My Devotion - 2/1/12
It seems like we often put so much emphasis on our little earthly kingdoms. We spend time arranging ourselves, and choosing our loyalties. Many of us are identified with whom we align. Silly stuff.
The people of God had been forcibly stopped from building the Temple. This must have been terrible news. However, God was stirring a new sense of loyalty and devotion from the rubble and debris of Jerusalem. They are a group of people who finally seem to understand exactly where they are, how they got there, and where they need to be.
verses 5:11-12 - “11 And thus they returned us an answer, saying: “We are the servants of the God of heaven and earth, and we are rebuilding the temple that was built many years ago, which a great king of Israel built and completed. 12 But because our fathers provoked the God of heaven to wrath, He gave them into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon”
The Jews commended King Darius to search the archives to find whether or not King Cyrus had made a decree regarding the temple. God showed favor on the Jews, and the decree was found. Something clicked in King Darius. Not only did he command that the temple was to be built…the pagans were to assist and fund the project. On March 12, the Temple was completed. The Jews had great cause for celebration.
1 Corinthians 3:5-23
It’s amazing how well these passages line up. In this passage we see a familiar verse. 3:16 - “16 Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? 17 If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are.” From a Jewish mindset, it is obvious how bittersweet this passage is. The Jews rarely worshipped God the right way when they had the chance. When God would allow the temple to be destroyed, the Jews would long for it to be rebuilt. It has been a tumultuous relationship (between the Jews and the Temple).
Imagine what it must have felt like when Paul essentially says: wait a minute! You ARE the Temple.
There are no more obstacles to worship.
Paul chides the Corinthians for spending more times determining which “little kingdom” they fit into. (Paul / Apollos) The whole point is that the little kingdoms are of little importance and zero eternal significance. Jesus Christ is the only foundation. One day, His Kingdom will come. By His Spirit, it is already here.