July 22, 2023
“He (Solomon) set up the pillars at the portico of the sanctuary: He set up the right pillar and named it Jachin; then he set up the left pillar and named it Boaz.”
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“He (Solomon) set up the pillars at the portico of the sanctuary: He set up the right pillar and named it Jachin; then he set up the left pillar and named it Boaz. The tops of the pillars were shaped like lilies. Then the work of the pillars was completed.” 1 Kings 7:21-22 (HCSB)
Today’s chapter, like chapter 6, is another construction progress report. Today, we learn of Solomon’s palace, the palace of his Egyptian-born queen, certain government buildings, and of course, the Temple. I am impressed with the detailed description and also the lack of detail. The writer gives us enough details to be impressed with the workmanship but not enough to reconstruct the Temple. There are simply too many engineering details left out to recreate the structure exactly.
I believe these specific details may be left out for the same reason that the melodies of the Psalms were lost: So we would not worship them! Can’t you imagine some Hollywood movie star trying to rebuild the Temple on Malibu beachfront property, the “holy of holies” with a Viking kitchen? No, we were meant to appreciate the detail, but we could never recreate it.
Furthermore, the writer spends most of his time on the Temple and less on the “government” buildings. It seems the Lord is telling us that worship should govern us more than a government, which worships our votes.
Today’s passage focuses on two bronze pillars. These pillars are not described as supporting any structure or roof. They were a free-standing testimony to all who entered the Temple. Solomon gave each pillar a name. Jachin means “He will establish.” It may also be construed as a prayer, “May He establish.” Boaz means, “In Him is strength,” or “By the Lord, the King is mighty.”
Here then, are “He will establish” and “In Him is strength,” serving as majestic statements in front of the Temple proper. The first highlights the promise of the Lord, and the second the power of the Lord. The first recall what the Lord said; the second suggests what He can do. Jachin points to the original anchor of God’s Word; Boaz points to His ongoing adequacy to bring that Word to pass.
“He (Abraham) did not waver in unbelief at God’s promise but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, because he was fully convinced that what he promised He was also able to perform.” Romans 4:20-21 (HCSB)
One could say that Jachin emphasizes the foundation on which the king and the people are to rely, while Boaz signifies the resource upon which they must draw. Jachin highlights God’s Grace, while Boaz points to our responsibility:
“Seek the Lord and His strength; seek His face evermore!” Psalm 105:4 (NKJV)