Acts 7:47


Monday, 23 May 2022

But Solomon built Him a house. Acts 7:47

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The previous verse referred to David, saying, “who found favor before God and asked to find a dwelling for the God of Jacob.” With that, Stephen now notes, “But Solomon built Him a house.”

It was David’s intent to build a house for the Lord to dwell in, but he was a man of war and so that honor was denied him –

“Then he called for his son Solomon, and charged him to build a house for the Lord God of Israel. And David said to Solomon: ‘My son, as for me, it was in my mind to build a house to the name of the Lord my God; but the word of the Lord came to me, saying, “You have shed much blood and have made great wars; you shall not build a house for My name, because you have shed much blood on the earth in My sight. Behold, a son shall be born to you, who shall be a man of rest; and I will give him rest from all his enemies all around. His name shall be Solomon, for I will give peace and quietness to Israel in his days. 10 He shall build a house for My name, and he shall be My son, and I will be his Father; and I will establish the throne of his kingdom over Israel forever.”’” 1 Chronicles 22:6-10

As David could not build the house, Solomon was given charge to do so. But David had prepared all that was necessary for the task in advance. That is recorded in the same chapter –

“Indeed I have taken much trouble to prepare for the house of the Lord one hundred thousand talents of gold and one million talents of silver, and bronze and iron beyond measure, for it is so abundant. I have prepared timber and stone also, and you may add to them. 15 Moreover there are workmen with you in abundance: woodsmen and stonecutters, and all types of skillful men for every kind of work. 16 Of gold and silver and bronze and iron there is no limit. Arise and begin working, and the Lord be with you.” 1 Chronicles 22:14-16

But there is more than just the “house,”assa which is the temple that is referred to in the original promise made to David as is recorded in 2 Samuel 7. The Hebrew word bayith, or house, is used again and again in that chapter. There, it has two main meanings. The first is a literal structure, a temple, where the Lord would dwell. The second refers to a family, such as saying, “the house of David.”

Both ideas are found in one paragraph of 2 Samuel 7 –

 “When your days are fulfilled and you rest with your fathers, I will set up your seed after you, who will come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. 13 He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. 14 I will be his Father, and he shall be My son. If he commits iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men and with the blows of the sons of men. 15 But My mercy shall not depart from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I removed from before you. 16 And your house and your kingdom shall be established forever before you. Your throne shall be established forever.” 2 Samuel 7:12-16

The words “He shall build a house for My name” immediately refer to Solomon, as Stephen indicates in Acts. However, the words go further, referring to the work of Christ who is the One to build the true house of God. Peter, using the same word that Stephen uses, says –

“you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” 1 Peter 2:5

This is the same thing that Paul refers to as well. In his words, the edifice he refers to is a temple, but it is the same idea as the “house” that Peter refers to –

“Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20 having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, 21 in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, 22 in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.” Ephesians 2:19-22

Stephen’s words are intended to wake the council up to the truth that what man has made is not, nor can it be, the final home of God. It is simply a perishable structure that meets a temporary purpose. He will confirm this in his words ahead. It is the apostles who then explain this so that we can understand just what the Lord is referring to in using the word “house” when speaking of a holy dwelling place, as well as an eternal family in His words to David. What He says goes beyond the line of Solomon and the temple which Solomon built by referring to what Christ would do in building the true house of God through David’s greater Son, Jesus.

Life application: Let us remember that no matter where we worship, the true church is not a building. Rather, it is the people of God. If you attend an online church, you are as much a part of the “church” as a person who has sat in the same pew for 45 years. Paul shows us this several times in his epistles, such as –

“To Philemon our beloved friend and fellow laborer, to the beloved Apphia, Archippus our fellow soldier, and to the church in your house:” Philemon 1:1, 2

The church meets in a building; the building is not the church. Wherever you are, you are a living stone in the true house that God is building. Be confident in this and don’t worry if the latte machine in the corner of the building is broken. It will not affect your salvation at all. Be assured of your position in Christ. He has you safely cared for as a member of His true church.

Heavenly Father, thank You for the knowledge that we are accepted members of Your church because of the work of Jesus. We are accepted, and we are being built into a house that will endure forever. Thank You for Your kind care for each one of us. Glory to You in the highest. Amen.