As soon as Hiram heard the words of Solomon, he rejoiced greatly and said, “Blessed be the Lord this day, who has given to David a wise son to be over this great people.” And Hiram sent to Solomon, saying, “I have heard the message that you have sent to me. I am ready to do all you desire in the matter of cedar and cypress timber. My servants shall bring it down to the sea from Lebanon, and I will make it into rafts to go by sea to the place you direct. And I will have them broken up there, and you shall receive it. And you shall meet my wishes by providing food for my household.” So Hiram supplied Solomon with all the timber of cedar and cypress that he desired, while Solomon gave Hiram 20,000 cors of wheat as food for his household, and 20,000 cors of beaten oil. Solomon gave this to Hiram year by year. And the Lord gave Solomon wisdom, as he promised him. And there was peace between Hiram and Solomon, and the two of them made a treaty. I Kings 5:7-12 ESV
Now there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon, and this man was righteous and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. And he came in the Spirit into the temple, and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him according to the custom of the Law, he took him up in his arms and blessed God and said,
“Lord, now you are letting your servant depart in peace,
according to your word;
for my eyes have seen your salvation
that you have prepared in the presence of all peoples,
a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
and for glory to your people Israel.” Luke 2:25-32 ESV
A lighthouse is a high tower with a light that flashes from the top. Lighthouses are still used to help ships and even planes know where they are and which way to go. A lighthouse can mark hazardous shorelines or other dangerous parts of the landscape so that a ship will steer clear of rocks or reefs that could cause it to sink. It also is a landmark to help the ship’s pilot know where the ship is. The oldest lighthouse in the world is called the Tower of Hercules. It is over 180 feet tall and stands in northwestern Spain. It was built at the time of the Roman empire in the first century, and it is still being used today to help signal and guide ships.
When Solomon built the temple, it wasn’t only the people of Israel who knew about it. Solomon got help from a neighboring king, Hiram, and his country, Tyre. Because of David and Solomon, Hiram knew about the true God. He felt happy and honored to help in the building project. He thanked God for Solomon and his wisdom and didn’t waste any time sending cedar and cypress trees for wood and floating them on rafts on the Mediterranean Sea to the land of Israel. People from King Hiram’s country did the work of cutting down the trees and also breaking them into boards to build with. God’s temple was a little like a lighthouse, shining out the faith of the people of Israel in their God and of the wonderful things he had done for them. Other nations would hear about the true God because of the temple.
Many years later there was another temple in Jerusalem, and Mary and Joseph brought the baby Jesus to that temple. An old man named Simeon came to see the baby, and he knew that at last, at the end of his life, he was seeing the promised Savior. He called Jesus a light for the Gentiles–the people who were not part of Israel–and the glory of God’s people Israel. Jesus is God’s true temple. He is God, and we can always find God’s love and forgiveness in him. He is a lighthouse that tells of God’s goodness to all people in the world. He died on the cross to give all people forgiveness and bring them back to their heavenly Father.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for sending Jesus to show the world your goodness and love and to bring us back to you. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.