What’s the first thing a ruler does when he/she comes into power? They make sure that everyone knows who’s the boss. They make statements and interviews. They get on the cover of as many newspapers and magazines as possible. Social media lights up with their feeds. Back in the day, they built statues, commissioned art, and distributed propaganda. They let the world know who they are.
Solomon was the first king in Israel to inherit the throne. Through a series of rather unfortunate events, many of his brothers did not outlive their father. Solomon, however, grew into adulthood and was even given the throne before David died. We know that he was a wise man. When God offered to grant him anything, he asked for wisdom above all else. A wise move for a man claiming to need more wisdom. So when Solomon took over the throne with the wealth of David behind him, he built himself a grand palace. But not before he built a temple for the Lord.
In the eleventh year in the month of Bul, the eighth month, the temple was finished in all its details according to its specifications. He had spend seven years building it.
It took Solomon thirteen years, however, to complete the construction of his palace.
1 Kings 6:38-7:1 (NIV)
Solomon had near endless resources at his disposal. He could have used them to cement his place as ruler of all Israel, but he instead chose to build a place of worship. He build a place to house the ark of the covenant. He made building a house for the Lord a priority over building a house for himself.
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
Matthew 6:33 (NIV)
Solomon’s wealth is still spoken of today. So is his wisdom. So is the temple he built. Not so much his palace.
When we, like Solomon, make God’s kingdom and His house, a priority, God will ensure that everything else is taken care of. While his palace was grand, it was the temple that Solomon was remembered for.
What do you want to be remembered for?
Read: 1 Kings 6-7, Luke 23:27-38