1 Kings 6:38 And in the eleventh year, in the month of Bul, which is the eighth month, the house was finished in all its details and according to all its plans. So he was seven years in building it. 1 Kings 7:1
But Solomon took thirteen years to build his own house; so he finished all his house.
One of the greatest achievements of Solomon was that he built the temple of God. If you read the description of the temple in 1 Kings 6 you can see how awesome the temple must have been. Solomon put in a lot of effort and work to build the house of God. It was not an easy task and surely it was not a job you can finish in a short period of time. In fact, the last verse of chapter 6 tells us that it took 7 years to build the temple of God.
The next verse, which is chapter 7 verse 1, starts with the word “But.” And it says that it took 13 years for Solomon to build his own house (compared to the 7 years for the Temple of God. 7 is a symbol of completeness in the Bible though). I wondered at why the verse would start with the word “But,” when you can also start the verse with other words such as “And” or “Then” or “Next” or “After that.” The author chose to start the verse with the word “But.” The Bible does not mention or indicate whatsoever that building your own house for a longer period of time than the length of time spent in building the God’s house is wrong. It does not say that Solomon was wrong in doing so. We don’t know what Solomon’s intention was.
Whatever Solomon’s motive or the intention was, I imagined to myself what mine would have been if I were Solomon. It is easy for us as selfish humans to value mine over God’s. After all, if you really think about it, everything you have is from God. We should always be able to put God’s things first over my own personal agenda. We should always learn to set our priorities straight.