It’s not wrong to want something for yourself—as long as you don’t cling too tightly to it. When it comes to sharing, the fair split goes, “One for you, one for me.”
Solomon had plenty of possessions, and he was generous and played fair. A temple for God, a palace for himself. Do you know someone who’s done the same? They have the money to build a nice house for themselves, and they also fund a church project or a center for the homeless. We can be encouraged by their example and by Solomon’s example: He knew that the most worthy God of the universe deserves the best workmanship, the finest materials and the choicest offerings.
What a daring project: building a house for Almighty God! Solomon understood the irony—that he, a mortal man, would do such a thing. He insisted that nothing be slipshod. He endeavored for seven years to produce the most magnificent temple possible, using gold, silver, precious stones, marble and cedar—most of it collected for years by his father, David, and the rest of it donated by the people of Israel. Even so, would it pass muster for Yahweh’s majesty? Would it cause visitors and worshipers to think great and high thoughts of the God of Israel? Would it reflect God’s beauty and grandeur?
God doesn’t need our things. But he ordains our work and endows us with creativity and talent. He designed us to be busy about the business of doing things for him, of making all kinds of things that reflect his regenerating grace and that glorify him.
In what beautiful enterprise might God be directing you to be involved? It could be people or projects, aptitudes or art. You may have the ability to create something that reveals and reflects some of his greatness. If so, ask him to provide the resources. Find the helpers and materials needed to accomplish the goal. Go ahead and enjoy the process and the fruit of your labor, like Solomon did. But give fairly and generously to the author of your gifts and talents. Do a God-sized work for him.
What problems could you foresee in constructing a building for God? What satisfactions?
How much of your time and possessions do you dedicate to God? Is it a fair percentage?
What gifts or resources has God blessed you with? How can you use something of yourself to give back to God?
2 Chronicles 2:1 Solomon gave orders to build a temple for the Name of the LORD and a royal palace for himself.