34. The Temple of God (1)

Abraham was prepared to sacrifice his beloved son, Isaac on Mount Moriah, just as God instructed him to. Now today I want to show you something interesting about Mount Moriah.

Several hundred years later David was king of Israel. And towards the end of his reign, he sinned against the Lord and asked that a census be done throughout Israel. He asked for the census in order to determine his military strength. In other words, he ignored the fact that God was with them and wanted to determine how strong Israel was in their own strength. God was displeased with that and He punished Israel for it. But He in His loving mercy gave them a choice in their punishment. Either He will send three years of famine, or three months of destruction by their enemies, or three days of severe plague caused by the angel of the Lord throughout the land of Israel. David chose three days of severe plague:

"...let me fall into the hands of the Lord, for His mercy is very great." 1 Chronicles 21:13

And that is what happened and 70 000 people died as a result. Then just as God sent the angel to destroy Jerusalem, God ordered him to stop. At that moment the angel was standing by the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite. Then the angel of the Lord instructed David to build an altar to the Lord at that threshing floor. David immediately reacted, bought the threshing floor, built an altar and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings on it.

"And when David prayed, the Lord answered him by sending fire from heaven to burn up the offering on the altar. Then the Lord spoke to the angel, who put the sword back into its sheath." 1 Chronicles 21:26, 27

From then on David offered his sacrifices to the Lord there at Araunah's threshing floor and he declared that the Temple of the Lord should be built there. Why am I telling you this? Because the Temple was built by Solomon on that very sight. And in 2 Chronicles 3:1 we learn the following:

"So Solomon built the Temple of the Lord in Jerusalem on Mount Moriah, where the Lord had appeared to Solomon's father, King David. The Temple was built on the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite, the site that David had selected."

The Temple of the Lord was thus built on the threshing floor of Araunah and it so happens to be on Mount Moriah, the very same spot where Abraham almost sacrificed Isaac. Isn't that interesting? In both instances (Abraham and David) offerings were made which was acceptable to God. Their hearts were right towards God and they honoured Him with their actions. Abraham was prepared to offer his hope for having future generations, he was prepared to offer his plans for the future, he was prepared to offer the love of his life and he placed Isaac in God's hands. David on the other hand was sorry for what he did in ordering the census, and he asked God's forgiveness. He gave honour to God and placed Him above all once again in the nation of Israel.

Today we are the Temple of God and therefore when we approach God today we can be reminded of the example of these two great men of God and make an offering in our hearts too. We need to offer our future to Him; all our future plans should be placed in His hands. We need to offer of our time, we need to set aside all our ambitions and plans and give honour and glory to God Almighty. We should offer our family to Him as He knows best. We should offer our future to Him and place our lives in His hands. We need to have an eternal Temple perspective as we approach Him, our Holy God. We shouldn't place our hope on our own strength and capabilities, but rather trust Him to do the impossible through us.

Father thank you that we can now be Your Temple here on earth. Father, today we come and offer all our ambitions and plans before Your throne. You and You alone know best. You are strong when we are weak. Please take over our weaknesses and work in us with Your strength. You know best and we love You. In Jesus Name. Amen


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