God’s Master Plan: More Than Just Solomon’s Grand Temple
By Lim Chien Chong
I was still a university undergraduate when our SMRT system first started way back in the late eighties. At that time, there were only two lines, namely, the North-South and East-West Line; many thought that this was the network. We then learned that those two lines were a part of a bigger master plan. Today, our system is even more extensive with the Circle and Downtown Lines. There are also more new lines which have yet to be added: the Thomson-East Coast, Cross Island and Jurong Region Lines. It seems that the ultimate goal is to have a MRT station within a 10-minute walk of every household. Those in the younger generation will possibly have the privilege of seeing this SMRT master plan come to fruition.
Under the wise reign of King Solomon which culminated in the completion of his building of the temple (a truly grand one), Israel probably thought they were already living in the Golden Era. However, just like our first basic SMRT system, Solomon’s temple was part of a much bigger master plan.
In 1 Chronicles 17—a go-to chapter if we want to read more about the Davidic covenant—this is what God promised David:
When your days are fulfilled to walk with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring after you,
one of your own sons, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for me, and I will establish his throne forever. I will be to him a father, and he shall be to me a son. (1 Chron 17:11-13, ESV)
This was part of God’s reply to David who wanted to build a temple for God (v.1-2). It is clear from the context that the “offspring” refers to Solomon. It would be David’s son who would undertake this temple building project instead of him. But this promise was part of something bigger, and we can see that from the first few verses of the chapter.
God Himself said in v.3-6 that He does not live in a house or tent and has never asked to have a temple built for Him. So was God contradicting Himself by having David’s son build Him a temple?
Clearly, He wasn’t. The building of the temple by Solomon, David’s son, was meant to point to Jesus, the promised offspring of David, who Himself is the true Temple of God.
John 2:19, 21 19 Jesus answered them, "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up." 21 But he was speaking about the temple of his body. (ESV)
With the death of Jesus Christ, the veil in the physical temple was torn. We can now have direct access to God because of Jesus. He died for our sins and became the ultimate sacrifice. In addition, with His resurrection and exaltation, He continues to be our faithful and merciful High priest who intercedes for us (Heb 4:15-16, 10:19-22). So, Jesus is the High Priest, who made atonement for us by being the sacrifice, in the setting of Him being the true Temple. Today, because of Jesus, not only can we approach God directly, but the Lord also lives in us through His Spirit.
In fact, Jesus is the fulfillment of the Davidic covenant. He is the Son with whom the Father is well-pleased (Matt 3:17) and the King whose throne and kingdom will be established forever (Heb 1:8)
There is so much we can be grateful to God for. We can now see and enjoy the fufillment of God’s master plan of making us people of His kingdom and children in His family. What is even greater is that what we are experiencing is not the complete fulfillment yet—more is coming! When we meet Jesus again, we will see and be part of the kingdom of God in its full glory.
Personally, I am very thankful for how the Lord has been leading us in His word. The Hebrews series that we went through last year was a good foundation and connection to the 1 Kings series that we just completed. As I study and prepare to share His word, I am awed by the intricacy and beauty of God’s master plan in both design and fulfillment. I am also humbled by how much God would do for us so that we, though unworthy as we are, can be beneficiaries of His every spiritual blessing in Christ (Eph 1:3).