11. Solomon: Coming Among Us

1 Chronicles 5; Isaiah 7.14; Matthew 1.18-25

Apologies for my tardiness, I’ve been working.

Adonijah did not succeed in his bid for his father’s throne. Instead, his brother Solomon was named heir.

The first thing I remember of Solomon was a bearded, rather regal looking man in a children’s picture Bible. He held a naked baby by the ankle in one hand and was lifting a sword threateningly with the other. Nearby one woman wept and the other folded her arms and glared at the king.

It was a rather disturbing story and for a ling time I had him pegged as a bad guy because what sort of person does that to a baby?!

Ah wisdom, we are still learning thy ways.

But it’s not so much Solomon as his greatest feat which interests us. He was famous not only for his wisdom and riches but for building the Temple. Have a read through the description sometime because it is truly magnificent. There is most definitely room in the Christian life for the creative gifts.

The Temple would have been an incredible sight to see once it were up and running.

It was more than just an incredible feat of artistic and architectural genius. The giant cedar wood cherubim overlaid in gold must have been breathtaking but it was more than that. The cedar and juniper panelling carved with gourds and flowers must have been beautiful but it was more than just that. The fine robes of the priests, set with precious stones must have been dazzling but it was more than that.

The original Temple in all of its glory must have been an awe-inspiring sight but to be caught up in the wonder of all that would be to miss the point.

The most awe-inspiring thing about the Temple was not made of gold, silver, juniper, nor cedar. No, the most awe-inspiring thing about the Temple was that God dwelt there.

It was his house and it was there that his presence dwelt among his people.

That particular Temple was razed to the ground. This happened more than once despite attempted rebuildings and it does not exist anymore today. Does this mean that God no longer dwells among his people?

God may have commanded Solomon to build him a house so that he might be present among his people but the Temple was just bricks and mortar in the end. It was not a permanent structure.

In Jesus, God was not only present among his people but he was accessible in a way he had not been in the Temple. He lived among them, walked with them, talked with them, laughed and wept with them, taught them his word, and he promised that he would continue to be with us even to the end of the age.

That’s why they call him Immanuel: Because God came down and walked among us.

The Temple looked like much, Jesus didn’t look like much yet Jesus was the greater way in which God is present among his people even until today.

So why is Jesus coming? Because God has chosen to walk among us.

Today’s song: What Child is This –Peter Hollens version

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