And you my son. . . acknowledge the God of your father, and serve Him with wholehearted devotion and with a willing mind, for the Lord searches every heart and understands every motive behind the thoughts. If you seek Him, He will be found by you; but if you forsake Him, He will reject you forever.
~1 Chronicles 28:9
Notes to the Leader: This study begins with a review of the covenants (promises) made by our God to each of us. Take time and have members of your group read them and, if time permits, discuss them so each person has a general understanding of each.
As you go through the materials, you will begin with the building of a temple by David and end with the building of temples within each of us. It is a study of how to construct lives founded upon the promises made to us by God. It also highlights the importance of passing the vision on to the children.
Review of Biblical Covenants
The five most important biblical covenants initiated by God are:
- The Noahic Covenant (Genesis 9:8-17)
- The Abrahamic Covenant (Genesis 12:2-3, 15:1-21)
- The Mosaic Covenant (Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers Deuteronomy)
- The Davidic Covenant (2 Samuel 7:9-16, 1 Chronicles 17:7-14)
- The New Covenant (Jeremiah 31:31-34, Hebrews 8, and the entire New Testament)
What is a covenant?
- A solemn promise, made binding by an oath between two parties – a contract establishing the terms of relationship.
What are some of the modern day covenants that people make today?
- Business partnerships
- Car loans, etc.
- What are some of the spiritual contracts that people enter into?
- Baptism (congregation’s support)
- Church membership
- Stewardship, etc.
Why do contracts (covenants) work?
- In modern day society, it is not the honesty of people that holds a contract together. It is our structure of laws, courts and the corresponding consequence of non-compliance that keeps our contracts from becoming worthless pieces of paper.
From the lessons of the Old Testament, how is our modern day concept of contracts similar to our Covenant with God?
- God has provided laws and consequences along with His covenant.
Do you find this comforting? If so, in what way?
- Without the Old Testament, God’s words would leave us struggling with the question, Is scripture really the word of God? We see the Law, the Consequence of not following the Law, and of God’s covenant with His people. When they followed God’s Law the relationship was good.
What risks are there in treating the Bible, both Old and New Testaments, as just history?
- Each of us must one day decide whether the Bible is the Truth, the whole Truth, and nothing but the Truth. Until we do this, we pick and choose those areas of the Bible that are intellectually stimulating and skip over those God intends to use in changing our lives. We cannot gain comfort from God’s covenants until we accept His word unconditionally. It is not God’s words that do not apply but our lives that are misaligned.
Section One: Passing on a Vision
Have someone in your group read 1 Chronicles 22:2-5 and 1 Chronicles 22:5-6.
In each case, what was David doing?
- David first began by preparing craftsmen and materials. Later, David was careful to pass his vision onto Solomon.
Have someone in your group read 1 Chronicles 22:10-13
How did David pray for Solomon? What did he ask for?
- For the Lord’s presence and blessing
- For success as a man and as a temple-builder
- For discretion and understanding as king, and
- That he keep the Law of the Lord. Solomon’s success would depend on how well he observed God’s Law.
Now, while all of this seems practical from the perspective of David (he held a life-time consuming desire to build the temple), what is it we can learn about our life as a Christian in today’s world?
- We need to be preparing for our children and, in turn, pass on to them the charge of temple-building.
- For now, skip trying to define “temple-building.
How is it we can do for our children what David did for Solomon?
- Preparation can take the form of making sure our children have the materials to establish and maintain a Christian life.
- We can make sure that our children know our Christian heritage and what our dream (temple) is.
- We can pray for our children and keep them focused on the things of real value.
Section Two: Solomon, the Builder
Read 2 Chronicles 3-6:11 to your group. While this is quite lengthy, we have an excellent description of the temple. It was magnificent. We can see that Solomon was careful to follow God’s instructions when bringing in the Ark of the Covenant. And the reading concludes with God’s presence in the temple.
Now, today, we continue to find the temple-builders. Many pursue temples of brick and mortar.
Where does God reside today? In our church? In our congregation? In our hearts?
- While God’s presence was in a physical place during Solomon’s time, many people continue to believe that we find God inside brick and mortar. Many people, congregations, religious sects, place an inordinate amount of resource on the construction of places for God to dwell.
- Today, however, we should expect the presence and glory of God to invade our fellowship, not our church buildings. With Christ, there was a change. The Personal Presence, fire and glory of God no longer come into buildings of wood and stone, but into us. Our focus on facilities is only appropriate if we do not neglect our relationships with fellow believers (read 1 Corinthians 3:17).
What is temple-building in today’s Christian church?
- Building and strengthening the Church family.
Let’s stop and take time to review how David assisted Solomon. Use the whiteboard or easel to create a list from the comments of your group.
- David taught Solomon God’s Law.
- David prepared many craftsman and materials in advance of Solomon’s task.
- David passed on to Solomon the charge of building the temple.
- David prayed that Solomon would:
- Receive the Lord’s presence and blessing
- Have success as a man and as a temple-builder
- Be given discretion and understanding as king, and
- That he would keep the Law of the Lord. Solomon’s success would depend on how well he observed God’s Law.
Seeing these steps, how can you work toward a goal of raising your children, grandchildren, or the children of your church/community as modern day temple-builders?
- Regular church attendance as a family
- Bible study for all family members, regardless of age
- Setting examples in:
- Mission work
- Sharing of time and talents
- Prayer for yourself and family — consider praying together as a way to teach children
- Observe, hold both yourself and your family accountable with regard to taking ownership of a shared vision for building Christ’s kingdom.
Consider writing this down and personalizing the question to be more specific about your church, family or group. Write the comments on the whiteboard or easel.
What are some of the things that the Christian Church is doing today to accomplish this goal?
- Youth activities
- Christian Education
- Mission trips
- Facilities expansion, etc.
Section Three: Back to Reality
Have someone in your group read 2 Chronicles 9:29-31
What are we reminded of?
- We are reminded that Solomon was a mortal man just like us.
- Our King was yet to come (Christ).
Bible Truth Being Taught
We are called to build God’s Church, both physically with bricks and mortar; and with lives, focused on just behavior, mercy and humility.
For each of us to see ourselves as God’s temple and to take responsibility for the renewal of the church, through our own efforts and through the heritage of our children.