Public Works

1 Kings 5

V. 1, Hiram congratulates Solomon for being anointed king in place of David, his father. Hiram and David had been good friends. (Hiram has supplied both the material and builders to build David an house. 2 Samuel 5:11.)

V. 2, Solomon sends word back to Hiram:

3 Thou knowest how that David my father could not build an house unto the name of the LORD his God for the wars which were about him on every side, until the LORD put them under the soles of his feet.

Solomon reminds Hiram that his father wanted to build an house for the name of the Lord, but was prohibited by the Lord. David could not build the house of the Lord because he was a bloody man, as he fought the Lord's battles. (1 Chronicles 28:3.) The promise in 2 Samuel 7:18 (1 Chronicles 17:16) was that the Lord would build a sure and everlasting house through the seed of David. Solomon was the initial fulfillment of that promise, but Christ was the final fulfillment.

Here in v. 3, we see that the Lord placed David's enemies under his feet, and He did that through physical warfare while David sat on a literal throne in Jerusalem. David was a bloody man of warfare, and the warfare was very violent.

We find almost identical wording in Psalms 110:

1 ¶ <<A Psalm of David.>> The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.

This is one of the most quoted passages in Scripture: Matthew 22:44, Mark 12:36, Luke 20:42, Acts 2:34, 35, 1 Corinthians 15:25, Ephesians 1:20-22, Hebrews 1:13, 10:12, 13, 1 Peter 3:22.

All of the above passages tell us that Christ is in the heavens, ruling from the right hand of the Father. He will remain there until His enemies are made His footstool. Though David's, who wrote this Psalm, reign was physical, and the warfare to subdue the enemies was literal and bloody, Christ's, David's Son, reign is spiritual, and His enemies are subdued spiritually.

Christ is called The Prince of Peace, and the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Peace, as He brings peace with God through the Lord Jesus Christ. (Galatians 5:22, 1 Thessalonians 5:23, &c.)

Thus, I do not see how we can understand Christ, the Prince of Peace, as being a bloody, warring king as David had to be in order to be established in his kingdom. Did not Christ say He was greater than Solomon? (Matthew 12:42.) Solomon's name means peaceful, (Heb. Shelomoh). Are we to believe that Christ's name means warring and violence? I think not.

Christ will conquer, and is conquering, through peaceful means. The Comforter, the Holy Spirit, was sent to reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment. (John 16:7ff.) Neither He nor the Lord Jesus was sent to wage bloody warfare against sinners. The warfare they wage is in the heart, reproving the world... The Lord carries on that warfare from His seat at the right hand of God the Father, far above all powers of this and the other worlds. (Ephesians 1:20ff, Colossians 3:1ff.)

It is thus totally contrary to both the spirit and the words of the New Testament to expect Christ to wage bloody warfare to establish His kingdom on earth, as David had to do. (A good book on this subject is The Israel of God in Prophecy. Principles of Prophetic Interpretation, by Hans K. Larondelle. Andrews University Press, Berrien Springs, MI. 1983.)

V. 5, build an house. (2 Chronicles 2:1-10)

1. We are living stones in the house being built for the Son of David. (2 Peter 2:5)
2. Our bodies are the temple of God. (1 Corinthians 6:19.)
3. We are laborers together with Him in the building of his church. (1 Corinthians 3:9.)

5:10ff. (This is from my hand notes in 1 Kings 9.)

Fraudulent money and Inflation

Genesis 23:16 And Abraham hearkened unto Ephron; and Abraham weighed to Ephron the silver, which he had named in the audience of the sons of Heth, four hundred shekels of silver, current money with the merchant.

Deuteronomy 25:15 But thou shalt have a perfect and just weight, a perfect and just measure shalt thou have: that thy days may be lengthened in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.
Proverbs 11:1 A false balance is abomination to the LORD: but a just weight is his delight. 16:11 A just weight and balance are the LORD'S: all the weights of the bag are his work.

From the earliest recorded history, hard metal has been used as a medium of exchange for goods and services. However, hard metal is not the only thing of value that has been used:

1 Kings 5:11 And Solomon gave Hiram twenty thousand measures of wheat for food to his household, and twenty measures of pure oil: thus gave Solomon to Hiram year by year.

Solomon used wheat, barley, wine and oil (2 Chronicles 2:10, 15.) to barter for what he wanted, in this case, wood out of Lebanon.

Throughout Biblical history, something of value has been used to purchase other things of value, and whenever that pattern is violated, destruction must follow.

Inflation & Debt

We see in 1 Kings 9:10ff, that the second half of Solomon's reign was spent on public works and social programs. His taxes were high (12:4) to finance all of these public works programs.

Notice that the people rejected the king in chapter 12, Rehoboam, because he refused to give tax relief from the tremendous public spending.

Today, the Federal Government created inflation so it could carry on the tremendous public and social spending without having to raise taxes to finance those expenditures. This gives the Federal Government power without having to raise taxes, even though it is fait money. Solomon could not spend fait money. He had to have hard currency, so he had to raise taxes.

If the Feds would raise taxes to finance the money it is spending on various projects not called for in the constitution (and Scripture, i.e., defense and justice), there wold be an instant revolt, and the free spenders would be thrown out immediately, just as they did Rehoboam in 12:16.

But with inflation, the government can make these expenditures and keep the power that goes with spending mountains of money without raising taxes. The people, generally, want the money that is thrown their way for their votes, and they pay for the free spending with inflation.

If the taxes had raised 200% since, say the middle 50's, then the elected officials who did it would have been thrown out, and the spending reigned in. Really, I am sure that it is much more than 200%, for $1.00 in 1964 silver coins is now worth about $7.00 - $7.50 per $1.00 face value (9/27/84. It does not miss this far today, March 25, 2004.)

If this increase, plus the tax increase, plus the S.S. increase were all added together, there would have been a revolution long ago to get he free spenders out of power. The free spenders know that power comes with money, so years ago, they created the private corporation known as the Federal Reserve. This laid the groundwork to print fiat money.

Solomon and Rehoboam did not have the freedom of paper money because under godly rule, only silver and gold could be used, which assured that power would not be centralized in a centralized government. In order to do anything, the central government need the people's support for finances, for government does not generate income other than by squeezing its citizens. People generate income through work.

Inflation is created and used by the central government to gain and keep their power over the masses of people, for money equals power. The framers of our Constitution knew this, so they made only gold and silver legal tender. By the means of a hard currency, the people can keep control of their government by refusing to finance things they do not agree with. Biblical currency would certainly cut down waste, fraud and social spending.

This is why the federal government had to remove honest, hard currency from the money system in 1965. The American people would never had allowed the liberals to take control, if they had been required to pay for the non-constitutional spending. I believe the average man will willingly pay for defense and for justice, as required of the civil government in scripture.

This would be the best way in the world to cut out wasteful spending in areas in which the centeral government has no legitimate authority.

Just say, "OK, next year, taxes must pay for all government expendatures", and then raise taxes accordingly. That would put a quick end to the foolishness in DC.

Rehoboam wanted to raise taxes to do the increased public works over what Solomon spent, and the people said, NO, unto this day. 1 Kings 12:19.

Lack of money will keep a man's principles when he desires to please God will not.
Lack of money will keep a civil government right when the hearts of the leaders will not.

The leaders are not about to allow a balanced budget call have any binding authority, because to do so would destroy their power.

The people (I don't think) really do not want one either, for they would lose their social payments from the civil government. But they do not realize they are paying for those spending bills anyway through inflation.

$1 in 1964 is equal to $4 or more today. Just try to purchase $1 worth of junk silver, and see how much it costs. A 1964 silver dollar will cost $11 or $12 today. An even better picture of inflation is the price of gold. It was held at $35 an ounce for years, but today it is well over $400 per oz.

The difference between the 64 price and today's price is inflation. (Check the price of new cars, houses for a reality check concerning inflation.)

God help us to get our priorities back to where they belong.
Give us some leaders who desire to do right, and will do it.
Give us some people willing to face facts and submit to Biblical principles.
We have more than people had in the 30s:
More houses, cars, food, clothing, land, DEBT.

IN THE 30s, the factories (and homes) were paid for. Today, the SOP for factories is to borrow, and they now many times owe more than their stock is worth on the NYSE.

Thus, there is really not any gain in material goods; rather, it is simply a gain in debts.

See DEBT below.

(Back to 1 Kings 9:20)

V. 17, the foundation was laid.

These were large stones, many of which are visible even today. Large is 23' 9" long, others from 17-20' long. There are still five rows high at the temple site. Even with all the wars over this site, the foundation stones still stand. It seem as though every nation under the sun has fought over the temple site. They are battered and beaten, but they have stood the test of time, and can still be seen.

1. Matthew 21:42, Christ is the foundation. (Isaiah 28:16 with Psalms 68:22.)

2. He is the one sure foundation. (1 Corinthians 3:11.)

The Chief cornerstone that abideth forever. He is a sure foundation that will never fail. (Ephesians 2:20, 2 Timothy 2:19, Hebrews 13:8.)

There have been unnumbered religious buildings built upon this Foundation, Christ, and they have all fallen or are in the process of falling as sin creeps in, but the Foundation remains. Actually, the destruction of men's false works is compared to a shaking. (Hebrews 12:27.)

Notice how Solomon's foundation was laid, 6:7, neither hammer nor ax nor any tool of iron...
God built His foundation of the doctrine of Christ with neither hammer nor ax nor any tool of iron...

These stones also picture the true church, not mens religious organizations.
2 Timothy 2:19, stands sure.
Ephesians 2:20, Revelation 21:14, built on the apostles and prophets.
Matthew 16:18, even the gates of hell cannot stand against this Foundation.

Notice the fires destroyed what was built on Solomon's foundation, but the foundation stones of v. 17 are still there in their place.

Man has a habit of building wood, hay and stubble on the stones (the doctrines of Christ, Hebrews 6:12), and many even hide the foundation, but like Solomon's temple, they will all burn away, except the foundation, if it is built right. The foundation may be covered by the rubble of men's doctrines and traditions, but it is still there.

I suppose Herod's Temple is a good illustration. It was beautiful on the outside, and very impressive to the eye. It took years to build, but the foundation stones could not be seen. The temple passed away in the fires of God's judgment, AD 70. Solomon's temple also passed away in the fires of God's judgment, but the foundation still stands.

God, in His wisdom, laid the foundation in Christ, a foundation to safely build upon. Solomon, in his wisdom, laid a firm foundation to build upon. Christ, like that foundation, has and will stand despite the fires of this world that rage against it, and the false buildings built upon it.


The New York Times

The Next Shock: Not Oil, but Debt


Published: September 5, 2004

WITH oil prices hovering above $40 a barrel [now over $50, October 8, 2004], experts have calmed frayed nerves by noting that today's services-driven American economy is much less addicted to the black stuff than yesterday's industrial economy. From 1973 to 2003, after all, the amount of oil and gas needed to create a dollar of gross domestic product fell by half. Structural changes in the economy have let the nation absorb the recent shock of rising crude.

That's the good news. The bad news is that other recent structural changes in the economy - the federal government's shift from surpluses to huge deficits, the national predilection for consumption over saving and housing prices that climb faster than incomes - have increased the country's reliance on another kind of fuel: credit.

As a result, the American economic ship, which has weathered the recent run-up in crude oil prices, may be more vulnerable to sudden surges in the price of money. If the rate on 30-year fixed mortgages were to rise from 5.4 percent today to 7.5 percent next February, homeowners could get walloped.

"Rather go to bed supperless than rise in debt," Benjamin Franklin wrote in Poor Richard's Almanac. Well, in recent years, American consumers, businesses and governments have been hitting the sack with their stomachs bloated and their charge cards maxed out. From 1988 to 2000, the ratio of nonfinancial debt to gross domestic product held steady at about 1.8 to 1. But recently, consumer, business and government credit has bulged like the belly of a contestant at a hot-dog eating contest at Coney Island.

From the beginning of 2001 to the end of 2003, the economy added $1.317 trillion in gross domestic product and $4.2 trillion in debt.

That means that each new dollar of economic output was accompanied by $3.19 in new debt. So now, for the first time, the debt-to-G.D.P. ratio stands at more than two to one.

Throw in financial credit - the debt that investment banks and others use to finance trading activities and the like - and total debt has more than doubled since 1994. The mere existence of huge debt needn't be a source of panic. You and I may view debt as an economic input - we borrow so we can spend and invest, and hence, as politicians like to say, "grow the economy." Academic economists view it more as a byproduct. Debt is created when people, governments and companies spend money, trade and produce.

VIEWED that way, the sharp rise in credit in recent years isn't surprising or even, in and of itself, alarming. "When interest rates are low, you'd expect people to pile on more debt per G.D.P. because it's cheap,'' said J. Bradford DeLong, an economist at the University of California at Berkeley.

What's more, as anyone who has ever used a mortgage calculator knows, lower debt-service costs can make higher levels of debt seem eminently manageable. Here is a gigantic example:

In 1997, when the total national debt stood at $5.4 trillion, Washington paid $356 billion in interest. In 2003, when the national debt grew to $6.8 trillion, Uncle Sam's interest bill fell to $318 billion. The environment of ultralow interest rates engineered by Alan Greenspan, the Federal Reserve chairman, thus sharply muted the impact of Washington's fiscal recklessness.

But the economy's apparent reliance on credit to fuel everything from home buying to the military budget is troublesome. If incomes and revenues fail to rise, stressed consumers may have a tough time keeping up with payments. "It's been much more a matter of households borrowing than businesses," said Benjamin M. Friedman, a Harvard economist. "You have to hope that people are going to be able to service the obligations they've taken on."

An economy hooked on debt also is vulnerable to the seemingly inevitable rise in interest rates. And in a period when prudence would seem to dictate locking in rates, Americans have rushed to assume greater interest-rate risk. Borrowers - especially homebuyers - haven't reacted to recent increases by borrowing less.

In the first quarter of 2004, debt rose at an annual clip of 8.6 percent, more than double the growth rate of the economy. No, we've kept the interest bill down by swapping fixed-rate for adjustable-rate financing. The Mortgage Bankers Association reported that adjustable-rate mortgages constituted 35 percent of new mortgages in the second quarter this year, up from 27 percent in the fourth quarter of 2003.

Consumers, whose maxed-out credit cards generally bear floating interest rates, and the federal government, which skews its borrowing to short-term instruments, have essentially done the same thing. So if interest rates rise, we'll all have to spend more dollars on debt service, leaving fewer dollars for more productive uses - like buying 90-inch flat-screen TV's. If money becomes more expensive, we may have to downshift our spending and consumption, like drivers trading in expensive Hummers for gas-sipping imports. And that may shrink the economy.

HIGHER collective leverage, in turn, means that we're more susceptible to external shocks. "The bigger the debt, the smaller the margin for error,'' said Austan D. Goolsbee, a University of Chicago economist. Companies with no debt can weather several lean quarters; companies with piles of debt often find that a single bad quarter spells disaster.

The same holds for consumers. All kinds of wild cards that are scary even in placid times - another spike in gas prices, a rupture of the housing bubble, fresh job losses, a period of sustained inflation - become nightmares during times of greater leverage. So as we go to bed with our suppers and our home-equity lines of credit, Professor Goolsbee says: "I think we should be a little nervous."