King Hiram of Tyre congratulated Solomon on becoming the new king of Israel. Solomon responded with a graciously worded request for timber from Hiram’s country. This request both acknowledged Hiram’s outreach to Solomon and let him know that Solomon wanted to continue the good relationship David had enjoyed with the people of Tyre. Hiram’s response was positive:
“When Hiram received Solomon’s message, he was very pleased and said, ‘Praise the Lord today for giving David a wise son to be king of the great nation of Israel.’ Then he sent this reply to Solomon:” (I Kings 5:7-8a).
“I have received your message, and I will supply all the cedar and cypress timber you need. My servants will bring the logs from the Lebanon mountains to the Mediterranean Sea and make them into rafts and float them along the coast to whatever place you choose. Then we will break the rafts apart so you can carry the logs away. You can pay me by supplying me with food for my household” (I Kings 5:8b-9).
“So Hiram supplied as much cedar and cypress timber as Solomon desired. In return, Solomon sent him an annual payment of 100,000 bushels of wheat for his household and 110,000 gallons of pure olive oil. So the Lord gave wisdom to Solomon, just as He had promised. And Hiram and Solomon made a formal alliance of peace” (I Kings 5:10-11).
Both Hiram and Solomon proved to men of their word. Hiram supplied Solomon with the agreed-upon timber and Solomon supplied Hiram with the agreed-upon food. Bartering allowed both parties to put to good use what they already had on hand.
Bartering is still a great way to meet needs, but it’s terribly underused today. Why turn loose of money when an unused or unwanted item around your house may very well be bartered into something you do need? If this was a good enough system for two wealthy kings, it’s certainly a smart system for us to use whenever possible.
Bartering labor is another money-saver. If Kim can sew and Dale can cook, Dale could trade Kim some home-cooked meals (or a stack of casseroles or desserts to freeze for future meals) for a set of slip covers for his dining room chairs.
If we’ll only begin to draw on the limitless wisdom we’ve been blessed with through the indwelling presence of Jesus Christ as Holy Spirit, we’ll see better and better ways to more wisely use the time, money and resources with which He’s entrusted us. And the result? We get rid of some needless stress and enjoy a bit more peace in our lives. And who couldn’t benefit from that?
“So the Lord gave wisdom to Solomon, just as He had promised. And Hiram and Solomon made a formal alliance of peace” (I Kings 5:12).
Copyright © 2013
Judy Woodward Bates