2 Chronicles 2:1-18 (Part 3) – Is Your Faith Like An Add-On Luxury Option When Buying A Car?

Posted: July 7, 2020 in 14-2 Chronicles

2 Chronicles 2:1-18 (Part 3 of 5)

Preparations for Building the Temple

Opening Illustration/Comments

Often we get hung up on the fact that we are not out there standing on street corners preaching of salvation or that we are not witnessing enough to others about Jesus Christ. Of course, we need evangelists of the street corner variety and any other variety – those that are skilled in bringing the message of Christ from town to town in special events and other types of non-church setting presentations of the gospel. We need, too, more of our Christian brothers and sisters to be bold enough to share Jesus Christ directly by witnessing in their daily encounters with others. These are two areas where Christianity in the western world has fallen on hard times. We do not have enough evangelistic events and we do not seem to emphasize to our church members the need that they have to witness to the unsaved as a part of their daily routines. We need a resurgence of these areas of evangelism in America and other western nations.

However, just as important as these things, there is another way that we must testify to the one true King, Jesus Christ, is through our business dealings in our jobs in our workplaces. How we act as employees and business people is as telling to an unsaved world as us attending church on Sundays. We spend a lot more time working and activities related to it than we do with church, sadly. The average American adult works around 45 hours per week. The average commute on each end of our work day is 30 minutes. That’s an hour per day five days a week. So, there’s 50 hours per week on getting to and from work and working. It takes an average adult an hour to go through their morning activities (bathing, getting dressed, eating the morning meal, and gathering up the kids and things needed for work) so there’s another 5 hours a week. Throw in an hour a day after work for decompression time at the end of day in whatever form that might take so there’s another 5. In all, on average, we devote 12 hours a day and 60 hours a week to work-related activities. There’s only 168 hours in a week. Deduct from that the 50 hours of sleep that we take time for each week, we are awake around 120 hours per week. Therefore, half of our waking hours each week are devoted to work. No other aspect of our lives claims as much attention in our lives as do our jobs. No other aspect of our lives is as telling as to who we are as Christ followers than how we carry ourselves in our work settings.

I once saw a special video by Pastor Mark Gungor that compared women and men. What Mark tells us in the video is that God wired men and women differently. In a woman’s brain, everything is related because they are emotionally-based creatures (and we do thank God for that because, man, this world would be a dull, drab, ugly place without the beauty brought to it by women and their emotions). Thus, their brain, Gungor says, are like a bowl of spaghetti noodles – everything intertwined and touching each other. Women retain memories such much better than men because our memories attached to our file system of memories by the glue of emotions. If you have an emotion attached to an event, you will remember it. Thus, women remember more not because they are tracking thing but rather simply because they are wonderfully emotional, by nature. On the other hand, men’s brains are like a warehouse of stored boxes. We can take down a box (representing some part of our life) and play with the things in the box and then we put the box back on the shelf. And NEVER DO WE let the boxes touch. Men, being the less emotional, more operating from an emotionless, rational starting point, can easily compartmentalize their lives (not letting the boxes touch). We can separate work issues from our home life because we put that box back up on the way home from work and then open our family box and so on. Women cannot understand this but it is the way men are wired. We do not like for their to be overlap in our parts of life. We cannot handle it very well when we have to have multiple boxes open at the same time.

Why do I bring this up? Well, the illustration is right on point when it comes to how we treat our Christian faith, both men and women, in our work life. When it comes to our Christian faith in the workplace, we are all men in Mark Gungor’s illustration, even women. We put our Christianity in a box when we clock in at work. Some of us even demonstrate different morality measures at work than what God expects from us in His Word. Some of us are cutthroat at work while we moral paragons outside the workplace. Some of us have loose morals at work because we treat work as though it is a separate box from the rest of our lives. The rest of our lives box is one in which our Christian values reign. However, in our work box, anything goes. Since we spend half of our waking hours in this box, shouldn’t our Christian values be more present here in this box? You here it said, “business is business” and thus some of us as Christians check our Christian values at the door when we clock in. Business is business is a separate thing. It is a separate religion with its own set of values into which Christianity is not supposed to invade. Right?

That idea of representing Jesus Christ’s values at work and in our business dealings is what I thought of this morning as to the reason that there was such a good relationship between Hiram of Tyre and the Israelite kings, David and his son, Solomon. Hiram could trust them and they had always demonstrated integrity to him. Let us read 2 Chronicles 2:1-18 once again with that idea in mind.

Scripture Passage

2 [a]Solomon decided to build a Temple to honor the name of the Lord, and also a royal palace for himself. 2 [b]He enlisted a force of 70,000 laborers, 80,000 men to quarry stone in the hill country, and 3,600 foremen.

3 Solomon also sent this message to King Hiram[c] at Tyre:

“Send me cedar logs as you did for my father, David, when he was building his palace. 4 I am about to build a Temple to honor the name of the Lord my God. It will be a place set apart to burn fragrant incense before him, to display the special sacrificial bread, and to sacrifice burnt offerings each morning and evening, on the Sabbaths, at new moon celebrations, and at the other appointed festivals of the Lord our God. He has commanded Israel to do these things forever.

5 “This must be a magnificent Temple because our God is greater than all other gods. 6 But who can really build him a worthy home? Not even the highest heavens can contain him! So who am I to consider building a Temple for him, except as a place to burn sacrifices to him?

7 “So send me a master craftsman who can work with gold, silver, bronze, and iron, as well as with purple, scarlet, and blue cloth. He must be a skilled engraver who can work with the craftsmen of Judah and Jerusalem who were selected by my father, David.

8 “Also send me cedar, cypress, and red sandalwood[d] logs from Lebanon, for I know that your men are without equal at cutting timber in Lebanon. I will send my men to help them. 9 An immense amount of timber will be needed, for the Temple I am going to build will be very large and magnificent. 10 In payment for your woodcutters, I will send 100,000 bushels of crushed wheat, 100,000 bushels of barley,[e] 110,000 gallons of wine, and 110,000 gallons of olive oil.[f]”

11 King Hiram sent this letter of reply to Solomon:

“It is because the Lord loves his people that he has made you their king! 12 Praise the Lord, the God of Israel, who made the heavens and the earth! He has given King David a wise son, gifted with skill and understanding, who will build a Temple for the Lord and a royal palace for himself.

13 “I am sending you a master craftsman named Huram-abi, who is extremely talented. 14 His mother is from the tribe of Dan in Israel, and his father is from Tyre. He is skillful at making things from gold, silver, bronze, and iron, and he also works with stone and wood. He can work with purple, blue, and scarlet cloth and fine linen. He is also an engraver and can follow any design given to him. He will work with your craftsmen and those appointed by my lord David, your father.

15 “Send along the wheat, barley, olive oil, and wine that my lord has mentioned. 16 We will cut whatever timber you need from the Lebanon mountains and will float the logs in rafts down the coast of the Mediterranean Sea[g] to Joppa. From there you can transport the logs up to Jerusalem.”

17 Solomon took a census of all foreigners in the land of Israel, like the census his father had taken, and he counted 153,600. 18 He assigned 70,000 of them as common laborers, 80,000 as quarry workers in the hill country, and 3,600 as foremen.

Passage Analysis

In this passage, we see that, although Hiram was one of David’s and Solomon’s friendly allies, he was the ruler of a nation that worshipped many different gods and simply saw the God of Israel as another of the gods that were available out there for worship. Hiram was happy to send materials for the Temple because of the respectful, honest and mutually beneficial relationships that Hiram had with these two Israelite kings. David and Solomon used their business dealings with others to demonstrate the integrity of a man of God and testify to Him as the one true God.

Life Application

I think that we go back to Mark Gungor’s example of the difference between men’s brains and women’s brains for our life application this morning. As we have said, we as Christians often take the man brain approach when it comes to the penetration of our Christian into other parts of our lives, particular our work life. We must have a woman brain approach to our Christian faith. That being, “everything is touching and everything is related!” Our Christian faith cannot be a box that we pull out and play with on Sunday and put back on the shelf after we get home from Sunday dinner. We cannot use it for all of our life parts and then leave it out for or work life part. We must have the everything’s related approach to our Christian faith. It must be part of everything we do. We must testify to Jesus Christ and what He has done in our life and how it has changed our values in everything we do. Too often, we go to church on Sunday but live like hell the rest of the week. Too often, we think of our Christian faith and the fellowship of believers called the church as a nice add-on to our lives that is like an option when buying a car. A back-up camera is a nice option on a car but it’s not absolutely necessary to your enjoyment and the utilitarianism of your car. It’s nice if you have it, but its not integral to you to the operation of the car. It could go out on you and it would not cripple your use of the car. A lot of us are like that about our Christian faith. It’s a nice add-on option but its not integral to our daily operation of our daily lives – when IT REALLY SHOULD BE! Our Christian faith should be the spark plugs of the car of our lives. It should be involved in every beat and stroke of the engine of our lives. Let us commit to letting Jesus Christ to invade every part of our lives and let Him guide us in the decisions we make in every aspect of life – including and especially in our business dealings as employees, business owners, buyers, sellers, etc.

Amen and Amen.

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