My wife and I have lived in nine different homes or apartments in almost fourteen years of marriage. And we lived in one place for almost six years. Do the math, that is a lot of moving. Every time we would get ready to move, we would have some fun day dreaming conversations about what we wanted in the next place we lived. Thinking of moving into a new home certainly can be exciting. One thing is for sure, it is more fun than reading about someone else building a home, especially when we know that we will never see their house.
But that is what we have in 1 Kings 7:1-12. King Solomon is building his house. Actually, it is a royal compound. And because God chose to record this for us in His holy Word, there is a purpose for our life. It has been given for our spiritual growth.
The Details of the Buildings
Looking at the details may seem to be exhausting and irrelevant to our lives. But they are important. Solomon actually built several buildings as part of his royal complex.
The House of the Forest of Lebanon (vs. 2-5) -- This building received it's name from the large pillars of cedar wood and the beams made of cedar. It would have looked like a forest as you stood in it.
The Hall of Pillars (vs. 6) -- Most people say that this building was simply a waiting room.
The Hall of Justice (vs. 7) -- This is obviously where Solomon had his throne and executed justice. It functioned as the supreme court of Israel.
Solomon's House (vs. 8a) -- We are told very little details about his own house other than it was built with similar materials as the others (the finest stones and wood) and that it was in a different courtyard. It was not connected to the other buildings.
House for Pharaoh's Daughter (vs. 8b) -- He built her a similar home as his own.
The Context of the Buildings
The significance of this passage is best seen in light of the context. The previous 38 verses were about the building of the temple. The next 38 verses are about furnishings in the temple. Then why did the author of 1 Kings insert a short section about Solomon building his house in the middle of those sections?
There are some who say that the author was trying to point out the greed and sinfulness of Solomon. They say that chapter six ends with these words: "He was seven years in building it." Then the next words are literally, "But Solomon was building his own house thirteen years." The point many try to make is that Solomon spends almost twice as much time building his own house as he did a house for God. That argument fails for me on many levels, but mostly because in chapter 8, God is pleased with the temple.
If anything, the placement of this section of Scripture between these two sections on the temple teach the exact opposite. I believe the placement of the short description of Solomon's house between two large detailed sections on the temple is all meant to teach us one main thought:
The Worship Of God Should Always Be Our Priority!
When a write gives a fraction of the time to buildings that are significantly larger and took two times as long to build, he is trying to say something, not about the large buildings, but about the smaller one. In this case, he is trying to make a point about the importance and significance of the worship of God as the priority for God's people and even King Solomon. To help with this, there were three significant principles that I gave to help prioritize the worship of God's people.
1. We Only Worship God Through Jesus Christ. Solomon and the people of Israel had to go to the temple to worship God. We can have access at any moment, but only through Jesus Christ.
2. We Should Care More For The Things Of God & His People Than Our Home (Or Other Things). We should never get to the place where we think our homes or anything we own is more important than people or the worship of God as we minister to people.
3. We Can Worship God By Using Our Home. When our homes become less about us and more about a tool to minister to people, we are worshipping God.