There appears at first sight to be an anomaly here – the Lord builds and the builders build – but this is surely the experience of daily life. If Jack desires to build his own house, he will usually call in the experts and convey his ideas to them. The architect will then draw up the plans; the bricklayers, carpenters, plumbers and electricians will all do their part and the result will be “the house that Jack built”. The original concept and the control of the project will always be under the watchful eye of Jack. So it is with greater issues of the Universe and in particular the earth on which we live. It is “the Lord who hath made heaven and earth”. It is the Lord who desires to have the earth filled with His knowledge. But He enrols men and women to become helpers to this end, to become experts in the ways of the Lord, to do His will and to perform His work.
1st Kings 9
1 And it came to pass, when Solomon had finished the building of the house of the LORD, and the king's house, and all Solomon's desire which he was pleased to do,2 That the LORD appeared to Solomon the second time, as he had appeared unto him at Gibeon.3 And the LORD said unto him, I have heard thy prayer and thy supplication, that thou hast made before me: I have hallowed this house, which thou hast built, to put my name there for ever; and mine eyes and mine heart shall be there perpetually.4 And if thou wilt walk before me, as David thy father walked, in integrity of heart, and in uprightness, to do according to all that I have commanded thee, and wilt keep my statutes and my judgments:5 Then I will establish the throne of thy kingdom upon Israel for ever, as I promised to David thy father, saying, There shall not fail thee a man upon the throne of Israel.6 But if ye shall at all turn from following me, ye or your children, and will not keep my commandments and my statutes which I have set before you, but go and serve other gods, and worship them:7 Then will I cut off Israel out of the land which I have given them; and this house, which I have hallowed for my name, will I cast out of my sight; and Israel shall be a proverb and a byword among all people:8 And at this house, which is high, every one that passeth by it shall be astonished, and shall hiss; and they shall say, Why hath the LORD done thus unto this land, and to this house?9 And they shall answer, Because they forsook the LORD their God, who brought forth their fathers out of the land of Egypt, and have taken hold upon other gods, and have worshipped them, and served them: therefore hath the LORD brought upon them all this evil.10 And it came to pass at the end of twenty years, when Solomon had built the two houses, the house of the LORD, and the king's house,11 (Now Hiram the king of Tyre had furnished Solomon with cedar trees and fir trees, and with gold, according to all his desire,) that then king Solomon gave Hiram twenty cities in the land of Galilee.12 And Hiram came out from Tyre to see the cities which Solomon had given him; and they pleased him not.13 And he said, What cities are these which thou hast given me, my brother? And he called them the land of Cabul unto this day.14 And Hiram sent to the king sixscore talents of gold.15 And this is the reason of the levy which king Solomon raised; for to build the house of the LORD, and his own house, and Millo, and the wall of Jerusalem, and Hazor, and Megiddo, and Gezer.16 For Pharaoh king of Egypt had gone up, and taken Gezer, and burnt it with fire, and slain the Canaanites that dwelt in the city, and given it for a present unto his daughter, Solomon's wife.17 And Solomon built Gezer, and Bethhoron the nether,18 And Baalath, and Tadmor in the wilderness, in the land,19 And all the cities of store that Solomon had, and cities for his chariots, and cities for his horsemen, and that which Solomon desired to build in Jerusalem, and in Lebanon, and in all the land of his dominion.20 And all the people that were left of the Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites, which were not of the children of Israel,21 Their children that were left after them in the land, whom the children of Israel also were not able utterly to destroy, upon those did Solomon levy a tribute of bondservice unto this day.22 But of the children of Israel did Solomon make no bondmen: but they were men of war, and his servants, and his princes, and his captains, and rulers of his chariots, and his horsemen.23 These were the chief of the officers that were over Solomon's work, five hundred and fifty, which bare rule over the people that wrought in the work.24 But Pharaoh's daughter came up out of the city of David unto her house which Solomon had built for her: then did he build Millo.25 And three times in a year did Solomon offer burnt offerings and peace offerings upon the altar which he built unto the LORD, and he burnt incense upon the altar that was before the LORD. So he finished the house.26 And king Solomon made a navy of ships in Eziongeber, which is beside Eloth, on the shore of the Red sea, in the land of Edom.27 And Hiram sent in the navy his servants, shipmen that had knowledge of the sea, with the servants of Solomon.28 And they came to Ophir, and fetched from thence gold, four hundred and twenty talents, and brought it to king Solomon.
1 The word which came unto Jeremiah from the LORD in the days of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah, saying,2 Go unto the house of the Rechabites, and speak unto them, and bring them into the house of the LORD, into one of the chambers, and give them wine to drink.3 Then I took Jaazaniah the son of Jeremiah, the son of Habaziniah, and his brethren, and all his sons, and the whole house of the Rechabites;4 And I brought them into the house of the LORD, into the chamber of the sons of Hanan, the son of Igdaliah, a man of God, which was by the chamber of the princes, which was above the chamber of Maaseiah the son of Shallum, the keeper of the door:5 And I set before the sons of the house of the Rechabites pots full of wine, and cups, and I said unto them, Drink ye wine.6 But they said, We will drink no wine: for Jonadab the son of Rechab our father commanded us, saying, Ye shall drink no wine, neither ye, nor your sons for ever:7 Neither shall ye build house, nor sow seed, nor plant vineyard, nor have any: but all your days ye shall dwell in tents; that ye may live many days in the land where ye be strangers.8 Thus have we obeyed the voice of Jonadab the son of Rechab our father in all that he hath charged us, to drink no wine all our days, we, our wives, our sons, nor our daughters;9 Nor to build houses for us to dwell in: neither have we vineyard, nor field, nor seed:10 But we have dwelt in tents, and have obeyed, and done according to all that Jonadab our father commanded us.11 But it came to pass, when Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon came up into the land, that we said, Come, and let us go to Jerusalem for fear of the army of the Chaldeans, and for fear of the army of the Syrians: so we dwell at Jerusalem.12 Then came the word of the LORD unto Jeremiah, saying,13 Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Go and tell the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, Will ye not receive instruction to hearken to my words? saith the LORD.14 The words of Jonadab the son of Rechab, that he commanded his sons not to drink wine, are performed; for unto this day they drink none, but obey their father's commandment: notwithstanding I have spoken unto you, rising early and speaking; but ye hearkened not unto me.15 I have sent also unto you all my servants the prophets, rising up early and sending them, saying, Return ye now every man from his evil way, and amend your doings, and go not after other gods to serve them, and ye shall dwell in the land which I have given to you and to your fathers: but ye have not inclined your ear, nor hearkened unto me.16 Because the sons of Jonadab the son of Rechab have performed the commandment of their father, which he commanded them; but this people hath not hearkened unto me:17 Therefore thus saith the LORD God of hosts, the God of Israel; Behold, I will bring upon Judah and upon all the inhabitants of Jerusalem all the evil that I have pronounced against them: because I have spoken unto them, but they have not heard; and I have called unto them, but they have not answered.18 And Jeremiah said unto the house of the Rechabites, Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Because ye have obeyed the commandment of Jonadab your father, and kept all his precepts, and done according unto all that he hath commanded you:19 Therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Jonadab the son of Rechab shall not want a man to stand before me for ever.
1 And he said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That there be some of them that stand here, which shall not taste of death, till they have seen the kingdom of God come with power.2 And after six days Jesus taketh with him Peter, and James, and John, and leadeth them up into an high mountain apart by themselves: and he was transfigured before them.3 And his raiment became shining, exceeding white as snow; so as no fuller on earth can white them.4 And there appeared unto them Elias with Moses: and they were talking with Jesus.5 And Peter answered and said to Jesus, Master, it is good for us to be here: and let us make three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias.6 For he wist not what to say; for they were sore afraid.7 And there was a cloud that overshadowed them: and a voice came out of the cloud, saying, This is my beloved Son: hear him.8 And suddenly, when they had looked round about, they saw no man any more, save Jesus only with themselves.9 And as they came down from the mountain, he charged them that they should tell no man what things they had seen, till the Son of man were risen from the dead.10 And they kept that saying with themselves, questioning one with another what the rising from the dead should mean.11 And they asked him, saying, Why say the scribes that Elias must first come?12 And he answered and told them, Elias verily cometh first, and restoreth all things; and how it is written of the Son of man, that he must suffer many things, and be set at nought.13 But I say unto you, That Elias is indeed come, and they have done unto him whatsoever they listed, as it is written of him.14 And when he came to his disciples, he saw a great multitude about them, and the scribes questioning with them.15 And straightway all the people, when they beheld him, were greatly amazed, and running to him saluted him.16 And he asked the scribes, What question ye with them?17 And one of the multitude answered and said, Master, I have brought unto thee my son, which hath a dumb spirit;18 And wheresoever he taketh him, he teareth him: and he foameth, and gnasheth with his teeth, and pineth away: and I spake to thy disciples that they should cast him out; and they could not.19 He answereth him, and saith, O faithless generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him unto me.20 And they brought him unto him: and when he saw him, straightway the spirit tare him; and he fell on the ground, and wallowed foaming.21 And he asked his father, How long is it ago since this came unto him? And he said, Of a child.22 And ofttimes it hath cast him into the fire, and into the waters, to destroy him: but if thou canst do any thing, have compassion on us, and help us.23 Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.24 And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.25 When Jesus saw that the people came running together, he rebuked the foul spirit, saying unto him, Thou dumb and deaf spirit, I charge thee, come out of him, and enter no more into him.26 And the spirit cried, and rent him sore, and came out of him: and he was as one dead; insomuch that many said, He is dead.27 But Jesus took him by the hand, and lifted him up; and he arose.28 And when he was come into the house, his disciples asked him privately, Why could not we cast him out?29 And he said unto them, This kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting.30 And they departed thence, and passed through Galilee; and he would not that any man should know it.31 For he taught his disciples, and said unto them, The Son of man is delivered into the hands of men, and they shall kill him; and after that he is killed, he shall rise the third day.32 But they understood not that saying, and were afraid to ask him.33 And he came to Capernaum: and being in the house he asked them, What was it that ye disputed among yourselves by the way?34 But they held their peace: for by the way they had disputed among themselves, who should be the greatest.35 And he sat down, and called the twelve, and saith unto them, If any man desire to be first, the same shall be last of all, and servant of all.36 And he took a child, and set him in the midst of them: and when he had taken him in his arms, he said unto them,37 Whosoever shall receive one of such children in my name, receiveth me: and whosoever shall receive me, receiveth not me, but him that sent me.38 And John answered him, saying, Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name, and he followeth not us: and we forbad him, because he followeth not us.39 But Jesus said, Forbid him not: for there is no man which shall do a miracle in my name, that can lightly speak evil of me.40 For he that is not against us is on our part.41 For whosoever shall give you a cup of water to drink in my name, because ye belong to Christ, verily I say unto you, he shall not lose his reward.42 And whosoever shall offend one of these little ones that believe in me, it is better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea.43 And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched:44 Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.45 And if thy foot offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter halt into life, than having two feet to be cast into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched:46 Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.47 And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out: it is better for thee to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire:48 Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.49 For every one shall be salted with fire, and every sacrifice shall be salted with salt.50 Salt is good: but if the salt have lost his saltness, wherewith will ye season it? Have salt in yourselves, and have peace one with another.