It was on this day that Solomon began construction of the Temple in Jerusalem. The Holy Temple was one of the most magnificent structures that existed in the ancient world. Though the wealth and treasure that went into the building of this Temple were vast, one of the most fascinating aspects of the Temple were the stones used to construct the Temple. Many people don’t realize that the stones used in its construction were actually quarried far from the Temple site in Jerusalem. Apparently, it was done this way because there was not to be any sound of a hammer or a chisel – anything made with iron – in the Temple area. God’s house was to be a “house of prayer for all nations” (Isa 56:7) and, because iron tools were associated with warfare, it was concluded that God did not want the sound of strife and division to be heard in the place He had set His name.
The very first mention of things made from iron is in the book of Genesis. A descendant of the first murderer, Cain – Tubal Cain – was an artificer of iron and bronze weapons (Gen. 4:22). The traditional view is that he constructed implements of war and, thus, the association of iron with warfare. According to the Bible, he also used bronze to manufacture these weapons. The Hebrew word translated as bronze is נחשת nechoshet, derived from the root word נחש nachash which is often translated as “serpent.” The implication is that the weapons Tubal-Cain crafted and formed had something to do with the adversary – the serpent – and his tactics.
We know that our adversary makes war against us, desiring to steal, to kill and destroy. Oftentimes, he is successful in this endeavor when he is able to influence people to sow discord and strife, creating division and warfare among God’s people. We, of all people, should not give in to this ploy. In fact, Paul says that for God’s people to cause strife, division and be at war with one another is indicative of carnal and childish behavior.
“And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual people but as to carnal, as to babes in Christ. I fed you with milk and not with solid food; for until now you were not able to receive it, and even now you are still not able; for you are still carnal. For where there are envy, strife, and divisions among you, are you not carnal and behaving like mere men?” (1 Corinthians 3:1-3)
Warfare and strife should not to be found in God’s house because His presence will not long remain in a place where division and contention abounds. Therefore, those of us who are called “living stones” and who are being built up into His spiritual house (1 Pet. 2:5) should take note that He will not bless nor condone strife and division among those who are His. He is going to raise up those who will lead His people to come together in unity and peace, without compromise, so that His will can be done in us and through us.
So then, let us recommit ourselves to live by the standards that the Creator conveyed to us through the Prophet Micah:
He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.” (Micah 6:8)