Out of all the things Solomon could have asked the Lord for, he asked for wisdom. And already we’ve seen how well he’d used this gift. I had also reminded us that all who know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior are also filled with wisdom because First Corinthians 1:30a says of believers: “God has united you with Christ Jesus. For our benefit God made Him to be wisdom itself” (NLT).
So what was Solomon’s next move? He got ready to build the temple of the Lord. Remember, David had wanted to do this, but the Lord had told him, “Your son Solomon will build My Temple and its courtyards, for I have chosen him” (I Chronicles 28:6a).
“King Hiram of Tyre had always been a loyal friend of David. When Hiram learned that David’s son Solomon was the new king of Israel, he sent ambassadors to congratulate him” (I Kings 5:1).
Hiram wanted to keep up the good relationship his country had enjoyed with Israel. “Then Solomon sent this message back to Hiram:” (I Kings 5:2).
“You know that my father, David, was not able to build a Temple to honor the name of the Lord his God because of the many wars waged against him by surrounding nations. He could not build until the Lord gave him victory over all his enemies. But now the Lord my God has given me peace on every side; I have no enemies, and all is well. So I am planning to build a Temple to honor the name of the Lord my God, just as He had instructed my father, David. For the Lord told him, ‘Your son, whom I will place on your throne, will build the Temple to honor My Name’” (I Kings 5:3-5).
“Therefore, please command that cedars from Lebanon be cut for me. Let my men work alongside yours, and I will pay your men whatever wages you ask. As you know, there is no one among us who can cut timber like you Sidonians!” (I Kings 5:6).
Solomon’s wisdom included great diplomatic skills. He didn’t demand; he asked. And his request included compliments about Hiram’s countrymen’s abilities. As the old saying goes, “You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.” Instead of foolishly letting his authority go to his head, Solomon used language that in no way caused Hiram and his people to appear inferior to Solomon and his own countrymen.
Diplomacy is priceless. A great negotiator can smooth out the most volatile of situations. A poor one can destroy all hope of compromise or reconciliation. While Solomon definitely had a God-given gift to do these things, all of us who know Christ as Lord and Savior have Him as our “wisdom;" but as with money in the
bank, we must choose to access and use what He has given us.
Do your words promote peaceful negotiation or fiery confrontation? The choice is yours.
Copyright © 2013
Judy Woodward Bates