According to the Cambridge Dictionary the foundation stone is defined as “a large block of stone that is put in position at the start of work on a public building, often with a ceremony.”1 The historian wrote “… the king commanded them to quarry large stones, costly stones, and hewn stones, to lay the foundation of the temple.” (1 Kings 5:16-17 NKJV)
All the structures comprising the temple area, from the outside to the large courtyard and from the bedrock to the roof, were made of quarried rock, cut to size and “hewn” on both their inner and outer faces. The foundations were laid with large choice stones, some measuring ten cubits (4.57 meters / 15 feet) and some eight (3.66 meters / 12 feet). Having been ‘prefabricated’, the Bible goes on to say that the stones were then transported to the temple area in a quiet way as to show respect for the sacred site. No wonder that these stones were “large and costly” and especially the foundation stone. (I Kings 6:1-7)
Solomon used the very best materials and the most competent workers to build a dwelling place for the Lord, for above all, he wanted to please God.
The Cambridge Dictionary then expands it’s definition of the foundation stone to include a figurative meaning, referring to “the basic or important principles, ideas, facts, etc. on which something depends.”2 So as to accomplish anything worthwhile in life you must lay a choice foundation. Everything else is going to be affected if the foundation is not laid with the best materials and the finest proficiency.
Jesus said “[The wise man] is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. …” (Luke 6:48 NKJV). Those who are wise must build their lives upon the words and teachings of Jesus.
The apostle Paul added, that Jesus himself is the spiritual foundation upon which we are to build everything else in our lives. “For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.” (1 Corinthians 3:11 NKJV). The church has been bought with his blood, cleansed and sanctified through union with Him and indwelt by God’s Spirit.
While the psalmist wrote that: “The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; My God, my strength, in whom I will trust; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.” (Psalm 18:2 NKJV), this has been completely fulfilled in Jesus, the cornerstone and capstone of our faith.
In order to build something of enduring spiritual value, we must begin with the foundation provided by Jesus, who is Himself from everlasting to everlasting. And while some may take offence, He is for us the chief cornerstone, precious in God’s sight and also in ours.