Vol. 10 — No. 50 December 14, 1969
2 Chronicles 3:15-17
Also he made before the house two pillars of thirty and five cubits high, and the chapiter that was on the top of each of them was five cubits. And he made chains, as in the oracle, and put them on the heads of the pillars; and an hundred pomegranates, and put them on the chains. And he reared up the pillars before the temple, one on the right hand, and the other on the left; and called the name of that on the right hand Jachin, and the name of that on the left Boaz.
In Christ Jesus, our ever faithful Savior-God who inspires our response of faith in Him, Fellow Redeemed:
“I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the Lord.” Ps. 122:1. So the Old Testament believer sang as he walked in the band of pilgrims, joyously making his way to the temple at Jerusalem on one of the great holy days. The temple was more than a national meeting place for worship unto the Lord. It was the symbol of the living and gracious presence of God among His people. What was thus symbolized by the entire temple area, but especially by the Sanctuary, became gracious fact and reality when the mystery of godliness was revealed in the natural birth of a supernaturally conceived Child—the Child called Immanuel, “With us God!”
Living as we do so many centuries after those childhood years of the Kingdom, we may fail to realize that much of Old Testament worship was symbolic. For example, the high priest acted and functioned as the spiritual head of the nation, as the mediator between God and His people. In every way and manner his person, his vestments, his duties, his religious functions were symbolic of the one Mediator to come who sprinkled not the blood of a goat on the mercy seat but who presented His blood at the throne of grace as an eternal atonement for all sin.
The Old Testament believers lived and moved and worshiped amidst symbols that keep on pointing to blessed realities to come. Some symbols proclaimed eternal truths. Our text directs our attention to two such. When the Old Testament believer completed his journey to Jerusalem, hastening towards the city walls, through the gates, then up the narrow streets to the temple area, passing through the temple gates, there would appear before his eye “the golden house” of the Sanctuary in all its magnificence and symbolic meaning. Before the Sanctuary was the porch with its massive columns supporting the root. But directly in the center, so as to rivet the attention and attract the eye of the worshiper, were two massive columns, which with their chapiters reached heavenward some forty-five feet. It appears from the sacred account that they were detached from the actual Sanctuary, having no particular architectural function, but having rather symbolical significance, as indicated by their names: The right pillar was “Jachin” and the left pillar was “Boaz.” No worshiper could help but see those massive pillars. No worshiper could help but be impressed. If a worshiper did not understand, he could not but inquire and then reverently bow his head before their silent testimony:
But what do the symbolic names of those pillars proclaim about our God?
The function of a pillar is to give support to the building. Jachin stood there, massive and ornate before the porch of the Sanctuary which symbolized the presence of the living God. He wasn’t there as part of the architectural plan to support the building, but rather to testify that the Lord God, whose presence was symbolized by the Sanctuary, supports His people here on earth.
That glorious truth, to which Jachin silently testified, was known to David as a shepherd lad when he ran across the valley to meet Goliath. The odds-makers would have given David little chance that day, but David knew his God. He said to the Philistine: “Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the Lord of hosts…This day will the Lord deliver thee into mine hand…for the battle is the Lord’s.” (I Sam. 17:45-47) David knew his God as Jachin, the One who supports His people.
David taught his people to sing of the Lord as Jachin: “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea,” And if at times we do fear and tremble in weakness because we forget that our God is Jachin, He says to us: “Be still, and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46)
The Lord Jesus was speaking as Jachin when He said to Peter, the twelve, and all believers of all times: “Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” (Matthew 16:18) How could the gates of hell prevail against anything that our God supports? For it Jachin, our God, be for us, who can be against us?
That pillar symbolized the living God reaching down from heaven into the affairs of men, giving His support to His own. What Comfort! But we dare not overlook the support that is indicated by the ornate chapiters of Jachin. About the chapiters were pomegrantes and lilies, the flower and the fruit of the Land of Promise, symbolizing the pure beauty and rich sweetness of the Lord’s holiness. We are conditioned by much teaching to think chiefly of the holiness of our God as a consuming fire against sin—as it is indeed. But that is but one side of it. The other side is the beauty of holiness and the rich sweetness of divine love that graciously pardons the guilty sinner. Jachin establishes and supports us shame-faced, guilt-ridden sinners. How? Isaiah put it this way: “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall he as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall he as wool.” (Isaiah 1:18) Jesus put it this way: “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest…rest unto your souls.” (Matt. 11:28-30) Paul put it this way: “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus.” (Rom. 8:1) John put it this way: “The blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.” (I John 1:7) These are the words of our Jachin-God: He supports us in the area in which our need for support is the greatest.
Think of what this testimony of Jachin means for us this day—ten years later. Some of the heroes of faith who worshiped in praise and prayer ten years ago, who answered the call to take a stand on the Lord’s side and who responded with their voice, vote, strength, property, and goods are here no longer. They have made that final journey through the valley of the shadow of death. But they traveled not alone. Their Jachin-God was with them—each one of them. The rod and staff of His Word assured them of support. Was what we did ten years ago worth it—all the heartache, the tears that strong men were unashamed to weep, the tearing asunder of family ties, the expense in time and effort? Was it worth it? Those that have gone on ahead of us would, if they could, assure us: It was well worth it! Any cross, no matter how grievous, is worth it if it is borne for the sake of our Jachin-God. And it becomes easy to bear, for He supports!
He supports! Let Jachin remind us this day: He supports! Ten years ago we met in a strange little church; this day a new house of worship is under construction. Ten years ago we were one of many unorganized groups of spiritual refugees scattered over many states; this day we are an organized church body, established and functioning. Ten years ago our young people went to school in an abandoned school house in Mankato; this day we look forward to the use and dedication of two new buildings on a beautiful campus at Eau Claire. Ten years ago they said we couldn’t survive because we had no supply of pastors; today we are training young men and sending our experienced men into areas that we never dreamed of ten years ago: Houston and Corpus Christi, Texas, Los Angeles and San Francisco, California, Seattle, Washington, and West Columbia, South Carolina. How has this been possible? How did it all come about? Let us confess this day: “With might of ours can naught be done, Soon were our loss effected.” What is the answer to the success that we have experienced? This, and this alone: that the Lord our God is as He was of old—our Jachin-God. He supports! His Kingdom comes. His will is done. Hallelujah! Praise the Lord!
But all is not success. We do not carry off the victory with each sally forth. There is disappointment. There is weakness. There is faintheartedness. There are days when we whimper with Elijah: “It is enough; now, O Lord, take away my life; for I am not better than my fathers.” (I Kings 19:4) Our Jachin-God knew there would be such days. That is why He gave instruction for the construction of the second pillar before the Sanctuary for all to see, for it proclaimed a message for the weary warrior of the Lord.
Our God is Boaz. “In Him is strength!” Oh how children of God of all ages have run to Him for strength, crying out: “The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah!” So David taught the congregation to turn to their Boaz-God. He had learned that secret already in his youth when he learned to pray: “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.” (Psalm 23:1) How can I lack anything if I have the Lord, for “In Him is Strength!” When King Nebuchadnezzar in his royal fury threatened Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego with horrible death in the fiery furnace, they were able to maintain their composure for they knew their God as Boaz. They told the king, “We are not full of care to give you an answer. If so be—if it be His will—our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace.” (Dan. 3:17) They found quiet strength and courage in that hour of fiery trial because they leaned the more heavily upon their Boaz-God. In Him is strength! St. Paul knew His Savior as Boaz. In quiet confidence he wrote to the Philippians: “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” (4:13) He glorified his Boaz-God in his letter to the Romans. In open defiance to all his enemies he could issue the challenge: “If God be for us, who can be against us?” He could issue that challenge because he was able to say: “I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 8:38-39) Paul knew his God as Boaz, for in Him truly is an unending and untiring source of strength.
Today may he a happy day for you—carefree, joyous, confident in faith. Tomorrow may bring sadness, sickness, failure, bitterness, death. Today your congregation is strong, healthy, successful. The future may bring new days of testing, for whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth. Whether the day be good or evil for you as an individual or you as a Christian congregation, your God always remains Boaz. In Him is strength. At times we may need to refresh ourselves with those endless waves of grace and mercy pounding in upon us with the roar of assurance: Your sin is pardoned! Your guilt is removed! Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed upon you that you should he called the sons of God and heirs of heaven! At times when we preach and teach and seem to see so few or no results, we must remind ourselves that we are but sowers—sowing the living Word in our families, among our relatives and friends, in our classrooms and churches, through our printed sermons and periodicals. The responsibility for the harvest is always the Lord’s. At times the cause may seem lost, but we are to be reminded that His is the Kingdom and the power and the glory. Always our God is there as a very present help in time of trouble.
Close your eyes a moment and visualize the Sanctuary of old with those massive pillars—Jachin on the right and Boaz on the left. Never let their message fade from your heart: “He supports.” “In Him is strength.” Amen.
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All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the King James Version.