What Cities Are These…?

What cities are these…?

1 Kings 9:13

“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.”

King Solomon gave king Hiram twenty cities out of gratitude for help with the material and labor for the temple and his own house. After Hiram went and looked at the cities he didn’t like them. Strange that Solomon would give Hiram cities that would not appeal to Hiram. As a matter of fact, Hiram called the cities “Cabul” meaning sterile or limited. Hiram did not see any value in these cities so he gave them back. Notice what 2 Chronicles 8:2 says, “

that the cities which Huram had restored to Solomon, Solomon built them, and caused the children of Israel to dwell there.”  I find it fascinating that what Hiram turned down Solomon built! Solomon didn’t just build them he made them appealing and only available to the children of Israel, “caused the children of Israel to dwell there” this was not a concentration camp. Israelites under the majority of Solomon’s reign lived with privilege and prosperity. Others would have dwelt there if they were allowed but they were not. What Hiram saw as a land of waste Solomon saw as a land of worth! Hiram saw a sterile land Solomon saw a fertile land. Hiram saw limitations Solomon saw exceeding expectations! Hiram would have been far wiser to ask Solomon what he saw in them rather than complain about them and give them back.  How often have we as God’s people been given something to us by the King and neglected to see it from his perspective. The result was complaint and sometimes anger at the one who gave it to us. We looked at it and rather than try to do something with it we try to give it back. Most of God’s gifts take the eye of faith to enjoy them. Two men can be given a job by God to earn money and care for their families, one see’s it through the eye of faith, he sees the potential of working hard and making the most of it. He keeps a good attitude knowing the king gave it to him. The result is he prospers and is promoted and in some cases is offered a better position at another company because he worked hard at that one. The other man keeps looking for the perfect job and never excels where he is at, always living with an unsettled spirit wondering if God really cares. He finds it difficult to go to work because he sees his job as “Cabul” and says to God “what cities are these?

Read: 1 Kings 9:10-13