Industry God’s Way

“‘I intend to build a house for the name of the Lord my God, as the Lord said to David my father, “Your son, whom I will set on your throne in your place, shall build the house…” Now therefore command that cedars of Lebanon be cut for me. And my servants will join your servants, and I will pay you… wages as you set, for you know that there is no one among us who knows how to cut timber like the Sidonians.’

“As soon as Hiram heard… Solomon, he rejoiced and said, ‘Blessed be the Lord this day, who has given to David a wise son to be over this great people… I am ready to do all you desire in the matter of cedar and cypress. My servants shall bring it down to the sea from Lebanon, and I will make it into rafts to go by sea to the place you direct… So Hiram supplied Solomon with all the timber… he desired, while Solomon gave Hiram wheat as food for his household, and beaten oil… year by year.  And the Lord gave Solomon wisdom, as he promised him…

“King Solomon drafted forced labor out of all Israel,.. 30,000 men. He sent them to Lebanon, 10,000 a month in shifts. They would be a month in Lebanon and two months at home. Adoniram was in charge of the draft. Solomon also had 70,000 burden-bearers and 80,000 stonecutters in the hill country, besides Solomon’s 3,300 chief officers who were over the work, who had charge of the people who carried on the work. At the king’s command they quarried out great, costly stones in order to lay the foundation… to build the house.” 1 Kings 5:5-6,8-18

Solomon had his priorities right (at first), and at God’s command, with God-given wisdom and grace, attentive to God’s plans, set out to build the temple. It is hard not to notice the cordial interactions, careful planning, particular measuring, and practical, compassionate scheduling encompassed in his industry. He was an exemplary manager of all entrusted to him.

Life can be chaotic. People and pressures, responsibilities and disruptions can weigh heavy and spin until we are dizzy. Our plans turn topsy turvy, circumstances beyond our control upend our schedules and rule the day. But the wise Sovereign on His throne rules with order and purpose that is fortified with kindness and care and beauty. His blueprint is exact, and supersedes on His grand scale the minutiae of our frustrations. All He intends and does is right, precise, and contributes to His overall design.

Our plans are finite, our goals short-term and humanly measurable. God’s plans are eternal, His thoughts and ways far beyond our imagining, His design exquisite and detailed. He is in no hurry, but never late, to supply and equip and accomplish. His process is part of His building, and it allows grace and rest, time to refresh and prepare for next steps. (Isaiah 55:8-9)

So where do we fit into His scheme? What do we contribute? Is our work for His name or ours? Do we fret in frenzy and without margin, or align ourselves with His sovereign schedule by listening to His voice and acting on His wisdom? Work that pleases Him is that done wholeheartedly for the purpose of His will.

Father, grant me the wisdom and will to work Your way, according to Your plans, for Your glory.

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