Have you ever given a gift to someone and they did not like it? How did that make you feel? The matter becomes a little more complicated when the gift you are giving is sort of payback for something the other person had first done for you. Solomon has gotten as much cedar timber from his buddy Hiram, king of Tyre, as he could possibly need. Hiram held nothing back. So what is Solomon going to give in return?
I hate it when I ask someone how much they want for something they are selling and they say “Oh, just give me what you want for the item”. It’s a losing proposition no matter what you decide to give. And you usually end up giving much more than the item was worth in the first place. I am sure Solomon must have sat a stewed about what he should give to Hiram in exchange for all these construction materials.
So, after much deliberation, Solomon gives 20 cities which were located on or near the border of their two countries. Makes sense. Hiram takes one look at these towns and immediately feels like he has been gypped. Perhaps Solomon was into Hiram for a little more that he thought he would be when he first started this project. Cost overruns perhaps. At any rate, Hiram gives the whole area a name – “Cabul”. Cabul means worthless. Solomon thought they were ok, but Hiram saw no value in them whatsoever.
I think Solomon and Hiram worked things out eventually (see II Chronicles 8). Do you ever wonder that, when the day comes when we receive everything from the Lord that we have been promised, we will sit back and say “Hmmm, I am a little disappointed”? Not on your life. When God gives gifts they will be the kind that will hit us just right! No disappointment. No seeing things from two different points of view. We will be blessed and we will sense deep down in the very core of our being. This is the promise for every believer.