“Then Solomon said, […] ‘I have indeed built you an exalted house, a place for you to dwell in forever’” (1 Kings 8:12-13).
Solomon was a great king. While his father’s reign had been filled with wars and plots, Solomon’s reign (for the most part) knew nothing but peace. God had promised to give David’s son rest from his enemies, and that’s exactly what He provided. The reason for this peace was so Solomon could build the temple. He did this within the first few years of his reign, constructing a magnificent house for God. It would be a world-renowned structure for generations to come.
But the temple wasn’t the only things Solomon built. After finishing that project, he turned to his own house, spending thirteen years on an opulent palace. Part of that palace was a majestic throne featuring fourteen lions. In addition, he imported tons of precious metals, which he made into shields, drinking vessels, and more. He also had his own zoo, bringing in exotic animals from other countries.
In short, Solomon loved to build. No one made him do any of these things. All David had commissioned him to make was the temple, and even that he could have put off until the end of his life, or perhaps ignored his father’s request altogether. But instead, building the temple was just the beginning of his projects. He had a gift for building, and he used it as long as he lived. Building the temple and making it as magnificent as possible wasn’t a burden for him, because it was exactly the kind of thing that gave him the most pleasure. God had called him to that task for a reason, giving him the exact giftings he needed. The temple was an act of worship, for through it, Solomon used his gift to glorify God.