Anyone who has lived near a construction site understands the noise and hectic activity that is created in undergoing a project, whether it be a large commercial structure or a simple dwelling place. In fact, the larger the project, the more intense is the planning, activity and noise level of the use of tools from cement mixers to jackhammers. The whole process can create an environment of apparent chaos, not only to those who are doing the building, but also to those who live and breathe around that environment.
With that in mind, it’s interesting to note that there was an Old Testament construction project that was quite unique from the usual hustle and bustle of building sites. This particular project was the building of Solomon’s Temple.
“And, behold, I purpose to build an house unto the name of the LORD my God, as the LORD spake unto David my father, saying, Thy son, whom I will set upon thy throne in thy room, he shall build an house unto my name.” (1 Kings 5:5)
“And the king commanded, and they brought great stones, costly stones, and hewed stones, to lay the foundation of the house. And Solomon’s builders and Hiram’s builders did hew them, and the stonesquarers: so they prepared timber and stones to build the house.” (1 Kings 5:17-18)
But something was different about the preparation of the materials that were to be used in the completion this house. It was not done in the “usual” manner.
“And the house, when it was in building, was built of stone made ready BEFORE it was brought thither: so that there was neither hammer nor axe nor any tool of iron HEARD in the house, while it was in building.” (1 Kings 6:7)
Notice that the “stones” that were to make up the House of God were prepared for their subsequent fitting into the Temple … “offsite”! There were NO chaotic sounds of tools at the actual site! Each stone was completely cut, polished and perfected offsite BEFORE being permanently placed in its designated position in the Temple.
Why is this significant?
Because just like the natural stones that were to find their place in Solomon’s Temple, we (as spiritual stones) are being prepared and perfected to be ultimately and eternally placed in God’s House.
“Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord” (Ephesians 2:19-21)
“In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.” (Ephesian 2:22)
Notice that these scriptures mention that Jesus Christ Himself is the “chief corner stone”. Every building has a corner stone upon which the rest of the building is built. In a way, it is the most significant and precious stone of the entire building. So, you can imagine the time, energy and work which goes into preparing the placement of this foundational stone.
And so it was with Jesus Christ.
Think of the beating of “tools” that it took to bring Jesus (as a man) into His full position as the Chief Corner Stone within the eternal Temple of God. It was all accomplished “offsite”! In other words, it was accomplished in this life (outside of the realm of eternity). Jesus endured more “hammering” in his mortal flesh upon this Earth than any other saint that was to follow in his steps.
No wonder the glorified Christ, when speaking to Ananias about the future ministry of Paul, said:
“Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel: For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name’s sake.” (Acts 9:15-16)
Why is this? Because…
“… every high priest taken from among men is ordained for men in things pertaining to God, that he may offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins: Who can have compassion on the ignorant, and on them that are out of the way; for that he himself also is compassed with infirmity.” (Hebrews 5:1-2)
“As he saith also in another place, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.” (Hebrews 5:6)
“Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared; Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered” (Hebrews 5:7-8)
“And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him” (Hebrews 5:9)
Can you see where this is going?
Our entire walk with Christ in this life is encompassed about with the noise of “hammers” and “axes” as the Lord continually prepares us through the Spirit to be worthy and perfected stones. And when we, as “lively stones” are polished according to God’s plan, we will be placed into His heavenly Kingdom throughout eternity, even as the Captain of our salvation was and is.
Though we may experience heart-wrenching tribulations, afflictions and persecutions in this life, we’re only becoming more capable of inhabiting that eternal “dwelling place” which Jesus Christ is even now preparing for us.
So, be encouraged! All of the noisy blows that you might be experiencing in your life right now are only designed to polish the rare stone that you are. And it’s all happening “offsite” … that is to say, it’s only going to occur in this life!
The Temple of God in which we will inhabit eternity is now being built … and you’re a part of that process!
“For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven: If so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked.” (2 Corinthians 5:1-3)
“For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life.” (2 Corinthians 5:4)
Oh glory be to God! We can now boldly proclaim with Peter that:
“(We) also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded.” (1 Peter 2:5-6)
“Now he that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing is God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit.” (2 Corinthians 5:5)
“And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:27-28)
“For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.” (Romans 8:29-30)
“… I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” (Romans 8:18)
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