Wednesday, 8 June 2011

The Glory And The Fall of King Solomon

The Visit of the queen of Sheba is probably the climax of Israel's Old Testament history.

A Father (David) has set his Son (Solomon) on the throne of Israel. This son is indued with great wisdom to rule his people, there is peace in the land and very great prosperity. The temple and palace are completed, and the one who is known as the Glory of the LORD (Heb.1:3) is among his people at Jerusalem (2Chron.7:1)

The rulers of the other nations rejoice and bring their tribute to this wise son of David (1Ki.4:21, 5:7). The Queen of Sheba comes in person to see this great nation that the LORD has established under a wise king, and she is quite overwhelmed (1Ki.10:4-5).

Yet in the very next chapter after her departure, we see Solomon turn away from the LORD and go after false gods. We are left under no illusions that whilst he has been great in worldly terms, this son of David is not the Son of David who has been promised to come from King David's family line and who will reign for ever (2Sam.7:16).

As an aside, it's sobering to note that in the two great father-son relationships of the Old Testament: Abraham and Isaac and David and Solomon, both the sons fall into major disobedience.

Isaac refuses to honour the prophecy of the Lord spoken over Jacob and tries to bless Esau. How ironic that he tries to disinherit God's appointed heir - the younger brother, when that was exactly what he experienced at the hands of his father, Abraham and (half) brother, Ishmael.

Solomon, despite all his public wisdom, in private allows his heart to run after other gods, no doubt because of his love for his many wives. Again, how ironic for one who wrote the Song of all Songs.

Nevertheless, even with all its corruption, we can still clearly see how all this symbolically points forward to the end of Revelation when the Father of all Fathers installs Jesus his Son as king of all kings in the new Jerusalem and together they reign over their people. A people won out from every family of the earth into the great eternal family of God.

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