APRIL 13 Solomon built the Temple first, and this project took seven years. He then built the king's house and the other structures and courts that made up the Temple area. The entire project took about twenty years to complete. The New Testament does not give us as much instruction as to the meaning of the Temple as it does the Tabernacle. Some see the Tabernacle as a picture of Christ in His humility on earth, and the Temple as a type of His present ministry in glory, building that "holy Temple" of living stones. Others feel the Tabernacle typifies our pilgrim life today, while the Temple (a permanent building) typifies our glorious reign with Christ when He returns. It is sad that the Jews trusted the presence of their Temple instead of the promises of the Lord; for in less than 500 years the Temple was destroyed, as the Jews went into captivity for their sins. Chapter 8 records the dedication of the magnificent Temple. God had filled the Temple with His glory when the Ark was brought in. Solomon addressed the people and reminded them of God's faithfulness to keep His promises. Then he prayed to the Lord on behalf of his family; for those who had sinned; the Gentile strangers; and the exiled nations. The key thought of Solomon's prayer was that God might hear the cries and be merciful to them, in spite of their sins. Solomon realized that the condition of Israel's heart was more important than the presence of the Temple. He knew that sin would bring chastening, but repentance would bring forgiveness and blessing.