What should we think and do concerning making use of the abilities of unbelievers and of products made by them? Because believers should base all their doctrine and practice on what God has revealed in Scripture, this post compiles biblical passages that provide direction about this matter.
David and Solomon made use of non-Israelite people and products on various occasions. Considering these passages provides instruction for us.
David used Goliath’s sword to kill Goliath and later availed himself of the sword again when he needed a weapon.
1 Samuel 17:51 Therefore David ran, and stood upon the Philistine, and took his sword, and drew it out of the sheath thereof, and slew him, and cut off his head therewith. And when the Philistines saw their champion was dead, they fled.
1 Samuel 21:9 And the priest said, The sword of Goliath the Philistine, whom thou slewest in the valley of Elah, behold, it is here wrapped in a cloth behind the ephod: if thou wilt take that, take it: for there is no other save that here. And David said, There is none like that; give it me.
David also had put on him a crown that was on the head of an Ammonite king.
2 Samuel 12:30 And he took their king’s crown from off his head, the weight whereof was a talent of gold with the precious stones: and it was set on David’s head. And he brought forth the spoil of the city in great abundance.
David employed skilled craftsmen from Tyre to make his house.
1 Chronicles 14:1 Now Hiram king of Tyre sent messengers to David, and timber of cedars, with masons and carpenters, to build him an house.
After defeating an enemy, David took for himself chariots belonging to the enemy.
1 Chronicles 18:4 And David took from him a thousand chariots, and seven thousand horsemen, and twenty thousand footmen: David also houghed all the chariot horses, but reserved of them an hundred chariots.
Solomon recognized the excellence of the Sidonians in hewing timber and availed himself of that resource.
1 Kings 5:6 Now therefore command thou that they hew me cedar trees out of Lebanon; and my servants shall be with thy servants: and unto thee will I give hire for thy servants according to all that thou shalt appoint: for thou knowest that there is not among us any that can skill to hew timber like unto the Sidonians.
Solomon employed a highly skillful half-Israelite man in making the temple of God.1
1 Kings 7:13 And king Solomon sent and fetched Hiram out of Tyre. 14 He was a widow’s son of the tribe of Naphtali, and his father was a man of Tyre, a worker in brass: and he was filled with wisdom, and understanding, and cunning to work all works in brass. And he came to king Solomon, and wrought all his work.
Solomon had his servants collaborate with knowledgeable sailors of Tyre.
1 Kings 9:27 And Hiram sent in the navy his servants, shipmen that had knowledge of the sea, with the servants of Solomon.
Solomon imported chariots from Egypt and then exported them to others.
1 Kings 10:29 And a chariot came up and went out of Egypt for six hundred shekels of silver, and an horse for an hundred and fifty: and so for all the kings of the Hittites, and for the kings of Syria, did they bring them out by their means.
These passages show that both David and Solomon took advantage of the skillfulness of certain non-Israelites (or half-Jewish men) in certain areas of their expertise. They also made use of some products made by non-Israelite peoples.
These passages provide a biblical basis for believers’ making use of certain unbelievers for accomplishing certain tasks in their lives. This revelation also shows that believers may make legitimate use of certain products made by some unbelievers.
1 Scripture does not provide definitive information for us to know with certainty whether this skillful half-Israelite was an unbeliever or a believer.