ON THE MOUNTAIN OF THE LORD...When Abraham obeyed God’s call to sacrifice his son on a mountain, God provided a ram instead. Abraham prophesied “On the mountain of the LORD it will be provided”. 2000 years later on the same mountain, Mount Moriah, the Son of God Himself was provided as the sacrifice.
About 1000 years after Abraham climbed Mount Moriah, 2 Samuel 24 records that King David purchased the very same site. After he built an altar to the Lord as instructed by an angel, King David gathered together a fortune in materials to build an elaborate temple to the Lord to worship Him there.
David wrote this to his son, Solomon, who would later complete the temple: “…I have taken great pains to provide for the temple of the Lord a hundred thousand talents of gold, a million talents of silver, quantities of bronze and iron too great to be weighed, and wood and stone. And you may add to them. You have many workers: stonecutters, masons and carpenters, as well as those skilled in every kind of work in gold and silver, bronze and iron—craftsmen beyond number. Now begin the work, and the Lord be with you…” 2Chronicles 22:13-16.
100,000 talents of gold, at 75 pounds a talent, adds up to a whopping 7,500,000 pounds of gold alone. This month gold is trading at $1,350 an ounce, which would make 100,000 talents of gold worth $162,000,000.00 (162 billion dollars!) At the current trading price of $16.76 per ounce for silver, 1,000,000 talents of silver or 75,000,000 lbs, that’s another staggering $20,112,000,000 worth of silver. (20 billion, 112 million dollars) That’s a total of $182,112,000.00 (182 billion, 112 million dollars) in gold and silver alone, by current prices. And that’s not even counting the bronze and iron in amounts too great to be weighed!
“Then Solomon began to build the temple of the Lord in Jerusalem on Mount Moriah, where the Lord had appeared to his father David. It was on the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite, the place provided by David. He began building on the second day of the second month in the fourth year of his reign.” 2Chronicles 3:1-2.
This is certainly timely scripture for us today. If we move past the confines of this world, and follow God’s calendar, beginning with the first month as He appointed in Exodus 12:1, April 18th on our 2018 Gregorian calendar is the second day of His second month, the 3000th or so anniversary for the beginning construction of Solomon’s Temple.
According to 1 Kings 6:38, it was built on Mount Moriah in Jerusalem and it took 7 years to complete. King Solomon prayed these words at the dedication ceremonies of the temple in 1 Kings 8:27-28. “But will God really dwell on earth? The heavens, even the highest heaven, cannot contain you. How much less this temple I have built! Yet give attention to your servant’s prayer and his plea for mercy, Lord my God. Hear the cry and the prayer that your servant is praying in your presence this day.”
Solomon was right. His Temple couldn’t contain the Almighty. The grand and glorious site was destroyed and rebuilt again, with work also beginning again in God’s appointed 2nd month. Solomon’s question “Will God really dwell on earth?” would be answered over 900 years later with the dedication of the infant Jesus in the rebuilt Second Temple. Later, during a Passover, teaching in the same Temple, He would amaze religious sages at the age of 12 with his teachings. “I must be about my Father’s business…” in Luke 2:49.
At the beginning of His three-year ministry many years later, Jesus again got the attention of the Jews near another Passover feast when He drove the money changers with their sacrifices from the Temple, in John 2:13-17. He announced to one and all, “Destroy this temple, and I will raise it up again in three days.”
Jesus also expressed His great love and grief for His people, and predicted the demise of the very Temple and city they stood in. “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing. Look, your house is left to you desolate. For I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.’" Matthew 23:37-39.
Fulfilling the words of Jesus, the Romans once again destroyed the Temple in 70AD. Nothing physically remains now except the Western Wall, which was built as a retaining wall on the mountain for the large stone structures that were built on the top. Known as the “Wailing Wall”, it has been a place for prayer for the Jews for many centuries.
Today, Mount Moriah is not actually a single mountain top, but an elongated ridge that rises on the southern end of current day Jerusalem and continues past the Muslim Temple Mount. It stretches northeast past the present Damascus Gate of the Old City. Historically, the location and name of Mount Zion was used interchangeably with Mount Moriah to refer to the area of the Temple Mount where the Dome of the Rock Shrine currently sits.
Indeed, The Almighty has never really stopped building temples. Jesus said of Himself in Luke 11:31: “Now one greater than Solomon is here…” And He’s paid the ultimate price for His Temple, more precious than $182,112,000.00 (182 billion, 112 million dollars) in gold and silver! “Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy that person; for God’s temple is sacred, and you together are that temple.” 1 Corinthians 3:16-17.
Yes, the veil of the Temple has been rent, and mankind has been invited in to testify that Jesus is the Son of God! “When Jesus died, the curtain in the Temple was torn into two pieces. The tear started at the top and tore all the way to the bottom. The army officer who was standing there in front of the cross saw what happened when Jesus died. The officer said, ‘This man really was the Son of God!’” Mark 15:38-39.
It’s interesting to note that the officer could see the outer curtain of the temple as it ripped in two. There is only one place where this would have been physically possible: from the top of Golgotha, on Mount Moriah. Located only 1000 or so feet from the northern ancient Sheep Gate where the lamb sacrifices entered, it fits with God’s pattern for the location of His perfect sacrifice. “And he shall kill it (the sacrifice) on the side of the altar northward before the LORD.” Leviticus 1, 11.
Still, there is absolutely no way to know exactly where Jesus was crucified and buried. And quite honestly, if there were, religious folks would have enshrined the location by now, just like they have done to countless other Biblical sites. But isn’t it just like the Father to remove from our midst any possible physical worship that would detract from true worship “in spirit and truth”!
There have also been questions posed as to exactly how much of Jerusalem Mount Moriah encompasses, and whether Jesus was technically crucified within its boundaries. But for those of us who have learned how mindful God is of the smallest of details, we already know the answers. And we don't need physical proof to back it up. Because the ultimate sacrifice for all the sins of every single human who has ever walked planet Earth was provided on God’s chosen mount, once and for all, just like Genesis 22:14 pronounced.
ON THE MOUNTAIN OF THE LORD IT WILL BE PROVIDED.