The Pillars of Our Faith
Yael Eckstein | May 12, 2023
He erected the pillars at the portico of the temple. The pillar to the south he named Jakin and the one to the north Boaz. The capitals on top were in the shape of lilies. And so the work on the pillars was completed. — 1 Kings 7:21–22
Undoubtedly, one of the most fascinating topics to Christians and Jews is the Holy Temple—its significance to Jewish worship in biblical times and what Judaism teaches about the building of a Third Temple in the future. This is one of six devotions looking at different aspects of the Temple and its inherent lessons for us all.
On the doorpost of every Jewish home, and even on every doorframe in each house, you will find a mezuzah. A mezuzah is a small parchment scroll inscribed with two passages from Deuteronomy describing faith in God and the importance of serving Him faithfully. The scroll is rolled up and put in a case and mounted on the doorpost. The significance of the mezuzah is that anyone entering is reminded of God.
The message is that this home is a place of faith.
Interestingly, according to Jewish law, the door of a synagogue does not need to have a mezuzah. This may seem strange, but it actually makes perfect sense. Since the entire building is dedicated to faith, there is no need for the message of the mezuzah.
The Pillars of Our Faith
When King Solomon built the Temple, as we read about in the Book of 1 Kings, he wanted to put a message on the doorway, as well. In chapter 7, we read about the two giant pillars, about 27-feet high and 18-feet wide, that King Solomon erected at the entrance to the Temple: “He erected the pillars at the portico of the temple. The pillar to the south he named Jakin and the one to the north Boaz. The capitals on top were in the shape of lilies. And so the work on the pillars was completed.”
The obvious question here is why King Solomon named the pillars. But if we look at the meaning of the names, we can understand the message that he wanted to send to all who visited the Temple to worship God.
Jakin means “He will establish,” as in “I will establish his kingdom forever” (1 Chronicles 28:7), and Boaz means “In him is strength,” as in “The LORD gives strength to His people” (Psalm 29:11). Jakin symbolizes eternity; Boaz represents omnipotence. Both are fundamental characteristics of God.
But the eternity of God’s kingdom and the strength found in Him were not the only messages King Solomon was sending. As the verse states, each pillar was capped with a lily (or rose), a symbol of love, as in, “Like a lily among thorns is my darling among the young women” (Song of Songs 2:2).
King Solomon wanted everyone to understand that along with God’s eternity and strength, He is also a God of love and beauty—the pillars of our faith.
Remember that God is eternal—He gives us strength, and He does so with love. These are the pillars of faith on which we can rely.