King Solomon has now received King Hiram’s response to the letter we were privy to in the last reading. We learn a few things of note in Hiram’s letter of reply. What did you notice?
First and foremost, we learn that King Hiram has great respect for the God of Israel. Generally speaking, the people of Tyre were not Israelites and they did not worship God. They had many gods distracting them from the truth. Yet, King Hiram says very affirming things about our God. He actually shows a lot more reverence than most non-believers today.
Paul deals here with another burning question on the minds of Corinthians dealing with the problem of food sacrificed to idols. I can’t say that this is something I’ve ever thought of, and I’m pretty sure it’s a new one for you, too. But taken in context, it was a very real problem in Paul’s day. The concept applied here can speak to other issues we may be facing.
While the Corinthian’s question was specific about food, Paul wants them to look deeper. Paul wants them to understand that God isn’t going to smite us if we eat such food. “It’s true that we can’t win God’s approval by what we eat.We don’t lose anything if we don’t eat it, and we don’t gain anything if we do.” It comes down to “how does our behavior affect others?”