Take care of your temple
Published 11:28 am Tuesday, January 31, 2023
If it were possible to travel back in time, I would love to visit Jerusalem during the reign of King Solomon in order to see the House of the Lord that Solomon built. Considered to be one of the wonders of the ancient world, Solomon’s Temple was adorned with magnificent splendor. King David collected the material, had the plans drawn up and secured the means to build the House of the Lord. While David was prohibited from constructing the temple, he paved the way for his son, Solomon, who would replace him on the throne, to make the project a reality. And Solomon built a house to behold.
This temple was constructed of rock that was covered with cedar so that no rock was visible. The cedar planks and boards then were overlaid with pure gold. The entire house, floor, walls and ceiling, were covered with gold. For the inner sanctuary were built two cherubs that stood about fifteen feet tall with wings that spanned about the same distance. These angelic creatures were then overlaid with pure gold. The walls had carved engravings of cherubs, palm trees and flowers. The entrance door was olive wood with carvings engraved in them and it was also covered with pure gold. It took Solomon seven years to build the House of the Lord.
Upon dedicating this breathtaking house of worship, the Ark of the Covenant was brought into the holy of holies and the glory of the Lord descended upon the house of worship. Music, worship, offerings and sacrifices were common in this place. Life, for Israel, then seemed to revolve around Solomon’s Temple.
Generations prior to the construction of Solomon’s Temple, worship took place in the Tent of Meetings, a mobile worship house. At that time, the tribe of Levi was chosen to care for the Tent of Meetings, which eventually became Solomon’s Temple. The tribe of Levi was hand-picked by God for the purpose of tending to and caring for the temple and leading all worship activities.
Like any building and structure, Solomon’s Temple had to be maintained. Given the many sacrifices that were made, from a sanitation perspective there would have been a need to keep the place pristine. This means someone had to clean and care for the temple. Care was given in order to keep the temple pure and not deter from its holy and divine purpose.
Just as Solomon’s Temple would have needed care, our bodies and lives today need care. Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 6:19 that our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit. These fleshly temples must be cared for even more than Solomon’s Temple was. Our mental, physical and emotional health is one of the most valuable treasures God has blessed us with. The question is, “Are we putting forth the effort to care for ourselves as we should?”
I was challenged with this question less than two weeks ago. With pain like I have never experienced in my life, Michelle rushed me to the ER of St Luke’s Hospital. After medication to ease the pain, I was put through a series of tests that night and the next morning. Needing more extensive tests with GI specialists that St Luke’s did not have, I was transferred to Advent Hospital in Hendersonville. The final determination was I had a gallstone that passed, leaving my gallbladder and common bile duct in need of recovery.
Now on a low-fat diet to keep my gallbladder from overproducing bile, I am eating better than I have in a long time. At the same time, my focus is on taking better care of myself. Over the past two years of pastoring and working on my master’s in theology, there has been little time for self-care. Now, things have shifted. There is only one of me and God gave me the common sense to take care of my temple. Michelle and I have re-evaluated some things and are now placing a higher priority on taking care of ourselves. We must do this so that we can be able to care for others.
The question you have to answer is “Are you taking care of your temple?” No one is going to do it for you. Each of us has the task and responsibility to care for our health. Yes, I am extremely grateful for the amazing medical teams at St. Luke’s and Advent Health. But true care starts on an individual level with each person making choices to maintain their physical, mental and emotional health. Take care of your temple. You only have one!