“And upon the top of the pillars was lily work.”
— 1 Kings 7:22
The pillars of Solomon’s temple have been considered by many commentators as “emblematic of the Church of God” (see 1 Timothy 3:15b). Individual Christians are also designated as “pillars” in Galatians 2:9 and Revelation 3:12.
It would seem that these cunningly carved works of art, the beautiful ornamental columns that stood at the entrance of Solomon’s temple, spoke symbolically of the adorning graces of the Holy Spirit in the lives of the saved. The fruitful beauty of holiness, and the reflected glory of the risen Savior are typified in the carved chains of pomegranates and the delicate “lily work.”
Yet, this most gorgeous and precious ornamentation was reserved for the top of the pillar. Again there is a symbolic significance. It is more important that God see the beauty of our impassioned commitment and the delicate symmetry of our Christian maturity than that men be able so see it and praise us for it.
We must be more concerned with the hidden work of God in molding our character and holiness and the little acts of devotion that only God may see, than with the outward show of religion that men may praise.
It is said that the handwriting of Napoleon caused him to lose the battle of Waterloo. One of his generals could not read with clarity and comprehension the message that he sent to him. Was it “Bataille Engagee” (battle is on), or “Bataille Gagnee” (battle is won)? The man who headed Napoleon’s rear guard chose the latter meaning. Therefore, not believing it necessary to press forward with haste, he arrived too late. All this came as the result of the curl of a letter—a pen stroke that was not legible.
In other words, the defeat of the Emperor was due to his scrawling handwriting. So, too, it is the tiny, intricate things of the Christian life of which we have to be so careful. It is the “little foxes” that often spoil our spiritual vineyard. If you are a pillar in the church watch the “lily work.”