2 Chronicles 4:6 (NIV) 6 He then made ten basins for washing and placed five on the south side and five on the north. In them the things to be used for the burnt offerings were rinsed, but the Sea was to be used by the priests for washing.
On verses 1-18: Here the Chronicler describes the equipment that Solomon ordered to be made for the temple, including the altar, the Sea (which was a large bronze pool used for the priests to wash to make themselves ceremonially clean), basins for washing things used for the burnt offerings, lampstands, tables, sprinkling bowls, pots and shovels, among other things. What can we learn from this?
Most of the equipment we read about here was to facilitate the killing and offering of lambs, bulls and other animals as sacrifices for people’s sins. I would imagine that the house of God back in Solomon’s time was pretty dirty and probably looked, smelled and felt like your local butchery. But ever since Jesus Christ sacrificed himself on the cross for our sins, there is no more need to shed the blood of animals. That’s because Christ our sacrificial lamb gave himself for us. His shed blood is sufficient to cover all of our failures. Praise God that we don’t need a Sea or basins anymore because we’ve been washed in the cleansing sea of God’s love, the blood of Jesus.
Notice that Solomon was the one who commissioned the making of all this equipment for the temple, but he certainly wasn’t the one who made, moved, maintained, cleaned or used this equipment. The role of creating this equipment belonged to the craftsmen of Israel as well as Huram-Abi, specially hired from Tyre to help create this equipment. The role of setting up, moving, maintaining, cleaning and tearing down the equipment belonged to the Levites. This reminds us how important is the role of those who do the setting up and tearing down of all equipment that is used in church. At THRIVE that includes the prep team, the sound crew, the decorations team, the cleaning crew, the maintenance crew, those who set up and tear down our baptistery, and other important ministries. If you serve in any of these ministries or related ministries at church, thank you for all that you do! Your ministry is so important.
2 Chronicles 4:11-18 (NIV) 11 He also made the pots and shovels and sprinkling bowls. So Huram finished the work he had undertaken for King Solomon in the temple of God..
On verses 11-18: Just as Huram finished the work he was called to do for the temple, so Jesus finished the work he came to do for His temple, the church, when he died on the cross for us and proclaimed: “It is finished” (John 19:30). Like Jesus and Huram, may we too finish the work that God has called us to do for His house. For how you finish is more important than how you start.
2 Chronicles 4:19-22 (NIV) 19 Solomon also made all the furnishings that were in God’s temple: the golden altar; the tables on which was the bread of the Presence; 20 the lampstands of pure gold with their lamps, to burn in front of the inner sanctuary as prescribed; 21 the gold floral work and lamps and tongs (they were solid gold); 22 the pure gold wick trimmers, sprinkling bowls, dishes and censers; and the gold doors of the temple: the inner doors to the Most Holy Place and the doors of the main hall.
On verses 19-22: Notice that Solomon made all the furnishings described in verses 19-22 out of gold. What can we learn from this?
What you offer to God is a reflection of how you see God. If you offer to God the best that you have – your gold – it shows that you believe God is worthy of your best. If you offer to God the leftovers, it shows that you believe there is someone else or something else – whether it’s yourself, your family, your own comfort or happiness – who deserves your best. God challenges us to give our best to Him, the first tenth of our income to Him (called a tithe), for at least two reasons. One, it’s because God deserves our very best. There is no one higher than God and so if anything deserves the first part of our wealth, it is Him. Two, God promises that when we give to Him first, He will add everything we need and pour out so much blessing that we cannot contain it (Matthew 6:33; Malachi 3:8-10). Let’s be those who give God our “gold”, our very best, and not our leftovers.
These verses remind me of 2 Timothy 2:20-21: 20 In a large house there are articles not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay; some are for noble purposes and some for ignoble. 21 If a man cleanses himself from the latter, he will be an instrument for noble purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work.
You and I were made to be useful instruments in the house of God. So may we live our lives for the noble purpose of giving God glory, and not for any lesser purpose.
Heavenly Father, thank You that we are Your priests and we have been washed in the sea of Jesus’ shed blood, which cleanses us completely. Thank You for all those in my church who do the setting up, tearing up, moving, cleaning, maintaining and operating all the equipment we use at church. I don’t take them for granted. And thank You that just as You finished what You came to do, may I finish well the race You have called me to run on this earth. In Jesus’ name, AMEN!