Sunday, September 07, 2008
Within the story of King Solomon building the temple of the Lord and the royal palace, there are four verses that are somewhat different than all that is around them. In 1 Kings we are told of the wealth, skill and time that it took for Solomon’s building projects. We are told of the planning of the temple and the arrangements for labor. Thirty thousand men sent here, seventy thousand sent there, eighty thousand stonecutters. We are told about the building of the temple and the gold and all the nations that contribute. The scripture gives us details about the temple furnishings and all the wealth that was placed within, bronze pillars, the Sea of cast metal and twelve bulls on which it was placed. 1 Kings continues with the golden alter, the golden table, the pure gold lamp stands. The Ark of the Covenant is brought to the temple as a great festival takes place among the people. God appears to Solomon two times, the temple is dedicated and God moves in with a cloud. The whole world comes to visit including the Queen of Sheba. Within all this, four verses tell of King Solomon giving twenty towns in Galilee to Hiram king of Tyre, 1 Kings 9: 10-14. Can you imagine the thoughts of the citizenry when they were given a way? During a great move of God and a time of national celebration they are used as payment for construction. To add insult to injury King Hiram is not pleased, he tells Solomon “What kind of towns are these you have given me, my brother?” And he called them the Land of Cabul. Cabul means good for nothing. I believe that at times we all feel like we are good for nothing. I look around at the talented and accomplished people at my church and the wonderful work that God is doing through them and I feel insignificant. But these four verses give me hope, for out of the land that was “good for nothing” came beauty, glory, grace and truth. Out of Galilee came one who was greater than the temple, (Matthew 12: 6), and greater than King Solomon, (Matthew 12: 42). So we should not feel insignificant. Out of our lives can come great beauty. We are qualified to be last of all. We are qualified to be servant of all. We are qualified to sit in the last chair. We are qualified to wash others feet. We are qualified to weep with those who weep and to laugh with those who laugh. Rejoice! Be glad, for we are like our master. We are Galileans! “We are weak in him, yet by God’s power we will live with him to serve you.” 2 Corinthians 13: 4. “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5: 3. I pray the remaining years that I have left on earth that something beautiful will come of it.