The Foundational Pillars
1Kings 7:21 He set up the pillars at the vestibule of the temple; he set up the pillar on the south and called it Jachin; and he set up the pillar on the north and called it Boaz.
Solomon’s temple is being built and within this structure there are to be constant reminders of God’s power and our continual need for dependence upon him. Two pillars are set up in the temple. They do not support the structure, but are instead visible reminders as to our dependence upon God. The one pillar, Jachin means “he establishes” and the other, Boaz, “in him is strength.” These were to serve as a daily reminder to the priests that it is God who has established all things and only in him is strength to be found.
They were to put all of their trust in God, and in him alone. This had always been a temptation for the people of God, to put their trust in their own power and abilities but this was a visual reminder of the Shema, “Hear oh Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one.” The singularity of the focus of the people of God was to be on God. When one focused on God and the fact that he is the one who establishes all things, then there becomes the great realization that strength comes from him alone. “Spiritual strength and stability are to be had at the door of God’s temple, where we must wait for the gifts of grace in the use of the means of grace.” (Henry)
Sadly the people of God did not remain true to what these two pillars represented and when the temple was destroyed these pillars were broken up into small pieces so that the bronze could be taken to Babylon (2 Kings 25:13). The good news is that the new kingdom provides for us these same pillars which can never again be destroyed for they are now found in Christ. He is the one who establishes and gives us strength, if only we will put our trust in him.
The foundational pillars are available for us every single day, if only we will look to them for focus. These pillars are found in Christ and in him alone. Jesus has now established the kingdom and his victory over sin and death means that we have the strength and power that are needed for daily living. The kingdom into which we are invited is one in which there is Spirit power. This Spirit power enables us to engage and work in the world today.
The priests needed a daily reminder of the foundations of the faith. They had the pillars there as physical reminders of the work that God had done among his people and yet, they were unable to remain faithful. The pillars of the kingdom are daily reminders to us of our faith, if only we will intentionally look to the pillars and seek the face of God. He is faithful and will lead through the Spirit in our daily lives to the place where we can be transformed into the very likeness of Jesus Christ. He establishes us and in him is our strength, if we remain in him, if we look to him, the foundational pillar.
Lord, we love you and praise you today. Thank you for the strength and leading that we find in you every single day of our lives. Amen.