I’ve seen artist’s renderings of the Temple Solomon built in Jerusalem since I was a kid in Sunday School. I’ve read through the laborious passages in Scripture time and time again that meticulously describe the utensils, coverings, dimensions, and minutia of the Temple building. I’ve even had the privilege of visiting the Temple Mount in Jerusalem and seeing the actual spot where the Temple was built. But I’m not sure that I’ve ever really realized that God destroyed His own Temple. Wait Spansel, don’t you mean that Nebuchadnezzar guy? Well, sure! 2 Kings 25:9 – “And he (Nebuchadnezzar) burned the house of the Lord and the king’s house and all the houses of Jerusalem.” But it was Yahweh who sent the Babylonians as His commissioned demolition crew to level the city and make desolate the mountain of the Lord. Why would He do that? Because the people forgot what they were all about as God’s people … and God won’t let anything get in the way of His people and intimacy with Him. We’re working through the Book of Micah this Advent and it couldn’t be any clearer.
“Therefore because of you Zion shall be plowed as a field; Jerusalem shall become a heap of ruins, and the mountain of the house a wooded height.” Micah 3:12
These leaders in Micah’s day (and a bunch of the other people too) had exchanged good for evil, justice for corruption, and idolatry for worship. And God don’t like that stuff because it’s contrary to His glory and the glory that is to be displayed by His people. Now, OT history tells us that King Hezekiah listened to the prophecies of Micah and Isaiah and because of his righteousness, Sennacherib never got into Jerusalem. But 150 years later Jeremiah (who preached the same message) got the “shut down” from king Zedekiah, and that’s when the Temple got burned by the Babylonian “Demo Crew”. The point? God cares more about people’s hearts than His Temple. He will do whatever it takes to purify and preserve a people for Himself. What I’ve been reflecting on is what “Temples” I have in my life that look nice, but keep me from living out the heart of God personally and publicly. We’d do well to be a part of the demolition team rather than work against the demo team. I want to willingly make my “Temples” a heap of ruins before God does it for me 🙂
Getting Out the Hammer,