Unless the Lord builds the house,
those who build it labor in vain.
1 Kings 5:1-6:38
A new king; new policy. David had wanted to build a temple but had been convinced that God did not want him to. Solomon, now the king, wants to build a temple. He states that since they are not now at war, God would approve. Their neighbor Lebanon is happy with the decision because the project will require importing cedar from them. King Solomon conscripts labor from 30,000 men to go to Lebanon to harvest the cedar, another 70,000 laborers and 80,000 stonecutters, and 3,300 supervisors.
The word of the Lord comes to Solomon "If you walk in my statutes, obey my ordinances, and keep all my commandments, I will establish with you the promise I made to David."
It took seven years to complete the building.
We descendants of Solomon still tend to show our allegiance to God by building big, expensive structures.
The religious authorities bring Stephen to trial. He reminds them that God's people had been required to make drastic moves in the past in order to remain faithful to God's wishes for them.
A perverse person spreads strife,
and a whisperer separates close friends.
The violent entice their neighbors,
and lead them in a way that is not good.
One who winks the eyes plans perverse things;
one who compresses the lips brings evil to pass.
Prayer for Today: Choose a prayer from Joan Stott's website The Timeless Psalms.