It took Solomon thirteen years, however, to complete the construction of his palace. (1 Kings 7:1)
Solomon built himself an extravagant home, and it begs the question: did he need to make it that big? Do we ever reach a level of satisfaction and say enough is enough? Couldn’t the resources that God gave to Solomon have been used for other means? Was an enormous palace really the best use of the wealth?
If Solomon were living today, how would Christians treat him? Perhaps he would have been approached and confronted about his ridiculous extravagance. Or maybe he would be viewed as an icon and seen as an example of something to strive after.
Interestingly enough, the only thing the Bible tells us about Solomon’s wealth is that it was a gift from God. That means that his wealth wasn’t something evil. In some ways this seems to be contrary to what Jesus taught about the rich man who built more silos in which to keep all of his stuff.
Perhaps the idea isn’t whether or not a person has wealth but whether or not wealth has the person.
In the case of Solomon, God gave him wealth because he didn’t care whether he had it or not. In the case of the rich man, God was ready to demand his life because wealth had become the center of his universe.
When wealth violates the first commandment of having no other god before the Lord it becomes a problem. The principles seem to be that generosity should rule and that wealth should not become the center of one’s affections. When either of those takes place, a person has stepped into the realm of sin.
Where are you with wealth? Do you have wealth? Or perhaps, more importantly, does wealth have you? Are you generous with what you have, or do you keep it for yourself? Wealth, in and of itself, isn’t evil, but it can lead to evil if it is not given its proper place in our lives.
Lord, in this country You have blessed us with unimaginable wealth. We are so wealthy that we don’t even appreciate that we’re wealthy any longer. Please help me to keep wealth at an arm’s length and to prevent it from controlling me. Let me live in submission to You, and help me to be generous with everything You have given to me.