7 FEBRUARY (PREACHED 6 FEBRUARY 1777)
Direct your hearts and eyes to the Great Temple
‘What prayer and supplication soever be made by any man, or by all thy people Israel, which shall know every man the plague of his own heart, and spread forth his hands toward this house …’ 1 Kings 8:38
SUGGESTED FURTHER READING: John 2:13–22
The people were directed to pray toward the temple, which we find was observed by Daniel when captive in a far distant country. Those of the Jews who went no farther than the literal sense, and trusted in their outward privileges, have been long in a hopeless state; their temple and priesthood have been destroyed more than 1700 years, since which they have been incapable upon their own principles of offering one acceptable prayer, for they have no temple whither to direct their supplications. But the design of the prayer is made good to the spiritual Israel. Before the temple made with hands was finally destroyed, God was pleased to raise up another made without hands, of which the other was but a type, as our Lord himself teaches us in John 2 [19–22]. In these happy, gospel times wherein God is made known in Christ, we have the full blessings of which the worship in Solomon’s temple conveyed but the emblem and foretaste. The Lord give us faith to direct our hearts and eyes to the Great Temple in which the fullness of the Godhead unchangeably dwell, and may the glory of the Lord be revealed to our souls.
FOR MEDITATION: ‘But I say unto you, That in this place is one greater than the temple.… Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up. Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days? But he spake of the temple of his body. When therefore he was risen from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this unto them; and they believed the scripture, and the word which Jesus had said’ (Matthew 12:6; John 2:19–22).
‘And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God.… And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it’ (Revelation 21:10, 22).
SERMON: 1 KINGS 8:38–39 [2/6]