2 Chronicles 3
All I saw in this chapter was gold, gold, gold. Gold on the floors, gold on the ceilings, gold on the walls. Gold, gold everywhere. It must have been something to walk into that dazzling temple, with every surface sparkling and shining. It must have been incredible to walk into the Most Holy Place (if you were the high priest) and see the wings of the sculptured cherubim spanning the room from wall to wall.
But of all the descriptions of gold overlays in the temple, did you notice that none of them were on the outside? The chapter described the porch and its pillars, but never mentioned that any gold was used there. That seemed a little odd. If you were building your temple on a mountain, wouldn’t you also want to layer the outside in gold, so it could glisten in the sun and be seen for miles around?
But, the fact that all the gold was reserved for the interior of the temple made me think of this verse from Isaiah: "He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him." (Isa 53:2)
Perhaps the golden interior of the Lord’s temple was a symbol of the beauty that resides inside the heart of God, and its plain exterior was symbolic of the fact that God doesn’t use gimmicks to attract us to Him. He wants us to be drawn to Him because of the pure beauty of His character—His honesty, love, compassion, and justice.
Perhaps it was Solomon—who began his reign by being concerned about his own personal integrity—who understood that God’s true power lies in His character. He does not draw us to Himself by displays of strength and majesty, but by the wonder of who He is. He may, like Solomon’s temple, even appear plain and unassuming on the outside. But step one foot inside and, just like looking into God’s heart, all you’ll see is beauty. Everywhere you turn, glory. Everywhere you look, pure gold.