Old Testament reading: 1 Kings 5-6
The house of the Lord can only be built in peace. As Solomon begins preparations for building the temple, we see his statement concerning David’s intent to “build a house for the name of the Lord his God.” Because David was a man of war and of great bloodshed, he was refused authority to build a house for God. Solomon noted that the peace surrounding the kingdom now paved the way for the Lord’s house to be built. Of note, the word “temple” means “house.” Thus, this was a place wherein the Lord would dwell in a figurative sense, not unlike the temple of God today, which temple is not the human body, but the church (1 Cor 3:16-17; 2 Cor 6:14-16). The church cannot be built when it is beset with strife or war among her members. But when peace reigns, the groundwork is laid and table is set for increase in the body. Also of interest is the fact that every piece of wood or stone that went in to the construction of the house of God was measured and cut before being brought to the site, so that the sound of hammer of chisel was never heard in the place where God’s house was built (6:7).
New Testament reading: John 8-9
John 8 contains a text known by many but understood by few. When given the first line of John 8:32, “And you shall know the truth,” even the most biblically illiterate can finish it – “and the truth shall set you free.” However, John 8:32 is the latter part of a three-fold conditional promise. The first promise is to be a genuine disciple of Jesus (v 31); the second is to know the truth, and the third is to be set free. The condition, which is always the most important part, is this: “IF you continue in my word.” Thus, only those who continue in the word of Jesus can truly be His disciple and know the truth that sets one free. Those who do not know or believe the word of God will never be free in any sense. Such will always be in bondage to sin and to Satan. When we learn and obey the truth, we are then set free from sin and become the servants of righteousness (Rom 6:17-18).