A totally Christian Church
Seeing things through different eyes
18th February 2018
My boys used to dive at full speed up the stairs when they were young. I would say, “Safety comes before fun, and then lots of fun comes after safety!” It was my way of helping two little boys to understand the balance between risk and enjoyment. I think it worked, although not so much that it spoiled their sense of adventure. One of them, to this day, runs UP the stairs in two bounds; and the other, while he lived with us, would always run DOWN the stairs at great speed, calling out “See y’later!”, as he rushed out to meet his friends. Parental advice is sometimes laid aside as young people grow, on the basis that risk and caution, when properly managed need not be opposites – they can work together to promote our enjoyment, success and learning.
King Solomon, a man famed for his wisdom, once took a risk. He asked a pagan neighbour king (a follower of a false god) to work with him to build the Temple of the Lord in Jerusalem. The events are recorded like this:
Then Solomon sent to Hiram king of Tyre, saying: As you have dealt with David my father, and sent him cedars to build himself a house to dwell in, so deal with me. I am building a temple the Lord my God. It will be great, for our God is greater than all gods. 2 Chron 13-5
Hiram already loved Solomon’s father, King David, and he even acknowledged that the God of Israel was the One True God because he had seen how God had blessed David. It even says of Hiram that he was the one who approached Solomon, first:
Now Hiram king of Tyre sent his servants to Solomon, because he heard that he had been anointed king in place of his father, for Hiram had always loved David. 1 Kings 51
Did you spot that Hiram “had always loved David”? David had so impressed Hiram that even this pagan king was obliged to admit:
“Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, who has made the heavens and the earth.” 2 Chron 212
It’s not actually stated in scripture, but I believe that before his death David had probably told Solomon that he should approach Hiram to collaborate in the building of the Temple. That’s why Solomon proposed a collaboration of the skill of Tyre and the wealth of Israel:
Please send me a man skilful to work in gold, silver, bronze and iron, in purple and crimson and blue, who has skill to engrave along with the skilful men here in Judah and Jerusalem. Also send me cedar and cypress logs from Lebanon, for I know that your servants are skilful; and indeed my servants will be with your servants, to prepare timber for me in abundance, for the temple which I am about to build shall be great and wonderful. And I will pay your servants twenty thousand weights of ground wheat, twenty thousand weights of barley, twenty thousand baths of wine, and twenty thousand baths of oil. 2 Chron 17-10
Although Hiram admitted that Yahweh was the One True Creator God, he still worshipped the (false) god of his City-state, Tyre. He was a pagan who admitted that he was wrong but was unable to change his ways.
Solomon, given wisdom by God, took a risk and made a pact with Hiram to build the Temple. And it got built, to the glory of God.
Have you ever realised the huge risk God took when He made it His business to invite you to collaborate with Him in building your life, for His glory? Jesus took a huge risk by paying the price up front, on the cross, and it’s possible you might refuse. Or, you might respond to His offer, and then your life will be to His glory.
Just one final word: God will win, whatever stance you take. He’s got nothing more to lose, because Jesus already paid everything, on the cross! If you refuse His offer, you’ll be the one risking everything.