When I was in Israel some weeks ago, we were standing on the Temple Mount. As you may know, where the temple stood there is now a Muslim mosque (the Dome of the Rock). The Temple Mount area is militarily controlled by the Israelis, but the “holy places” of the mount are monitored by the Muslims. And, it is source of intense tension.
Our wonderful guide, Avi, was explaining to us that most scholars believe the actual site of the temple to be forty feet to the right of the Dome of the Rock. We walked to the spot where we would have been standing right before the entrance. And then, in hushed tones for fear of being heard (and stopped) by the Muslim guards, Avi began to describe the temple to us.
“And then, of course,” he said, “right in front of the temple on the porch were the two pillars, Jachin and Boaz.” We could almost see it. Thousands of years after Solomon built the temple, Avi is, as a Jew, still recounting and picturing in his mind’s eyes these two stately pillars leading into the presence of God.
Scholars debate the meaning of these pillars. The name “Jachin” means “He will establish,” and the name “Boaz” means roughly “in it is strength.” Strength and stability.
The pillars were the first thing you saw as you entered this holy place which was the entrance to the manifest presence of God. The meaning is debated, but it could easily be understood that God put right at the entrance this reminder: “I am the One (and the only One) who will establish My kingdom. And I will do it not in the strength of man, but in My strength.”
Like the small mizzuzah you notice on the doorpost of every Jewish home, containing the Shema (“Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one”), these pillars were designed to stand as constant, visible reminders of God.
Rebuilding the Pillars
We need Jachin and Boaz at the entrance to our homes, our ministries, our workplaces. As easy forgetters, we quickly think that what has been accomplished was our initiation, done by our hands. But it is not.
Every good and perfect gift comes from above, James tells us; and the psalmist adds, “Unless the LORD builds the house, they labor in vain who build it” (Psalm 127:1).
We should keep these pillars as the first thing we see each morning and the last thing we see at night. All that is being accomplished, including our very lives, is by the hand and strength of God. If it’s not—if it’s merely our work—Jesus said it is “wood, hay, and straw” and will not be standing at the end of the day (1 Corinthians 3:10-15).
We must live to get into the posture to experience this, and we should never forget and should consistently proclaim this truth. It is part of the humility that breeds revival.
Everything of lasting value has been established by God. And He alone deserves the glory.