Satan does all he can to hinder the work of God’s temple,
but when he is withheld for a time,
we should be extra zealous in that which is good that we might carry it forward to completion (Acts 9:31).
I Kings 1
1 And Hiram king of Tyre sent his servants unto Solomon; for he had heard that they had anointed him king in the room of his father: for Hiram was ever a lover of David.
2 And Solomon sent to Hiram, saying,
3 Thou knowest how that David my father could not build an house unto the name of the LORD his God for the wars which were about him on every side, until the LORD put them under the soles of his feet.
4 But now the LORD my God hath given me rest on every side, so that there is neither adversary nor evil occurrent.
5 And, behold, I purpose to build an house unto the name of the LORD my God, as the LORD spake unto David my father, saying, Thy son, whom I will set upon thy throne in thy room, he shall build an house unto my name.
6 Now therefore command thou that they hew me cedar trees out of Lebanon; and my servants shall be with thy servants: and unto thee will I give hire for thy servants according to all that thou shalt appoint: for thou knowest that there is not among us any that can skill to hew timber like unto the Sidonians.
7 ¶ And it came to pass, when Hiram heard the words of Solomon, that he rejoiced greatly, and said, Blessed be the LORD this day, which hath given unto David a wise son over this great people.
8 And Hiram sent to Solomon, saying, I have considered the things which thou sentest to me for: and I will do all thy desire concerning timber of cedar, and concerning timber of fir.
9 My servants shall bring them down from Lebanon unto the sea: and I will convey them by sea in floats unto the place that thou shalt appoint me, and will cause them to be discharged there, and thou shalt receive them: and thou shalt accomplish my desire, in giving food for my household.
10 So Hiram gave Solomon cedar trees and fir trees according to all his desire.
11 And Solomon gave Hiram twenty thousand measures of wheat for food to his household, and twenty measures of pure oil: thus gave Solomon to Hiram year by year.
12 And the LORD gave Solomon wisdom, as he promised him: and there was peace between Hiram and Solomon; and they two made a league together.
13 ¶ And king Solomon raised a levy out of all Israel; and the levy was thirty thousand men.
14 And he sent them to Lebanon, ten thousand a month by courses: a month they were in Lebanon, and two months at home: and Adoniram was over the levy.
15 And Solomon had threescore and ten thousand that bare burdens, and fourscore thousand hewers in the mountains;
16 Beside the chief of Solomon’s officers which were over the work, three thousand and three hundred, which ruled over the people that wrought in the work.
17 And the king commanded, and they brought great stones, costly stones, and hewed stones, to lay the foundation of the house.
18 And Solomon’s builders and Hiram’s builders did hew them, and the stonesquarers: so they prepared timber and stones to build the house.
I Kings – J. Vernon McGee
1 Kings 4:29-34; 5:1-6 – The Wise King’s Great Purpose
David, before his death, had made great preparations for building the Temple, but had not been permitted to proceed with its construction. “Thou didst well in that it was in thine heart” (2 Chronicles 6:8). God credits us with what we would have done, had it been in our power. But now war on every side had been exchanged for peace, and the time for temple-building had come. A great principle is here involved which has many applications.
It is true of the Church at large. When the Church throughout all Judea and Galilee had peace, it was edified; and as it walked in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, it was multiplied, Acts 9:31. When the love of God reigns amid professing Christians, and they neither war against nor vex each other, then the world believes, and the very Hirams help to build.
It is also true of the inner life. The days of peace are those in which the heart thrives. See I Thessalonians 5:23, and Hebrews 13:20. God is not in the earthquake nor in the fire, but in the “still small voice” (1 Kings 19:12). Cultivate a quiet heart, as did Mary, at the feet of Christ. It will result in deeds to be spoken of throughout the whole world, Luke 10:39 and Matthew 26:13.
1 Kings 5:4—Now the LORD my God hath given me rest on every side.
God is the Rest Giver, When He surrounds us on every side with his protecting care, so that our life resembles one of the cities of the Netherlands in the great war inaccessible to the foe because surrounded by the waters of the sea, admitted through the sluice then neither adversary nor evil occurrent can break in, and we are kept in perfect peace, our minds being stayed on God.
“Hidden in the hollow of his blessed hand,
Never foe can enter, never traitor stand.
Have you experienced the rest which comes by putting God round about you, on every side like the light which burns brightly on a windy night because surrounded by its four panes of clear glass! Ah! What a contrast between the third and fourth verse: Wars on every side; Rest on every side. And yet the two are compatible, because the wars expend themselves on God, as the waves on the shingle; and there are far reaches of rest within, like orchards and meadows and pasture lands beyond the reach of the devastating water.
Out of such rest, should come, the best work. We are not surprised to find Solomon announcing his purpose to build a house unto the name of the Lord. Mary, who sat at the feet of Jesus, anointed Him. Out of quiet hearts arise the greatest resolves; just as from the seclusion of country hamlets have come the greatest warriors, statesmen, and patriots. Men think, foolishly, that the active, ever moving souls are the strongest. It is not so, however. They expend themselves before the day of trial comes. Give me those who have the power to restrain themselves and wait; these are they that can act with the greatest momentum in the hour of crisis.
1 Kings 5:7-18 – Preparations for the Great Task
It was good for Hiram and his Tyrians to be associated with the servants of Solomon. Together they hewed immense blocks of stone, some of which were thirty feet in length and six feet in breadth, and which still form foundations on the ancient Temple site. Together they hewed down and fashioned the cedar and fir trees on the slopes of Lebanon. May we not learn from this partnership that Gentiles are to be associated with Jews in that one holy Temple, which through the ages is growing into a habitation of God by His Spirit? Ephesians 2:21-22. In Christ there is neither Jew nor Greek, circumcision nor uncircumcision.
The treaty between the two kingdoms was eminently wise, because they differed so widely—the one being pastoral, the other commercial. It was wise for Peter and John to enter into close friendship, and together ascend the steps to the Beautiful Gate of the Temple, Acts 3:1-3. Be content to be a hewer on the mountains, shaping rough blocks of granite, but, do something toward building the Temple of God, which arises slowly amid the wreck of all human structures.