“And for the house he made windows of narrow lights.” I Kings 6:4
From this verse, we know that there were windows in the temple, and that they were narrow. As I mentioned in the preface, the windows were connected to the wall as an integral part of it, therefore they seem to be included in the symbolic picture portrayed by the wall.
What would be the purpose of using narrow windows? We are not told specifically by scripture why they were used in the temple, but typically, you would use narrow windows where security is important and you don’t want anyone climbing in through a window; the windows being narrow enough that no one could fit through. The temple had only one way in, which was the door. In the spiritual temple, there is only one way in, through the “Door,” Jesus Christ. In John 10, Jesus says that thieves and robbers try to climb into the sheep fold some other way. If you are trying to get into the temple, into God’s presence any other way than through the “Door,” Jesus Christ, then God will consider you to be a thief of what He would freely give you. There is no other way in than through the door. It is impossible for you to come through any other way. You can not squeeze through. Jesus said, “I am the Way.” There is no other way.
Beyond this, consider that if you are in the temple, the enemy can not steal you away from God, because to do so he would have to go through the “Door.” We are secure in the house of God. Nothing can take those of us who are God’s children away from Him.
“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.” John 10:27,28
We know that it is appropriate to liken the temple to a sheepfold because of Psalm chapter 23 which begins by saying, “The Lord is my shepherd,” and ends with the sheep saying, “and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” What wonderful grace! The Shepherd cares so much for me, a sheep, that He would take me into His house to dwell, forever protected, and in His presence.
Another reason that narrow windows might be used in a building is to limit what people can see inside the building. Narrow windows could be used when you want people to see just enough to make them curious. God in His Word endeavors to give us a sampling of what He is like that we might have a desire to know Him more fully.
“O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.” Psalm 34:8
God quite possibly wanted people to catch enough of a glimpse of His glory in the temple that they would want to know more about Who was inside. The obvious function of the windows in the temple was to transmit light. I would propose that the primary function of the windows of the temple was likely not so much to let light into the temple so that the priests could see to minister; but that the windows were present to allow a bit of the brilliance of God’s glory to escape. The reason those bits of glorious light came streaming out of the windows would be so that the world in darkness might catch a glimpse of what an intensely glorious Person was present in the temple. God wanted the world to have a desire to know who He was.
First let’s look at the light Source that was in the temple and how it got there; then we will look at how that light shone forth.
When the temple was completed, and the Ark of the Covenant, representing Jesus Christ, was brought into the temple, the priests had to leave the temple because they could not bear to be in the intense presence of the glory of God inside.
“And it came to pass, when the priests were come out of the holy place, that the cloud filled the house of the Lord, So that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud: for the glory of the Lord had filled the house of the Lord.” I Kings 8:10,11
Now consider with me this fascinating verse:
“The entrance of thy words giveth light…” Psalm 119:130a
Evidence of the truth of this verse is seen when we think of the creation account. The first time that God’s Word entered creation, the Word said, “Let there be light.” The entrance of God’s Word gave light. When we are saved, we become a new creature, a new creation. The entrance of God’s Word into our hearts gives spiritual light.
In the realm of the temple, when it was a new creation, a new building, exactly the same thing happened. God’s words, contained in the Ark of the Covenant, made entrance into the temple, and the glory of God shone forth. We are the temple of God. When God’s Word, Jesus Christ, comes into our heart, there is light. Light reveals what could not be seen in the dark. God’s Word reveals things we did not understand before. The light of God’s Word shows us areas of our lives which need to change. It shows us the sin in our hearts. It shows us what that sin cost the Savior. It shows us wonderful things about God we didn’t understand before. God’s Word shows us things about other people we did not realize before, and many, many other things.
Christian, are you letting the light of God’s Word enter your heart every day, throughout the day, to shine and reveal what you need to see? How will you know where to go if you can not see? How will you know if you are heading the right direction if God’s Word does not illuminate your path? Take time to read God’s Word each day, make it a part of you and memorize it and meditate upon it. When God’s Word enters you, you will have light throughout the day. If you choose to ignore His Word, the day may be in vain since you will not be going the right way.
“Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” Psalm 119:105
Light gives hope when it shines forth. God’s Word gives hope where there was none before. The darker the night is, the more brightly even a small light shining forth is noticed. In this dark and hopeless world, nothing shines so brightly as the Word of the Savior spoken by one who believes on Him.
Jesus is the living Word of God. Since the Word of God is a “light unto my path,” Jesus is a light to those who are walking.
“I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” John 8:12b,c
What I have to say here may sound strange at first, but it seems that the temple building bears a fascinating likeness in design to a huge laser. Think with me for a moment of how a laser is made. There is a light source in the middle of it. In some lasers, the light source may involve use of a crystal or a gem of some sort. There is a mirrored enclosure around the light source which bounces the light back to the light source and causes the light to be further intensified, and there is a small aperture through which a narrow beam of light escapes. This narrow beam of light is a very pure color, and is intense, so intense that it can vaporize or melt even the hardest and most heat resistant materials.
Now think with me again about how the temple building seems to be similar to a laser. The glorious cloud in the temple appeared when the Word of God was in the midst of the temple. The Word was the source of light as seen in Psalm 119:130a “The entrance of thy words giveth light.” When we bring the living Word of God into our lives, He gives us light. Jesus, the living Word of God, is also the living Stone.We looked at verses in Daniel where He was shown as having a beryl-like stone body. Thus we see that similar to a laser, the source of light in the temple involves the use of a gem.
Where I work, we have a laser which is used to mark parts. It has a rectangular reflector box, which is plated with gold inside. This box reflects the rays of light back into the light source, which further intensifies the light that is emitted. The gold walls of the reflector box call to mind the gold walls, ceiling, and floor of the temple, which could act as reflecting surfaces. The word for gold that the Bible uses means shimmer.2 The light reflecting abilities of the metal seem to be emphasized. As we reflect on the words of God, we begin to realize that there is power in those words. The only way for us to have that power made available to us is through Christ; thus we see the light reflecting off the gold walls symbolizing what Christ has done for us. If it were not for Christ’s blood protecting our wooden selves and reflecting the glory of God, we would surely be burned up by God’s judgment. As our hearts lift up thanksgiving to God, intensely aware that it was for our sakes that He lived and died and rose again and gave us all that we have, God is glorified.
“For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God.” II Corinthians 4:15
The word “redound” means “to superabound, be in excess”1 God has made many types of promises to us in His Word. As we by faith believe God’s Word and bounce His Word back to Him in prayer, claiming His promises as our own through the sacrificial gift of Christ, we see the power of His Word becoming intensified in our hearts. When we see the Word of God, which is always true, fulfilled in our lives, we glorify God in thanksgiving, further intensifying the glorious light of His Word in our lives. This continues until the Words are so intense and superabundant in our hearts that they shoot out of the narrow aperture of our lips in a directed beam of pure light. The windows in the temple were not only narrow as we would normally think of narrow, but the word used for window seems to mean perforated .3 Perforations remind us of the aperture of a laser being a very small opening. The light of God’s Word is so intense and powerful in one’s heart that when it escapes through the aperture of the lips it can melt any heart no matter how hard, stone like, and heat-resistant it may be. This pure light of God’s Word is directed toward the lost. Have you allowed God’s Words to be intensified in your heart by acting in faith, believing God’s Word, and claiming what God has promised to you through the gift of Christ?
“The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.” Isaiah 9:2
As I considered the cloud that filled Solomon’s temple at its dedication, it occurred to me that I had read about a cloud elsewhere associated with God’s presence and God’s glory. The cloud was at the tabernacle when the children of Israel were in the wilderness. The cloud was over the tabernacle. It was seen as a cloud during the day and a pillar of fire by night. As I considered the pillar of fire and the light shining forth, I realized that this picture of a glorious cloud in the place where God dwells is all put together in the New Testament. It is a beautiful picture of how God’s presence is with each one of us. The tabernacle was God’s temporary house, we saw the cloud there; Solomon’s temple was God’s house, we saw the cloud there; and we are the house of God; let’s have a look at how the cloud is here with us today.
“Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” Matthew 5:14-16
“Ye are the light of the world.” This phrase makes it clear that we are to shine forth to all the world. But where was the city that was set on a hill that Christ is talking about here? Could it be that the city He was referring to was indeed an actual city that shone? Could it be that Jerusalem was this city and was at one time shining forth up on a hill like a candle on a candlestick? Perhaps the glory of God literally shot laser-like out of the perforations in the windows. Perhaps someday during the millennium it will. We have no way of knowing, but it was in the city of Jerusalem that the early church formed and the light of the gospel was launched out into all the world.
In these verses, Christ says, “ Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.” Notice here that the word house is used. The word house is often used to refer to the house of God. If we look at it with this in mind, the passage is saying that we should shine forth with the Word of God, glorifying God in the house of God. Does God’s Word shine in your heart? Is your heart a bright place in the presence of God when you are alone? Do you share glorious and bright things from God’s Word with other believers when you are in the house of God gathered together with them? The next thing that Christ says in this passage is that we should shine our light in the same way before men, in other words, before those who are not believers.
Shortly after Christ ascended from the earth, the early church was gathered together in Jerusalem. The following verses explain what happened next:
“And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost…” Acts 2:2-4a
This was the beginning of the new temple, the temple of the church. The Spirit of God left the temple building, and entered His new temple, which consisted of each believer. It says that “they were all filled with the Holy Ghost.” The tongues of fire over each individual were mini clouds manifested in the fire form similar to how the pillar of fire was over the tabernacle by night. Although we don’t have this visible sign today, we know that the Spirit of God dwells in each person who is a child of God. The Spirit of God is present in the house of God today.
When we think of each person having a tongue of fire sitting above him, and what that would have looked like, we realize that these people were very much literally candle-like. The candles shone and gave light to all that were in the house of God. They were on the temple mount in Jerusalem, the city on a hill that can not be hid, even like on a candlestick. And we see them going forth the next day and shining before men from all nations even to the point that about three thousand people believed on Christ as their Savior. They did not hide that light within them, but put it on a candlestick even as the Lord had admonished, and God’s glory shone forth as His Word entered three thousand new members of the temple. When we compare this passage to Matthew 5:14-16, we see the Words of Christ carried out and fulfilled. Has this been carried out in your life? Have you shined the light of God’s Word in the house of God? Have you shined it before all men? It is not something that we can do in our own strength. The people who were members of the new church in Jerusalem obviously received power from the Holy Ghost. What is your source of power? Just as we have no power to provide salvation to ourselves, we have no power to bring the message of salvation to others, but must rely on God for direction, boldness and strength. We need to be willing to carry out God’s will as He leads us.
“For thou wilt light my candle: the Lord my God will enlighten my darkness.” Psalm 18:28
This verse emphasizes that it is God who lights our candle. The believers in the early church did nothing in their own strength to light the tongue of fire above their heads. God is the source of energy and light.
As you read the following verses, think of the tongues of fire above the heads of the early church as they were in Jerusalem on that occasion. In the future, this same type of event will take place when Christ comes to rule the earth and reestablish His temple in Jerusalem. It is this glorious event that the following verses describe.
“Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee. For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee. And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising.” Isaiah 60:1-3
Until that day when Christ comes, we need to let the light which is within us shine to all the world.
“But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.” Proverbs 4:18
Is your light increasing more and more? The glory of God’s presence was in Solomon’ s temple from the time of the dedication of the temple until Ezekiel witnessed the glory departing just before Israel went into captivity for their sin of idolatry. It makes one wonder how they could have strayed into idolatry when God’s presence was so real. Israel had turned their focus away from the God whose glory was in the temple. They were focused on themselves and on false gods. Are you focused on God’s presence in your life? Are you focused on His Word and bouncing the Word of God back to Him that His glory might be intensified? The world is looking for the light. Let God’s glory become so intensified in your heart that it bursts forth from the window of your lips and melts the hearts of the lost. Are those people you come in contact with, who live their lives in spiritual darkness, able to catch a glimpse of the glory of God within your heart?
“For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” 2 Corinthians 4:6