Alive: Don’t be Solomon
Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and the LORD your God redeemed you. That is why I give you this command today.Deuteronomy 15:15 NIV
Here is the account of the forced labor King Solomon conscripted to build the LORD’s temple1 Kings 9:15 NIV
I will make you into a great nation,Genesis 12:2 NIV
and I will bless you;
I will make your name great,
and you will be a blessing.
King Solomon was very wise, except when he wasn’t.
There is a crucial detail about him that often gets overlooked: “Here is the account of the forced laborKing Solomon conscripted to build the Lord’s temple,” (1 Kings 9:15; emphasis my own). Solomon used slaves to build God’s temple. That’s the same Solomon whose ancestors were slaves.
Throughout the Old Testament, God tells the people of Israel to remember that they were liberated from Egypt. He does this five times in the book of Deuteronomy, always in the context of giving them a new commandment.
Part of the point God is making here, I believe, is to remind His people that they were not just freed from something, they were freed for something. Indeed, from the very beginning, God told His people that they were to be a blessing to other nations (Genesis 12:2).
We are liberated in order to liberate; blessed in order to bless; restored in order to restore. Solomon forgot that. Don’t be Solomon.
God of salvation,
Thank you for rescuing us, for blessing us, for saving us. Help us to use the freedom you have given us to light up the lives of people in need. Amen.
Author: Gideon Heugh, Tearfund