sometimes divided the church.  The new leader was sometimes so different that many left the church.   Skillful leadership seeks an orderly transition that will continue the work of God through that church family.

David was old and “full of years”. (1st Chronicles 23:1)  Under God’s direction, he made Solomon king over Israel.    David’s son Adonijah had tried to make himself king but Bathsheba and the prophet Nathan worked together to redirect the situation according to the will of the Lord.  (1st Kings 1:1-5)  During a transition, those with ambition often seek to take power or to control the one who is in power.  It is one of the strategies of Satan to bring division and confusion in a family, church, or nation.

After installing Solomon, David wisely made provision to help his son succeed.  David shared with Solomon that it was God’s will that he build the Lord’s house.  He was positive and encouraging and prayed for God’s wisdom and discretion that his son might keep the Law of God and enjoy God’s favor!  A father’s blessing and God’s blessing makes success possible! (1st Chronicles 22:11-13)

David assembled materials for the Temple.  He generously provided from his own treasury for God’s house!  He set a good example for his son and the nation of generosity and focus on God’s house. He knew that when God’s house was cared for, God would bless the people. (1st Chronicles 22:14-16)

Then David gathered the key leaders of Israel and encouraged them to support Solomon.  David cited the Lord’s victories and how God had given the people rest.  He encouraged the leaders to seek the Lord with all their heart and to begin building.  This transition would continue the vision of the Lord and further the accomplishment of God’s will.  (1st Chronicles 22:17-19)

God has a plan for transitions of leadership!  Prayer and provisions for these transitions will insure God’s work will continue smoothly when the time of transition is at hand.

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Man of Peace–Prince of Peace!

Scripture reading for April 21st: 1st Chronicles 22-27

King David had it in his heart to build a house for the Lord.  As King David approached the end of his time on earth, he sent for his son Solomon and commissioned him to build the house for the Lord.  David had begun preparations for this house but a word from the Lord had stopped him from building it. Because David had been a man of war and had fought many battles costing many lives,  God told him not to build His house. (1st Chronicles 22:8)

God told David that He would use his son Solomon to build the temple.  Solomon would be a man of peace.  God would grant him rest and peace with all his enemies.  Israel would enjoy a reign of peace and during this time, Solomon could build the temple. Solomon would become a “son of God” and God would be his Father and establish his throne over Israel forever.   (1st Chronicles 22:9-10)

David blessed his son and encouraged him to be strong and full of courage.  He assured him of the great financial resources that he had provided for the temple.  He also encouraged the people to support Solomon in the work.  Best of all, David prayed that the Lord would be with Solomon in this undertaking.  That help would make all the difference in the world!

As we reflect on this portion of Israel’s history, we can see definite parallels to the work of Jesus Christ in building God’s temple.  Jesus Christ was a man of peace–“the Prince of Peace”.  Jesus called people to come to Him and find rest for their souls.  Jesus Christ defeated all of our enemies, even death, to provide this rest!  God was Christ’s “Father” and Jesus was God’s “Son”!  God established Jesus’ throne and kingdom forever!  Jesus had success because he fully obeyed God’s commands and laws and was strong and courageous.  God provided Jesus with many “brothers and sisters” as helpers in building the true temple.  Jesus Christ would build the temple and the gates of hell would not prevail against Him!

This ancient record contains prophesy that is already fulfilled and also prophesy that will be fulfilled in the millennial reign of peace when Jesus takes the throne in Jerusalem and rules over a thousand years of peace!  (Revelation 20:4-6)  Praise the Lord for the Prince of Peace!

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