Today’s Text and Thought of Encouragement:
“Love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous.”
1 Peter 3:8
“Love one another in spite of your differences, in spite of your faults. Love one another, and make the best of one another, as He loved us, who, for the sake of saving what was good in the human soul, forgot, forgave, put out of sight what was bad…It is very easy to fix our attention only on the weak points of those around us, to magnify them, to irritate them, to aggravate them; and, by so doing, we can make the burden of life unendurable, and can destroy our own and others’ happiness and usefulness wherever we go. But this was not the love wherewith Christ loved us; this is not the new love wherewith we are to love one another.”
Arthur P. Stanley
Today’s Study Text:
“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. 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…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.”
1 Kings 5: 6, 7,12
“A Life Lived With Purpose” – Part 4
“Without respect, love cannot go far or rise high; it is an angel with but one wing.”
Respect:To feel and show regard and esteem toward another. Willingness to show consideration or appreciation.
In my personal life, how can I share respectful behavior with those who may not think or act like I do?
What are some of the ways I can incorporate into my life, a respectful attitude toward those with whom I may differ?
“He (she) that respects not is not respected.”
“Show respect of all men (and women), treat them honorably.
1 Peter 2: 17
It is paramount, as we explore our study texts for today, 1 Kings 5: 6, 7, 12 to take a look at the history which provides a backdrop to the extraordinary relationship that not only developed between King David of Israel and King Hiram of Tyre but also, the continuing alliance between David’s son, Solomon, and Hiram, ruler of Tyre. If we take a short geography lesson of what we call the “Holy Land,” during the time when kings ruled Israel, we find that the port cities of Tyre and Sidon, fell within the region called Phoenicia. We first find these cities mentioned in the book of Joshua when the twelve tribes of Israel were dividing the land they settled in Canaan.
Both Tyre and Sidon, during the time of the kings, became strategically important. And along with having someone like King Hiram as an ally to Israel, because of the convenient access to the Ports of Tyre and Sidon, it was the supply of fine timber, both cedar and fir, which was a huge benefit to Solomon as he undertook what we know was a gigantic task in building the Temple in Israel.
This is why David’s proven friendship, his authentic kindness, and his honest dealings with King Hiram through the years, laid a strong foundation which Solomon, his son, was able to foster, also. The young ruler did this in more than one way. However, it was the respect which Solomon showed King Hiram that I want to focus our study on today.
God’s blessings on Israel had placed Solomon in a position of strength. However, rather than take credit to themselves for Israel’s strength and peaceful position, both David and Solomon gave credit to God. But let’s face it, when you’re on the top, it’s easy to become a target by others who may become envious of your success. This could easily have become a big problem for Solomon. But instead of gloating about his own personal wisdom and trying to grab all the credit for himself, 1 Kings 5: 6 tells us that Solomon showed immense respect to King Hiram in three specific ways:
1. Solomon asked for King Hiram’s help. And get this, Solomon asked for the “heathen” king’s assistance in building a temple where the glory of the God of heaven and earth would be at the center. Just imagine, the worship at the Temple in Jerusalem was to focus on the one and only God. Because of David’s witness to King Hiram through the years, Solomon felt comfortable enough in his own dealings with this foreign leader to say to him, “The purpose of my life is to build a house to honor the name of the Lord my God, and my father’s God. But to do this, I need your help!” At first glance, I found it difficult to grasp the significance of this request. But upon reconsideration, it becomes evident that for a person, like Solomon, whose immense wisdom was touted all over the land, to come to a foreign ruler and request his contribution to building the Temple shows not only Solomon’s wisdom, but his humility.
2. Solomon offered, up front, to pay fairly, for the services Hiram would provide. What’s more, Solomon told King Hiram, “My servants shall join yours.” All I can say to this is, “WOW!” In light of today’s political turmoil in the Holy Land, a text of Scripture such as 1 Kings 5: 6 seems impossible and yet, because of a relationship built through the years, we find that side-by-side, workers from Israel and Tyre and Sidon engaged in a unified effort to erect a house of worship to God’s glory. I like the fact that Solomon didn’t wait for King Hiram to come and ask for payment, but instead he initiated an honorable way to compensate King Hiram’s workers for their labor.
3. Solomon showed esteem toward King Hiram’s workers by sincerely complimenting their talent when he verbally paid tribute to the skill of these craftsmen, “For you know that no one among us can equal the skill of the Sidon men in cutting timber” (1 Kings 5: 6, Amplified Bible).
If we go back to the beginning of today’s devotional where I give you the definition from Webster’s Dictionary of the word, “respect,” we‘ll find that at the core of Solomon’s communication with King Hiram were the qualities of treating someone with esteem; paying someone fairly for the work they did; and honoring the expertise of those whose help was needed. And what does this equal: respect.
Back in 1859, Frances Ellen Watkins Harper observed, “The respect that is only bought by gold is not worth much.” Sadly, in our world today, we sometimes get the false notion that money can buy anything. Well -- it can’t.
No money could purchase the relationship that David cultivated with King Hiram for many years -- a relationship which lasted past David’s life and not only benefited his son, but most importantly, brought glory to the Name of God as King Hiram’s workers aided Israel in building God’s house.
This brings us back to what we have been digging deep to uncover this week -- and it’s all about living a purpose-filled life. Just from my own personal experience, I’ve found that respectful interaction with those who may not agree with me is one of the most certain ways to make a friend. But most importantly, it is, without a doubt, one of the most effective tools in bringing glory to my God. I love the way Stephen Arterburn and Jack Felton highlight this point in their book, More Jesus, Less Religion: “Respecting another person is simply admitting that God is big enough to love him or her just as much as He loves me.”
And who knows, just like with Solomon, that wonderful project God has purposed for your life may draw a King Hiram into your circle, who will become an integral part of helping you build a “house” which glorifies God.
As Love Would Make It
“Give us, O God, a vision of Your
world as love would make it;
a world where the weak are protected
and none go hungry;
a world whose benefits are shared, so
that everyone can enjoy them.
A world who different people and
cultures live with tolerance and
a world where peace is built with justice,
and justice is fired with love;
Lord Jesus Christ, give us the
courage to build.”
Women’s World Day of Prayer
“Lord, I know that one of the best ways I can show my love for You is by loving other people. Sometimes this is easy -- when I’m with people I like -- Please help me when loving is hard, when people are unkind, when they don’t understand, when I just don’t like them. Teach me to love as You loved, when You were waling about in Palestine -- Teach me to love as You love now everyone always.”
Brother Kenneth and
Dorothy Valcárcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
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