The book opens with God telling Solomon he can have whatever he wants, and Solomon famously asking for wisdom and knowledge rather than riches and long life, and thus God gives him both. We see all the great wealth he has, and his focus on building the temple. The temple is built on Mount Moriah, which has an important place in redemptive history. It was on this mount that God first pointed us toward what would be required to redeem his people when he told Abraham to take Isaac there and sacrifice him. Remember when Isaac asked his father where the lamb was for the burnt offering, Abraham told him that “God himself will provide it.”
The whole of scripture points to this one thing, that God himself will save his people from their sins, thus the name of Jesus. God is Savior. His sovereign, omnipotent purposes to save his elect will be accomplished. In fact, as Jesus said as he was dying on the cross, it is finished, or accomplished. Wow, does that take all the pressure off of me, or what! I am saved from sin and death, once for all.
I’m reminded here as they put the finishing touches on the temple that they built what is called the “Most Holy Place,” and it was the curtain that separated us from this place that was torn in two when Jesus accomplished his mission. This place where only the high priest could enter, and that only once a year, was opened up to us by Christ’s body. Now we can enter whenever we want! The God of the universe available to us, no longer as judge, but as Father. What a radical transformation in the relationship, with the change all coming from God’s side. We are transformed by his love because his wrath has been satisfied in Christ.
When the temple is finally finished, the ark of the covenant is brought in to the Most Holy Place, and the writer tells us what is in it in chapter 5:
10 There was nothing in the ark except the two tablets that Moses had placed in it at Horeb, where the Lord made a covenant with the Israelites after they came out of Egypt.
Highlighting the covenant of law, which means blessings for obedience, curses for not. The symbolism of it being put in the Most Holy Place is powerful. At the heart of the Jewish sacrificial system is the law of God, as if he were saying, you can’t keep my law, so you can’t enter a relationship with me unless you guilt is covered by a sacrifice, and thus blood. Jesus kept the law perfectly, which we could not do, and thus when he covered our guilt by his sacrifice, it is forever. As the author to the Hebrews calls it, a more perfect sacrifice.
When they are done I love what they sing, and in unison, “He is good, his love endures forever.” Even to this day, devout Jews believe that, that one day he will send a Messiah to save them. Too bad too may of them can’t see he’s already come.