Mrs. Jo Beth Hooker
The Bible says, Through wisdom is an house builder; by understanding it is established. Prov. 24:3. As parents, leaders, teachers and students of God's Word we need all the wisdom we can get to build our homes and churches the way God instituted. As we jump into this study in God's Word, please read and absorb the following passages and let's take a close look at what God says.
Read and heed: Deuteronomy 6:1-9 and Ezekiel 40-43
I have always been amazed by the detail that God required in the building of the Old Testament temple. Every time I ever read about those intricate building details found in Ez. Chapters 40-43 I couldn't help but marvel at them. Yet, how many times, though I have marveled, did I skip on past as quickly as I could believing them to be irrelevant to life today even though my head knows that everything written in the Bible is for my growth and profit? Sadly enough, sometimes I even found myself wondering why God put such (seemingly) non-essential detail in there. How often would God love to share with us why He does what He does and explain it to us if we would but choose to ask and give Him a hearing. I realized that It was prideful for me to not ask the Holy Spirit to teach me. To draw my own conclusions without ever stopping to consider that there might be more here than my puny brain could fathom was not only arrogant, but it took away the awesome privilege I have as His child of sitting at the Master Builder's feet and learning from Him the principles of building that He has for me. God's Word is powerful and we need to listen intently to what His Word says and apply it to our lives!
One day as I was reading Ezekiel again, I asked the Lord to open my eyes so I could behold wondrous things from His law (Psalms 119:18). As He began to teach me, this is what I saw:
1. God designed the Old Testament temple. God does not change. Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, and today, and for ever. (Hebrews 13:8) Because He never changes, what He required in the building of it then, He would still want in the building of His temple today.
2. My body, as a born-again believer in Jesus Christ, is God's temple today. What? Know ye not that ye are the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which he have of God, and ye are not your own? I Corinthians 6:19; Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that He dwellers in you? I Corinthians 3:16
3. What God designed in His temple can still be applied today. The temple was designed to be a place of worship, a house of prayer. I can bow my head and pray and worship Him today anywhere I am because He is ever with me. I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. (Hebrews 13:5) is a promise of security to every believer.
4. The temple was built to bring honor and glory to the Lord. The temple was designed to be a sacred, holy, beautiful, God-honoring place of worship. The psalmist in Psalms 29:2 admonishes us to Give unto the Lord the glory due His name; worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.
5. The temple was a house/church where all were invited to come, grow and learn about God. Psalms 95:2, 6-7 says, Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto Him with psalms. O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the Lord our Maker. God is still interested in building, fashioning and designing today's temples too! Our homes and churches are not only to be a carpentry shop where His design can be perfected in us, but but they are to places where we are learning to build little temples into GREAT temples of God for His honor and praise also. If I could look at myself as His apprentice and the literal or spiritual child He gives me as a block of wood (my little blockhead, ha! And sometimes they act like it!) waiting to be crafted into an exquisite display of artistry meticulously fashioned to give back to the Master as a gift to show how intensely I was listening to his instructions and applying all that He taught me, I wonder how much more I would pay attention to the details required to please Him and make Him proud? What an honor to GET to partner with the Master Builder in in the creation of LIFE! How much more could I show Him my love and gratitude for that opportunity than to give back to Him through obedience what He has so richly given to me?
6. God was the original ARTIST and FASHION DESIGNER, ENGINEER, ARCHITECT, CRAFTSMAN, and MASTER BUILDER. A PERFECTIONIST in work and detail, pouring purpose, meaning and beauty into every detail of whatever He creates. Isn't that what God was showing us when He prompted Isaiah to speak of His craftsmanship in Isaiah 64:8 when Isaiah said, But now, O Lord, thou art our Father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we are all the work of thy hand.
Wouldn't God want the same thing from His believers today? My body, which is His temple, should be a place that brings honor and glory to His name- a sacred, beautiful place where He is worshipped and praised in the beauty of holiness which He so desires and deserves.
In all things showing thyself a pattern of good works...Titus 2:5