Covenant Words
Covenant Words

Episode · 6 years ago

Why the Location of the Temple Matters (2 Chronicles 3:1)

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Rev. Christopher Chelpka

If you can remain standing, let's hear God's Word now from second chronicles chapter three. I'm just one verse this evening. Second chronicles three, verse one. Second chronicles three, verse one. It's page three hundred and sixty if you're using the cart bibles. Let us hear the word of the Lord. Then Solomon began to build the House of Jehovah in Jerusalem, on Mount Moriah, where Jehovah had appeared to David, his father, at the place that David had appointed on the threshing floor of Ornan, the jebusite. You may be seated when, second chronicles chapter three, the chronicler is going to describe for us the Solomon's the temple that he is a going to build. And we're next time I preach on this, we're going to spend time walking through the temple really try into imagine it and and solidify it in our minds, not just so that we can have a more concrete understanding of what the temple is, which is, of course, what God gives us here, but so that we might understand its meaning and its purpose. But before, before we get to the particular instructions, the and descriptions of the House of God. Solomon mentions, excuse me, the chronicler mentions this location and kind of makes a big deal about it. Solomon began to build this house in Jerusalem, on Mount Moriah. Then there's a second description. This is the place where Yah Way Jehovah had appeared to David, his father, that is, Solomon's father, who is David, at the place that David had had pointed on the threshing floor of Ornan, the jebusite. So this is a lot of details right, mainly two things. This place that Solomon is building the House on Jerusalem is associated with two things, Mount Moriah first, and also second, this threshing floor of the Ornan Jebusite. So what I'd like to do this evening is think about those two places by telling you two stories, recounting for you the accounts that we have in scripture of two particular events, one surrounding Mount Moriah, which is this place, and when the other surrounding...

...the threshing floor of Ornan, which is also this place. Perhaps you have places in like this in your life, places that have layered meaning for you. There are lots of places like this. For me, the first one that came to my mind was flagstaff. For me, this is the place where I went to college, it was the place where I got married, it was the place where I became reformed. It was a place where a lot of really important things happened to me. You maybe feel this way when you go home. I know this. Sometimes, when you visit a place that's familiar, even the most mundane things I can to be filled with meaning. Maybe there's a convenience store that was close to the house where you grew up, very similar to all the other convenience stores all over that steady, but that one, that one in particular, has special meaning for you because something happened there for you. You can think of these kinds of things. This is what's going on here. When Solomon Builds here, as the chronicler describes this particular place, he's reminding us, he's bringing to our minds these various meanings, these associations that we are supposed to make when it comes to understanding where the Temple of God is being placed. The first one that's mentioned is Mount Moriah. The other place that this is mentioned in the Bible is in Genesis twenty two. In Genesis twenty two we have this great test one that I mentioned this morning. This is where God tells Abraham to take his son Isaac. You remember what God says? He says go to the land of Mariah and offer him there as a burnt offering. Now, burnt offerings were a sign of dedication. A burnt offering sometimes in the Bible is called a whole offering or a whole burnt offering. The reason for that is is that the whole thing is consumed, the whole thing is given to God, and so burnt offerings, though used in a lot of different ways, have this a meaning of dedication, of complete commitment and consecration to God. And you remember, of course, that these sacrifices are offered as a as a way of that worshiper offering him or herself to God. The worshipper is the one who is called to lay his hands on the animal. The worshipper is the one who will cut the animal actually sacrifice it. The priest will is typically the one who is required to use the blood in various ways, but it's all very invite the worshipper is all very involved in offering this burnt offering. One is essentially offering themselves. But here, as we know, it is not Abraham who is to be sacrificed, it is his son Isaac.

God tells him to go to the land of Mariah and offer him as a burnt offering. He God says it would be on one of the mountains that I tell you now. That's important because God is very specific about the places where he wants to be worshiped. In Deuteronomy twelve. I won't read it now, but you can look at it later. God makes a very big deal about this. He says, do not worship in any other place than the place that I tell you to worship. And essentially he sang the same thing to Abraham here. He says, I want you to go to Mariah and you will go to the mountain that I tell you. It's a good reminder that we don't decide how God is to be worshiped. That's God's prerogative. He's King. It's his decision, one that he reserves for himself. There's lots of other things that we might mention about that, but keep that in your mind. So Abraham Goes, he takes his son, takes some woods, some fire servant and when he sees the mountain from a distance. Off He unsaddles his himself and his son. He leaves the servant behind and he places the wood in Isaac's arms and he says let's go. Isaac says my father. Abraham says here I am, my son. Isaac says, behold the fire in the wood, but where is the lamb for the burnt offering? Isaac recognizes what's going on. He sees everything in place. There's wood, there's fire, they're going, they're traveling. No doubt his father had been talking about offering a burnt offering. And Isaac says there's something missing here. Abraham says God will provide for himself the lamb for a burnt offering, my son. But Abraham didn't have any other lamb other than his son. And so Abraham, doing as God had commanded him, bound Isaac, laid him on the altar and laid him on the wood. Abraham unsheaths his knife and suspends it over his son and is about to slaughter him as a sacrifice when he hears a voice, an angel calls out to him and says stop, Abraham, stop. I know that you fear God, seeing that you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me. And there is this knife hanging over Isaac, hanging over the promised son, and Abraham freezes and he looks over and he sees a ram caught in a thicket and he offers it instead of his son. It's an amazing story worth lots and lots of reflection and it's important one, and we see that here in first chronicles three. God wants us to identify the temple, in the place...

...where the temple will be built with this place. This isn't just any mountain, this is Mount Moriah. This is the place where Abraham almost sacrificed to his son. You might remember that Abraham, after all this happened. It's the Bible says that Abraham called the name of that place Yah way will provide. See, Abraham named it as well. This place has a particular meaning. Yah Way will provide. Moses goes on to say that, as it is said to this day, on the Mount of Yah Way, it shall be provided. Mountain Maraia then represents what is owed to God, what is Oh to God. Everything are very lives. Mountain Maraiah reminds us that it's because of sin that we owe ourselves to God, not just because of creation, but because we have sinned against him. A sacrifice must be made, a penalty must be paid. God not only gives us all things, but in sin we have taken what does not belong to us. It's what Adam and Eve did. That's what we've always been doing. But the wrath of God to those whom he loves is turned away by the mercy of God. That's what he does on Mount Mariah. He turns away his wrath from Abraham and his son and he finds satisfaction in the Ram. Not because the ram is great, not because the ram is as has something special about it, except that the Ram is chosen. The Ram is God putting something forward as a substitute for the ones whom he loves. Sacrifice must be made, the penalty must be paid, but because God loves Abraham, because God loves Isaac, instead of pouring out his wrath on them, he finds atonement in the Ram. When we give ourselves to him his faith, in faith, as Abraham did, we are trusting in his provision and in his salvation. That's what it means to give ourselves in faith to God. It's to trust in his provision to take care of our sins. And you know what is? Abraham says he always provides, and he did, of course, in Jesus, the place on which the future temple would be built would be the location in which the Covenant promises were made by God, received by man and kept through a sacrifice that God himself provided. Abraham, Isaac and all the people that would follow and flow from them would not perish because of sin, but...

...would live under on under grace, because of God's mercy. That's where the temple would be built. The second reference that the is given here in first chronicles three, is the threshing floor of Ornan, the jebusite. This story comes from first chronicles twenty one and it's parallel in the other historical books. And First Chronicle Twenty one we read that Satan Tempts David to do something evil, specifically to take a census. He is he david desires to number Israel. Now, a sensus in itself isn't a sinful thing, but this one is. There's no particular reason for a census here. God doesn't require it, he doesn't ask for it. The sensus that David takes seems to be a sin because of pride, power and perhaps even fear. It's the kind of accounting that happens when you check your bank account again and again and again and again and again, just wanting to see how much is there. Perhaps because of fear, perhaps because of pride or power. Sometimes people will check their blessings, count their blessings, not so that they can give glory to God, but so that they can have confidence in themselves or, on the flip side, fear because they don't have the things that they think they ought to have. This kind of constant checking, whether that's money or your importance or some other things, what David tries to do here, and it sendsed immediately by by Joe AB. His Servant Warns Him. He says, Dave, don't do this thing. This is evil, this is wrong and wicked. David decides to do it anyway, despite the warnings, despite the sin, David goes ahead and does it and God strikes Israel in punishment. What happens next? Well, David sees the error, he sees his sin and he confesses it. This is what he says. He says, I have sinned greatly in that I have done this thing. But now he says to God, please take away the iniquity of your servant, for I have acted very foolishly. WHAT IS INIQUITY? Iniquity is sin, and usually it's connected to the guilt of sin or the consequences of sin. It's tied together with these things, and David very much sense is that God's wrath is coming down upon them. God strikes Israel and punishment and David sees the consequences of his sin. He's feeling the guilt of his sin and he asks God, please take it away, take away my guilt, take away the consequences. I...

...have been foolish. I have greatly sinned against you. God then gives him a choice. That's not an easy one. God says, choose one of three things. You can either have three years of famine, three years of three or sorry, three three years of famine, three months of devastation by the sword of your enemies, or three years of my sword, a pestilence, a plague destroying your land. I said years again. I got that wrong. It's three years, three months, three days. Either three years of famine, three months of foreign enemy devastation, or three days of God's plague upon the people. David sort of choose, is not to choose, but perhaps also chooses the last one when he says, let me fall into the hand of Jehovah, for His mercy is very great, but do not let me fall into the hand of man. Next we read again, first chronicles twenty one. That seventyzero people die. That is a lot of people and they almost destroy Jerusalem. There's plague, there's pestilence everywhere and just like Abraham was standing there in judgment over sin, you know what David Sees? He sees an angel floating between Heaven and Earth with a sword ready, standing over Jerusalem, about to sacrifice it, about to slay it in judgment. A David sees this. David sees this and he says, take me and my father's household. He begs the Lord, he puts on Sackcloth, he falls on his face. He says take me, do not take your people. This is my sin. God tells him to make an altar there where that angel is. So he goes and where this altar is? It's this where this God tells him to make this altar. It's this big open space where threshing happens and it belongs to this man named or Nan. He's a jebusite. I'm Jerusalem was likely named Jeebus before it was named Jerusalem, so this is a Jebu site here and he has owns this threshing floor. Well, what might convince or Nan to sell his threshing floor to David? Well, God convinces him. He opens or Nan's eyes and the eyes of his sons and they see this angel and they are terrified. They are terrified is this angel stands with its sworn drawn over Jerusalem and they say take it,...

...take it, take the ox and take the wood, take everything. You just have it, do whatever you need to do. David says, I'm not taking it, I will buy it from you. I am not going to make a sacrifice that is not really a sacrifice. I'm not going to take what is yours and sacrifice it to God for my sin. So David buys it. He buys it all, the whole thing, buys this land from Ornan and that's how it comes into possession of the king. And they're on that altar below the angel as it stands there with its sword shown. David makes offerings burnt offerings like that that was required of Isaac, and also peace offerings. Peace offerings are a little different than burnt offerings. Atonement is likely part of it, but the idea is that there's a kind of reconciliation that is happening between man and God. A peace offering is an offering that's offered with the hope and in faith that through atonement, man and God can be at peace again. When the relationship between man and God has fallen apart, a peace offering sort of celebrates its fix, it celebrates a coming together again. So really what we have here is David humbling himself and, in a sense pleading and begging God to take this sacrifice instead of Jerusalem, instead of him. But it's also offered in hope. There's a faithfulness that's offered, a hope that peace will be made, and God takes it. Signifying his pleasure in this, he sends fire from Heaven, lightning maybe, I'm not entirely sure. Dramatic. No matter, I'm sure sends fire from heaven, consumes the offering and the angel sheaths his sword. Sigh of relief, probably similar to the one that Abraham and Isaac had when they saw that Ram so, Ornan's threshing floor also has this altar, a alter built is a powerful reminder that David and Israel, as held in Jerusalem, did not perish because of sin, but instead lived and found peace again because of the mercy of God. When you think about these things, you can understand then. That why, even in recent years, even I think it was last week,...

I was hearing on the radio that Jews in Israel are pushing harder and harder to be able to pray on the Temple Mount to go to this particular place where a Moslem mosque now stands. You can understand why some are even calling for another temple to be built, because this is mountain Mariah, this is Ornan's threshing floor, this is Jerusalem, the city of David, the Temple of God. But you know what, though, we can understand it if we hear God's word, is he speaks to us in scripture, we know that they're going to the wrong place. They're going to the wrong place. How so well, for one, Jerusalem was rejected by God as a place of worship and second, kings, twenty three seven, God says you're out of here. I reject this place, I throw it away and it will be conquered by foreign enemies. It would be restored after the exile, but this return home, a return home from Babylon, and even the building of the temple again, would not be complete and ultimately, ultimately, it would end in the Roman occupation and destruction of the temple in seventy a d but God did not leave his people forever. When Ezekiel has this vision of a glory of God descending up away from the Temple, away from Jerusalem, it would not be forever. God would not leave his people from ever forever, in fact, just the opposite. Instead, he would come to dwell with them in the form of a man whose name was Jesus. Is Jesus, who is born in the House of Day Evin, called to be Israel's king, but he would not reign in the earthly Jerusalem. Why? Because Jesus, the son of David, as David himself confesses in the psalms, was greater than he was. This Jesus is not just another Israelite King in a long line of Israelite kings. This Jesus, this son of man, is also the son of God, who does not dwell and reign in an earthly city and an earthly house. God himself will not reign in an earthly house and Temple. No, Jesus would ascend to what the Bible calls the New Jerusalem. He would ascend where he would reign eternally in a city whose...

...foundations cannot be shaken. Jesus would not only be the king, he would also be a priest for his people. Like Abraham, he would offer a sacrifice, but that sacrifice would be himself, a sacrifice that God, his father provided. God provided the Ram, God provided the sacrifices that David gave, because one day he would provide his own son, and by his blood, God would forever atone for sin, would forever make peace with man. He would establish in Jesus a sacrifice that would purify us, cleanse us, make us holy, that would draw US close to him so that we could be reconciled to him. This is what Paul says in Romans A, chapter five. Let me read it to you. Romans five, verse one. Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him, we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we can stand and we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. That is an amazing thing, isn't it? We don't stand like David, trembling under our sins, wondering when the wrath of God will fall upon us, when Jesus will come and bare his sword and separate the wheat from the chaff. We don't fear that, because Jesus is already offered himself as a sacrifice for us. His blood has been shed so that we can have peace with God. Well, Jesus is not only a sacrifice, he's also the cornerstone for the temple. He's also the bill older of this heavenly city. And so Hebrews thirteen fourteen says we look for the heavenly city, the one that is to come. We don't mourn for the Old Jerusalem, because the new Jerusalem exceeds it in every way. I am going to resist the temptation to read to you all of revelation twenty one, but I have to read a little bit. John says in revelation twenty one, then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first Earth passed away in the sea was no more and I saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of Heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a...

...loud voice from the throne saying, behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. This is temple language, isn't it? This is temple language where God says I will dwell with my people, where the new Jerusalem. The consequence is our amazing he will wipe away every tear from their eyes and death and death shall be no more. Neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away. If you skip over the verse two thousand and Nineteen, you get a sense of the beauty of this place. The foundations of the wall of the city were adorned with every kind of jewel. The first was Jasper, the Second Sapphire, the third age at, the Fourth Emerald, the fifth onyx, the sixth carnelium, the seventh chrysolite, the eight Barreld, ninth top has the ten chrystal press, the Eleven Jason, the Twelve Amethyst and the twelve gates were twelve pearls. Each of the gates made of a single Pearl, and the street of the city was pure gold, transparent is glass. And I saw no temple in the city, for it's Temple is the Lord, God, the Almighty and the Lam. It goes on and on. It's breathtaking. That's why we don't mourn Old Jerusalem, because we have new Jerusalem, a new Jerusalem that exceeds it in every way. Found it on Jesus Christ fist and his sacrifice. Why do I tell you about Mount Moriah? Why do I tell you about ornand and his thresting for why should we hear about Abraham and Isaac and David in Israel? I tell you because I want you to know what it is God has done in the world. I want you to know the kind of sacrifice that he has given. I want you to know what it is we have been saved from and what it is we've been saved unto, salvation from sins, peace and reconciliation with God. I tell you these things because I want you to know what God has given to you. In Christ and how he has given it. Brothers and sisters, the Glories of Heaven await you. They wait for those who no longer cling to the earth, but look beyond this world to the treasures in heaven and our risen savior himself. In Jesus,...

...you will find all the joys of Jerusalem. Let us pray our father in heaven. Your name is indeed holy and to be hallowed. We pray to you and worship You, the God of Abraham, who brought forth not only a ram but your own son, that we might live in him. Thank you for forgiving US our sins. So, Lord, thank you for for forgiving the sins of David and his people that Jerusalem might stand another hour, that the worship of God might be proclaimed and made visible in the world, that solemn in might build this glorious temple, that we might see and know what you are doing in the heavenly places. We thank you for the new heavens and the new earth which exceed this. We thank you for King Jesus and the ways that he exceeds all the kings of old. We thank you for making US citizens of this heavenly kingdom that we might live in him and reign with him. Have peace with you and pleasant things in our hearts. Indeed, you are good, and we ask that you would keep our eyes fixed on this heavenly hope. Help us not too long for the things of old, but to see them as these great signs pointing us the way to Jesus and the things that we have in him. Let us not despise them, but love them and enjoy them for what they are and what you have given them to be. In this Lord, we pray for all of the cares and concerns that we have in this world and we asked that, by the hope of Heaven and the hope of Christ, you would sustain us in our trials and tribulations. We pray for hopes, jaw and her thumb. We asked that you would heal her and and encourage her in her in her troubles. We praise you that summer has her old job back and we asked that you would bless her and and the other students is they return back to school. May studying the things of this world, the things that you have made, be a joy to them and maybe they excel in it. We also pray for Patty and we asked that you would continue to help her. We thank you for your mercies that you have already given the answers to our prayers. We asked that you would play, that you would be blosed,...

...you would that we pray that your will would be done and that this kidney surgery that's coming would go well, that she would be healed in it and that she would give of you praise for the work of your hands. Finally, Lord, we pray for our mission works here in Arizona. We pray for Jeremy Baker and his upcoming ordination exams and we asked that you would help him so that he might serve as a church planner there in human we pray for Steve Larson. We asked that you would bless him and the saints and Concho. We asked that their relationship would go grow and strengthen as he begins that work there. And Lord, we also pray for the other Bible Studies and works that are going on, all the prayers that are being offered for various outposts of the Gospel, including, Lord, our friends in cotton. Would we pray for Brian and for Sarah? We asked that you would be with with them. Please encourage that congregation and and help them to grow a finally, Lord, we pray for ourselves. We ask that you would strengthen us in the faith, that you would bind us together in love and make us a faithful witness to the good news of Jesus Christ. We pray this in his name. Well, let's stand together and respond to God and his good word to us. Let's respond by singing him two hundred and seventy one.

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