All the gold that was used in all the work of the holy place, that is, the gold of the offering, was twenty-nine talents and seven hundred and thirty shekels, according to the shekel of the sanctuary. And the silver from those who were numbered of the congregation was one hundred talents and one thousand seven hundred and seventy-five shekels, according to the shekel of the sanctuary. (Exodus 38:24-25)
Jewish commentators point out that, with all the silver and gold that went into the construction of the Tabernacle, when compared to the Temples, it was insignificant. For example, in the temple built by Solomon, the gold alone amounted to approximately $100 million in todays’ currency — an incredible amount and that’s just the gold. The wealth in Herod’s Temple was just as impressive and yet, according to Judaism, both of these structures were surpassed in holiness by the somewhat primitive Tabernacle that Moses constructed in the wilderness.
The point here is that God does not respond to wealth but to righteousness. Now, we all know that — or should know that — and still there are those who fall victim to the idea that if it’s bigger, it’s better; if it’s pretty it must be holy. There is nothing wrong with having a nice, comfortable space to worship in, in fact, I prefer it. However, we mustn’t repeat the mistakes of the past and place more value on the “gold of the Temple” than on the One who sanctifies the gold of the Temple (Matthew 23:17).
In that same line of thought, we must not let anything pertaining to this world stand between us and the One who created us. Houses, property and position profits us nothing if He isn’t the center of our lives. Moreover, if we are His and allow this to happen, He has been known to remove these things in order to get our attention.
Today, there is no Temple standing in Jerusalem and will not be until just before or just as the Messiah returns. Nevertheless, we are His Temple — individually and collectively — and as such we should reflect His glory in the earth. We may not possess silver and gold but, “such as we have,” we are to share with this world so that others will come into His house. In the end, it will not be our gold, our programs and our gadgets that will appeal to desperate people in need of an answer — it will be that we, filled with His Spirit, can impact their live for the better.
Blessings and Shalom,