“When the house was built, it was with stone prepared at the quarry, so that neither hammer nor axe nor any tool of iron was heard in the house while it was being built.” 1 Kings 6:7 ESV
Ok so this passage is about Solomon building the temple…something his father David was not allowed to do. It would seem that hammers and axes and “tools of iron” would come in handy when building any building…especially God’s temple. This struck me as a bit odd so I dug deeper. Turns out that God is indeed a God of details and He had already had something to say about stones and tools used in building His house…
“If you make me an altar of stone, you shall not build it of hewn stones, for if you wield your tool on it you profane it.” Exodus 20:25 ESV
“And there you shall build an altar to the Lord your God, an altar of stones. You shall wield no iron tool on them; you shall build an altar to the Lord your God of…” Deuteronomy 27:5-6 ESV
So it is around 966 BC and God has given Solomon the task of building His house. This would be a huge architectural undertaking using today’s tools…cranes, earth-movers, jackhammers, dynamite, diamond-tipped saw blades…but with tools available in 966 BC? Come on! I did a quick google search and was reminded that iron dates back to about 1370 BC…about 400 years before Solomon. I can hear Solomon having a pow-wow with Jehovah that went something like this…
God: “Build my house 60 cubits long, 20 cubits wide, and 30 cubits high.”
Solomon: “60 x 20 x 30…got it.”
God: “The windows should have recessed frames.”
Solomon: “Nice touch.”
God: “Line all of the walls with Lebanon cedar from floor to ceiling.”
Solomon: “Nothing but the best for you, eh?”
God: “And remember not to use any tools.”
Solomon: “You’re joking, right?”
God: “No joke…no tools on the job site.”
Solomon: “A hammer sure would make it easier.”
God: “No tools, Solomon.”
Solomon: “And how in the world am I going to recruit anyone to help build your house when I tell them they have to work with stone with no tools?”
God: “Solomon…no tools.”
Solomon: “That iron stuff that came along a few hundred years ago…you know that really hard stuff? That sure would come in handy on this project. Are you sure?”
God: “I’m sure…no tools.”
So Solomon built God’s house with no tools on the job site. That means that each stone was fabricated miles and miles away from the construction site and each stone fit into place. PERFECTLY! Wow! That would be a difficult engineering feat for 2009, much less 966 BC! But that is exactly what happened.
And how quickly I forget how detail-oriented our God is…not just about building His temple…but with the many details surrounding my life as well. How often do I try to take matters into my own hands and want to force-fit circumstances so that they match my agenda and all the while God is saying “No tools.” I so often slip into unbelief…thinking God is busy in Iraq or someplace else more important and feel the need to take matters into my own hands and start whittling away…chipping off a corner there and a corner here in order to make my circumstances fit my plan.
Lord, forgive my unbelief and help me to live in the “No Tool” zone today.