“…Now therefore command that cedars of Lebanon be cut for me. And my servants will join your servants, and I will pay you for your servants such wages as you set, for you know that there is no one among us who knows how to cut timber like the Sidonians.” 1 Kings 5:6
What do we make of this verse? So the Sidonians were the best at cutting timber. Big deal.
Actually it was a big deal to Solomon. He was building the temple for Yahweh and he wanted the best materials cut by the best workers. That’s why he wanted Hiram, the pagan King of Tyre, to get him the best stuff.
Among the many truths that 1 Kings 5 can teach us, one thing that stands out to me was that Solomon was not opposed to using the “world” to further the kingdom of God (I am not talking about the “world” that the apostle John speaks of in 1 John 2:15-17). Solomon had no problem using Sidonian timber to build the temple so that God’s people could worship the Lord with gladness. I think we can apply that to ourselves when it comes to technology. We can use all the technology and advancements of our world to advance the Kingdom of God as long as we aren’t worshipping said technology.
Puritan William Gurnall put it this way:
Temporal good things are not the Christian’s freight, but his ballast, and therefore are to be desired to poise, not load the vessel.
All of the temporary material blessings that we enjoy are not the goal; treasuring Jesus above all is the goal. But we can use the temporary good things to help us treasure Jesus. Our “freight,” what we are transporting on the ships of our lives, is not earthly “stuff” but the Gospel message. We can use the world and technology and gadgets to advance the kingdom of God, but we do not load our vessels with these things. Or, as another Puritan said:
“Let us use the world, but enjoy the Lord.” (Thomas Adams)
Use technology. Use your computer. Use your iPhone. Use your car. Use your television. Use your iPod. But use them in a way that advances the Kingdom of God and causes you to enjoy the Lord. So use that coffee maker to make that coffee and enjoy that coffee but as you enjoy that coffee, enjoy the Creator of the coffee plant. Enjoy the coffee plant that grows and produces the coffee cherries that contain the “seed” that eventually becomes your coffee. But as you enjoy your coffee, give thanks to the God who made the coffee plant and enjoy Him as your greatest Treasure.
Let us use the world, but enjoy the Lord.