1 Kings 4-5 and Psalm 52
It seems all is well with Solomon at the helm of Israel,
The people of Judah and Israel were as numerous as the sand on the seashore; they ate, they drank and they were happy.
During Solomon’s lifetime Judah and Israel, from Dan to Beersheba, lived in safety, everyone under their own vine and under their own fig tree. 1 Kings 4:20,25
Spoiler alert: It’s interesting to note the phrase Judah and Israel, as if there are two separate kingdoms.
Solomon was notorious for his wisdom on all subjects.
Chapter 5 is the beginning of building the temple. Solomon makes a deal with the Hiram, King of Tyre to purchase cedars of Lebanon for the building of the temple. “There were peaceful relations between Hiram and Solomon and the two of them made a treaty.” (1 Kings 5:12)
To effect this massive effort, Solomon “conscripted laborers” from Israel: 30,000 men were sent to Lebanon, 10,000 at a time spent a month in Lebanon, then home for two months. Force labor. Not so sure this group ate, drank and were happy!
The Israelite population is in the millions at this point, but forced labor on a few (percentage-wise) is simply not a good idea. Nonetheless, the building project begins and there is no mention of war.
Thoughts about serving others
This link includes a list of posts about Serving the Least, the Lost, and the Lonely.
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Let the Word evoke words. May your life encourage lives.