sThe remnants from the original inhabitants of the land (Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites—all non-Israelites), survivors of the holy wars, were rounded up by Solomon for his gangs of slave labor, a policy still in effect. 1 Kings 9:20 (MSG)
Every leader, no matter how great, has flaws and faults. A chink in the armor. An Achille's heel. A tragic flaw. We're all human. We can't help it.
Solomon is heralded through the ages as a great and wise king. He is praised for his massive building projects. A temple, palaces, and fortifications. Nevertheless, reading between the lines of today's chapter, we see two cracks in Solomon's character. One of those cracks would grow to divide the kingdom he built.
Think about it. Great building projects take time, materials and labor.
As for time, the land was at peace. Time was on Solomon's side.
As for materials, it appears that Solomon expected and took materials from neighbors and did not offer much in return. Wise King Solomon did not show the expected gratitude to King Hiram for all the gifts of building materials Hiram gave in cedar and gold. Solomon gave the King twenty towns in Galilee, but you see Hiram's response. He wasn't pleased.
As for labor, Solomon enslaved the non-Israelites of the land. He worked them hard and provided little for them. We will see as we continue our journey through the story that Solomon built up the kingdom on the backs of slave labor, and then left an explosive, political mess for his son to clean up.
I'm reminded today of my person areas of leadership. I'm a husband. I'm a father. I'm an employer. I'm a community member. I have both strengths and weaknesses in my leadership. As much as I may wish to do so, I can't ignore my weaknesses.
How can I build on the strengths while shoring up the cracks in my character?