Today’s Bible reading has Solomon (1 Kings 5-6) working to bring the idea of a temple from the planning stage into a reality.
What a momentous undertaking, the natural resources needed from word, stone cut in quarries far away, but also a huge need for manpower.
5:13-King Solomon conscripted laborers from all Israel–thirty thousand men. He sent them off to Lebanon in shifts of ten thousand a month, so that they spent one month in Lebanon and two months at home.
Two things stand out to me as salient. One, Samuel was absolutely right when he foretold the struggles which would ensue from having a king. Turning over leadership to an earthly king instead of a heavenly Father came at a price. Secondly, as Solomon sought to honor God and use godly wisdom he had to build with his brothers, the workers in mind. He showed concern for the families of the workers realizing that when the family starts falling apart, the nation isn’t far behind. For those who are ambitious, there is a desire to build—building a bigger following, more recognition, greater ministries, etc. Yet, we must take heed of Solomon’s wisdom, our success comes only through the success of others, not at their expense. Ultimately, it is only as we are honoring God, valuing what he values, and loving who he loves that we have hope of building anything enduring.