SIGNIFICANCE of the ‘LOCATION’ for God’s TEMPLE
May 2 Bible Reading: 2 Chronicles Chapters 1-3
"Now Solomon began to build the house of the Lord at Jerusalem on Mount Moriah, where the Lord had appeared to his father David, at the place that David had prepared on the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite. And he began to build on the second day of the second month in the fourth year of his reign." (2 Chron. 3:1-2)
From the above passage we can understand that Solomon constructed God’s temple on Mount Moriah that was located north of the ancient City of David. Mount Moriah was one summit of a range of hills which went under the general name of Zion. The name “Moriah” is used only one other time in the Bible, in connection with “the land of Moriah” where Abraham was told by God to take Isaac and sacrifice him as a burnt offering (Gen. 22:2). This was the very place where Abraham showed his willingness to sacrifice Isaac, and was later renamed as “Yahweh-Yireh” or “The-Lord-Will-Provide” (Gen. 22:14).
We need to also realize that the Temple was built on the very site where God had demonstrated His presence to David by igniting his burnt offering with fire from heaven (I Chron. 21:26), in the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite. David had received explicit instructions from the Lord that the very site that he had purchased from Ornan, and where he had already built an altar, should be the location of the future temple (1 Chr. 21:18, 26). Mount Moriah is known today as the temple mount and the site of the Muslim Dome of the Rock. It is a hill directly north of Mount Zion, the location of David’s tabernacle (1 Chr. 15:1).
There is a great significance of the location that Solomon had chosen to lay the foundation of God’s temple. From the incident of Abraham willingly sacrificing his son Isaac in this location, we can infer the following five points of significance:
- It was a place of obedience: Abraham had traveled for three days to reach this place that God had told him (Gen. 22:3-4), and signifies total obedience on his part to the command of God.
- It was a place of faith: When Isaac asked his father for the lamb needed for the burnt offering, Abraham replied by faith that “God will provide for Himself a lamb for a burnt offering” (Gen. 22:6-8). This was certainly a place where Abraham’s faith was displayed.
- It was a place of consecration: Upon reaching the designated place, Abraham built an altar and placed the wood in order. After this, Abraham bound Isaac and laid him on the altar upon the wood (Gen. 22:9). We do not see Isaac struggling with his father, but totally surrendered to the wishes of his father willingly and thus signified that this was a place of consecration.
- It was a place of sacrifice: Abraham stretched out his hand and took the knife to kill his beloved son (Gen. 22:10). This place speaks about a father being willing to sacrifice his joy, his love, his hope and above all his most precious beloved son to the command of God.
- It was a place of redemption: God did not allow Abraham to kill his son Isaac, but instead provided a ram that redeemed the life of Isaac and was offered for a burnt offering instead of Isaac (Gen. 22:13).