THE KING IS BORN
A few passages in 1 Kings stood out recently, seeming to reinforce each others’ points. Even though they were speaking of King Solomon when written, they seemed to be pointing to Christ in their fulness.
It’s a bit striking that Solomon (King David’s son who finally succeeded him as king) who was so gifted by God, (having asked Him for wisdom, and God answered his prayer) could have given it all away so quickly and easily.
YOUR SON … SHALL BUILD THE HOUSE
God had Solomon (instead of David) build the Temple, He gave him profound wisdom and wealth, so much so that the Queen of Sheba seemed overwhelmed by it all when she visited him in person.
There was so much promise, after he built the temple and prayed for God to always keep His eyes upon the prayers offered there, etc.
So many incredible words were spoken about him:
“But the LORD said to David my father, ‘Whereas it was in your heart to build a house for my name, you did well that it was in your heart. Nevertheless, you shall not build the house, but your son who shall be born to you shall build the house for my name.’ Now the LORD has fulfilled his promise that he made. For I have risen in the place of David my father, and sit on the throne of Israel as the LORD promised, and I have built the house for the name of the LORD, the God of Israel.” (1 Kings 8:17-20 ESV)
Solomon was David’s “son who shall be born to you”.
Solomon prays a beautiful prayer later in that chapter, in part saying: “Now therefore, O LORD, God of Israel, keep for your servant David my father what you have promised him, saying, ‘You shall not lack a man to sit before me on the throne of Israel, if only your sons pay close attention to their way, to walk before me as you have walked before me.'” (1 Kings 8:25 ESV)
Wondering how that promise to not lack a man to sit before Him … is fulfilled if not in Christ….
GOD WITH US
A couple verses later, referring to the Temple he had built, Solomon says: “But will God indeed dwell on the earth? Behold, heaven and the highest heaven cannot contain you; how much less this house that I have built!” (1 Kings 8:27 ESV)
Flip over a couple of chapters and the Queen of Sheba is saying about Solomon: “Happy are your men! Happy are your servants, who continually stand before you and hear your wisdom! Blessed be the LORD your God, who has delighted in you and set you on the throne of Israel! Because the LORD loved Israel forever, he has made you king, that you may execute justice and righteousness.” (I Kings 10:8-9 ESV)
Now after all that promise and blessing; all the wisdom imparted so that even the book of Proverbs was largely written by Solomon; one chapter later (1 Kings 11), somehow Solomon gives it all away, going after women and idolatry. “Now King Solomon loved many foreign women….” Wow! How very much like the rest of us was this mighty man of God.
In one way, it saddens me, and in another it encourages me. We are all in this situation together. There is truly nothing new under the sun. We are all in desperate need when left to our own devices and sin.
SON OF DAVID
Keeping these passages in mind, during this wonderful time of year, as we celebrate the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ, it becomes almost unmistakable (along with so many other scriptures about the “Temple” in the New Testament–where it is stated that WE are the temple, etc.) that JESUS is the Son of David Who built the “true” Temple, Who is seated on the throne of Israel forever, (since He DID walk before God in the way of David), and God DID indeed dwell on the earth, at least for a while physically, and now within His children … now He permanently inhabits the true Temple in the form of His Body, the Church.
It all seems so obvious, sometimes it mystifies me that people miss it. Perhaps because they don’t KNOW it…. Read up to those passages above, and read them in the context of being about Jesus. Surely, they are all very true in that regard.
Bless the Lord, our King, Who came here defenseless as a baby, Who died a horrendous death at our hands and for our sake, and now has been exalted to the highest place. Ruler over ALL. Hallelujah!
May this Christmas have even deeper meaning as we ponder anew the realization that the “birth of the King” fulfills more and implies more than we know.