While each of the twelve tribes of Israel had its own distinct culture, the Tabernacle was the centralized religious institution of national unity. Israelites would walk from all over to worship God. When they established a kingship, however, Israel’s priorities switched from religious to political unity. Well into Israel’s golden age of economic prosperity, King Solomon inaugurated the Temple, built cities, established a kingdom and forged the nation of Israel as a global player. It was here when things turned, and their focus went from God to government. While the Temple was indeed a centralized religious institution, immaculate in splendor and architectural brilliance, it nevertheless became iconic or synonymous with the splendor of Israel’s golden age – a product of human achievement. Yet, with all that said, if we stay focused on God and substitute political for spiritual unity, I can’t help but see a parallel to how God, like a king building his kingdom, uses us to build His eternal Kingdom, on earth as it is in Heaven. Center your focus on God, and the Kingdom will come.
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