The setting is 1 Chronicles 22. David is nearing the end of his life and charges Solomon with building a house for the Lord. David lays out for his son the plans he had made in anticipation, the materials he’s gathered, and the type of laborers Solomon will need. The king then spends five chapters (that get a bit thick with detail) going over the division of labor concerning officials, judges, gate keepers, musicians, treasurers, those in the army, and overseers that will be needed for the temple.
Next (or at least next in the text), David gathers the officials of Israel to fill them in on the plan and then pulls Solomon aside for more instructions. This time he adds some details about the utensils to be made from gold and silver; things like gold lampstands, lamps, tables for the bread, gold meat hooks, sprinkling bowls, pitchers, and a gold table for incense.
Wait. Gold meat hooks.
Excuse me? Did I read that right? Was it gold or God? (Neither of which I’ve heard of before.) Now you’ve got my attention!
“David also designated the amount of gold for the solid gold meat hooks to be used to handle the sacrificial meat.” (27:18, NLT)
Gold meat hooks!
And just like that, my work, your work, was given the golden touch and I almost missed it.
I have now read, reread, googled, and become mildly obsessed with this passage and meat hooks. They are referenced six times in the Old Testament and are most commonly translated at “forks.” But what stopped me cold was the position in the list. All of the other instruments seem to be more suitable for grand temple use. Gold lamps and lampstands, of course. Gold tables for bread and incense, yes, yes!
It was not an after-thought to have the meat hook made of gold; you don’t put an afterthought in the middle of a list. It was not as if Solomon was to see if there was enough gold to make the meat hooks. No, everything used in the temple played a role and was important, even (especially?) the meat hook.
I am a meat hook. You are a meat hook. The work of a meat hook isn’t glamorous (I doubt the phrase “what a lovely meat hook” will ever be said with the awe of “what a beautiful lampstand”), but it is important.
When we step into messy situations and help offer it up as a living sacrifice, that is being a meat hook for Jesus.
Meat hooks do the mundane work of holding meat. Modern day meat hooks might look like car repairs, shoveled snow, helping with taxes and budgets, babysitting, working at a food bank, cooking a meal, reading a book, replying to an email, grading papers, doing laundry, playing with a child or listening beyond the mere words. They are easy to overlook. So easy that David ends, “Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the LORD God, my God, is with you.” Yes, he was talking to Solomon about building the temple, but it can get old being a meat hook. Take heart! God is with you.
He could have made us just regular metal colored meat hooks. But that’s not how he sees us. This week I am calling myself and the work I do, that of a gold meat hook.
Care to join me? If so, say “Yes!” in the comment section and pass the word on.
Hannah (@invisblforeignr) says
Kashgar! That brings back memories.
Yes!! Going through all of my photos trying to find a meat hook, it brought back a lot of memories!
Paula Phillips says
YES! Excellent discovery and great lesson!!! Thanks for sharing!
Marsha Young says
Yes, this week I will now be aware of what and how I am stabbing (or forking) things as God uses me.
Hmmm, “gold meat hooks” – I’ve never noticed that before when reading through 1st Chronicles. Sometimes it just takes a good treasure hunter, like yourself, to point this truth out to the rest of us. Thanks, Amy!
jan dozeman says
YES, in everything I do this week, I will try to be a “gold” meat hook for Him. Thanks for your encouragement! This is definitely a new thought for me too!
Amy (Flam) says
Jan, let’s be gold hook accountability partners, hee hee! :)
Amy (Flam) says
P.S. Thanks for the great insight, Amy!
love it! Meat hook clubs :)
Hazel Irene Moon says
That is a new and exciting way of putting a down to earth example of what we are. Meat hook? At least we are golden!
yes, a gold meat hook I am! Thanks for sharing this insight with us! Have a great week serving Him in golden ways!
Americas Next Top Mommy says
That passage is so easy to want to skip ahead in those scriptures. I feel the same way when God gives all the cubit measurements of how to build the arc of the covenant and when I get to the “begats.” It seems unimportant but as you’ve proven, there are so many details that can be transforming!
TC Avey says
I’ll be a meat hook! Yes! It’s so amazing the tiny details in the Scriptures we sometimes overlook. Thanks for sharing this revelation!
Mary DeMuth (@MaryDeMuth) says
Amazing post. I’d never thought of this before!
Thanks Mary, coming from you, that means a lot! Amy
I admit it. I had to look this up and see it for myself, and sure enough…meat hooks! So, I’m with you! This week, I’m going to hold the meat of life that I’m given with the dignity and perseverance befitting a golden meat hook.
I’m glad you checked it out! How have I missed it all these years? Have a golden week!
Lisa notes... says
Yes! A meat hook; that’s one I would have never thought of on my own. Thank you, Amy! I love how you think and how you make me think. The Word continues to hold so many surprises.
Alicia@the OVerflow says
Yes! I’d LOVE to be a meat hook, and I LOVE The way you bring the Word to life. Seriously, I would have totally skimmed over that little detail. You’ve made my day. Can’t wait to share this with my kids. Love visiting you here- your writing is insightful and fresh. Thank you
Loren Pinilis says
Ha – I guess I had never focused on that before. I’m struck by how gruesome the sacrificial system was. It makes me thankful for the grace of Christ which paid the price once and for all.
And you bring a great reminder that God has a variety of tools that he uses for a variety of situations. It may not seem glamorous sometimes, but I think he makes the “meat hooks” of us to love being meat hooks.
LeAnne Parham says
I will never look at all of the hanging meat the same. I guess it’s easy to forget that everything in the Word is in there for a reason. Although it’s also easy to wonder how in the world we’ve missed it, isn’t it wonderful that we do keep finding new treasures? To stop learning and discovering would be boring!