2 Chronicles 4:11-22
And Huram made the pots, and the shovels, and the basins…
Sacred service may be of two kinds: it may be feeble, slight, slovenly, wholly incomplete and unsatisfactory; or, on the other hand, it may be vigorous, effective, thorough, commanding the esteem of men and securing the commendation of Christ. The way in which Solomon's temple was built brings before us the more excellent order of service. It was characterized by -
I. SOLIDITY. The "two pillars" (ver. 12), and the character of the timber and of the gold, are suggestive of strength and solidity. Our work for Christ should have no slightness about it; it should be good, solid, durable; work that will resist the disintegrating forces about us; that may be "tried by fire" and still endure (see 1 Corinthians 3:12-15). For such a result we must not be content with stirring the emotions; we must convince the judgment, must produce conviction in the soul, must reach and win the whole spiritual nature.
II. BEAUTY. The strong pillars were ornamented with pommels, with wreaths, and pomegranates (vers. 12, 13). Beauty as well as strength was in the building of the temple, and should be in the sanctuary of God, in the service of Jesus Christ (Psalm 96:6). We should introduce into the work we do for our Master all the graces that we can bring - meekness of spirit, unselfishness of purpose, conciliatoriness of tone and temper, excellency of workmanship. On the top of the pillars should be pomegranates; covering and adorning our service should be sweetness and loveliness of manner and of spirit.
III. FITNESS. "In the plain of Jordan did the king cast them" (ver. 17). That was obviously a more fitting place for such an operation than the near neighbourhood of the site of the temple. Everything in its own time and place. That which is wholly unfitted for the sanctuary may be quite right and altogether suitable and desirable in the hall or in the home. The fitness or unfitness of the surroundings of a work may make all the difference between the excellent and the objectionable, between the useful and the harmful.
IV. ATTENTION TO THE MINUTE. "Hiram made the pots, and the shovels, and the basins" (ver. 11). "And the flowers, and the lamps, and the tongs, made he of gold, and that perfect gold" (ver. 21). Nothing was too small or too trivial to be made by this skilled artificer, or to be made by him with the best material. There is nothing we can do in the service of our Lord that is not honourable and worthy of our manhood; nothing that we should not do to the full height of our ability.
V. ABUNDANCE. (Ver. 18.) It is not right that we should do our work in Christ's vineyard in a spirit of perfunctoriness, as the workman who will do no more than is imperatively demanded of him. Ours is not a slavery; nor are we hirelings. We are the children of God; we are the friends of Jesus Christ; we are co-workers with him; his interests are ours also; we long intensely for the coming of his kingdom. We shall not do stintingly or grudgingly what we do for him. We shall not count the hours, or the days, or the weeks we spend in his service; we shall not measure the powers we employ for his glory. We shall gladly pour forth all our faculties, shall give in "great abundance" of our resources, that his Name may be extolled, and that he may be made "very high."
VI. PURITY. All these things were made "of pure gold" (vers. 20, 22); the flowers, etc., of gold, "and that perfect gold" (ver. 21). The purest gold that could be obtained was used. The thought, the feeling, the energy, that is most perfectly refined of all dross of earthliness and selfishness, should be brought to the service of the Divine Redeemer.
VII. CONTINUANCE. "Hiram finished the work that he was to make" (ver. 11). "The end crowns the work." Well is it for the Christian workman when, having endured all criticisms, having borne all rebuffs, having met and mastered all difficulties, having submitted to all disappointments, having cheerfully wrought all his labours and having struck his last stroke, he can say, "I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do." For him is a generous commendation and a large reward (Matthew 25:23). - C.
Parallel VersesKJV: And Huram made the pots, and the shovels, and the basons. And Huram finished the work that he was to make for king Solomon for the house of God;