Mighty God, You are Master of the Universe. Nothing escapes Your direction. I lift Your name in praise.
Read 2 Chronicles 2:1-18
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
“From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets, the name of the Lord is to be praised” (Psa. 113:3).
As Solomon’s wisdom is being expressed in business and building projects, he needs reliable partnerships. Tyre’s seaports and prized cedar forests ensured it was successful and independent, but it lacked the rich agricultural land of Israel (10,15). David had established friendship with its king (1 Kings 5:1) and negotiated a deal for materials for the temple (1 Chron. 22:4,5). Now we see Hiram treating David’s young son with considerable respect (12). God’s promise that he would be given both wealth and honor are demonstrated here (2 Chron. 1:12).
These letters about the building projects contain the message that Israel’s God is supreme. He is the creator of the universe (12) and cannot be contained even by the outer regions of earth’s atmosphere (6). God is also present with his people, and a building that is named and dedicated for the Lord can be a sign of his presence and a venue for his worship. Similarly, a royal palace symbolizes stable, continuous government (1).
We don’t need to conclude that Hiram had been converted to Israel’s God. There could be an element of Eastern diplomatic courtesy in his words of praise for the Lord (11,12). To those who truly believe the Lord is God of heaven and earth, however, it is heartening to see the goodwill Hiram demonstrated and to note that other nations were contributing resources to the Lord’s temple and being blessed by its existence. The dark underbelly of the project is the conscripted labor required to build it (2,17,18), but the chronicler probably sees some justice in the fact that, while Israel’s folk were forced labor for gods in Egypt and in the exile, there was a time when Gentiles built for the Lord.
The example here of respect for the arts of other communities and building good relationships is important. What peoples do you need to build good relationships with?
Creative Lord God, I need to develop my appreciation of all the beautiful things You have given me. May my life and all my works honor You.
Click here to sign up to receive the EXTRAs via email each quarter.