June 10, 2016
Thus he set up the pillars at the porch of the nave; and he set up the right pillar and named it Jachin, and he set up the left pillar and named it Boaz.(1 Kings 7:21)
When I was in Israel a few weeks ago, we were standing on the Temple Mount. As you may know, where the Temple stood there is now a Muslim mosque (the Dome of the Rock). The Temple Mount area is militarily controlled by the Israeli's, but the ""holy places"" of the mount are monitored by the Muslims. And, it is source of intense tension.
Our wonderful guide, Avi, was explaining to us that most scholars believe the actual site of the Temple to be 40 feet to the right of the Dome of the rock. We walked to the spot where we would have been standing right before the entrance. And then, in hushed tones for fear of being heard (and stopped) by the Muslim guards, Avi began to describe the temple to us.
""And then, of course,"" he said, ""Right in front of the temple on the porch were the two pillars, Jachin and Boaz."" We could almost see it. Thousands of years after Solomon built the temple, Avi is, as a Jew, still recounting and picturing in his mind's eyes these two stately pillars leading into the presence of God.
Scholars debate the meaning of these pillars. The name ""Jachin"" means, “He will establish” and the name “Boaz” means roughly “in it is strength.” Strength and stability.
The pillars were the first thing you saw as you entered this holy place which was the entrance to the manifest presence of God. The meaning is debated, but it could easily be understood that God put right at the entrance this reminder: “I am the One (and the only One) who will establish my kingdom. And I will do it, not in the strength of man, but in my strength.” Like the small mizzuzah (that you notice on the doorpost of every Jewish home that contains the ""Shema"" i.e., Hear, O, Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one), these pillars were designed to stand as constant, visible reminders of God.
REBUILDING THE PILLARS
We need Jachin and Boaz at the entrance to our homes, our ministries, our work. As easy forgetters, we quickly think that what has been accomplished was our initiation, done by our hands. But it is not. “Every good and perfect gift comes from above,” James said. And the Psalmist adds, “Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it.”
We should keep these pillars as the first thing we see each morning and the last thing we see at night. Our lives, and all that is being accomplished, is by the hand and strength of God. If it’s not—if it’s merely our work—Jesus said it is “wood, hay, and stubble,” and will not be standing at the end of the day. Everything of lasting value has been established by God. And He alone deserves the glory.
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January 22, 2020
The omnipresence of God is a reality (that God is everywhere all the time). “Where can I go from Thy Spirit?” David said (Psalm 139). And, since the coming of Christ and Pentecost, which was the sending of His indwelling Spirit to all who believe, the true follower of Christ is assured that Christ will never leave them nor forsake them personally. Once the Spirit comes to reside in the believing heart, He is there permanently.
But, it is possible to have our head turned by the world, the flesh, and the devil. We can quench and grieve the Spirit who lives within us. We can ignore Him or resist His leadership. If we do so, we will lose the conscious awareness of His presence. We will begin to operate on our own, not walking by the Spirit, and the results are always disastrous. We get what our humanity brings. Like an unseen guest standing in the shadows, He is still present, but not prominent.
January 21, 2020
January 20, 2020