For the people of Israel, the temple was something magnificent and wonderful. The seven year building project was the fulfillment of a promise God made to Israel, the people of God. It is a symbol of God dwelling with them. For Solomon it was also a tool. His prayer asked God to use it for evangelism. When a foreigner came to see the beauty of the temple, Solomon wanted them to leave having been moved into a relationship with God.
The temple in Jerusalem was a physical place. For the Israelites, it was the house of God. In the New Testament, our body is referred to as a temple. We are called to treat our own body as the temple of God. This is a much more personal connection. One does not have to go to the temple or synagogue or church to find God. He dwells right inside of each person. The manifestation of God in us should also be a beautiful thing, something that draws others toward God, something that moves others into a relationship with God.
How does one live as a ‘temple of God’? How does one live in such a way as to reveal the God that dwells within us? First, it is revealed in how we live our lives. It is in how we go through our day, in how we treat others, in the decisions we make, and in how we walk through the storms of life. Second, it is in how we share what it is inside us that makes us ‘different’ from the world and its ways. It is in how we answer the ‘why’ questions that people will have. Third, it is in how we share our faith that allows others to seek a personal relationship with Jesus Christ for themselves. Each day may we live as the light of God, shining into the darkness, bringing the gospel of hope to our world.
Scripture reference: 1 Kings 8: 22-30 and 41-43