Double dose of fulfilled promise this morning. One from the Old Testament, the other from the New. Both concerning the same promise–God’s promise to David that He would “raise up your offspring after you, . . . establish his kingdom. . . . your house and your kingdom shall be made sure forever before Me. Your throne shall be established forever” (2Sam. 7:12-16). The first dose a reminder of the grace available. The second, of the glory to be revealed.
First I read of Solomon’s rise to the throne in 1Kings. David, nearing death, gives final instruction to Solomon. Some of it practical, as to “cleaning up” some unfinished business concerning David’s enemies. But some of it promise-based instruction concerning the throne. Be strong, be a man, and keep the charge of our God, David exhorts Solomon, that the Lord may establish His word spoken to me concerning my throne (1Kings 2:1-4).
And as Solomon carries out his dad’s final wishes he does so connecting his actions to God’s promise. He removes the threat of his older brother’s deceitful maneuvers for the throne in the name of the living God who had established Solomon as king and placed Solomon on the throne, “as He promised” (2:23-25). And when David’s son deals with one who had sought to see David dethroned he triumphantly declares, “the throne of David shall be established before the LORD forever” (2:45).
But while Solomon rises to prominence in fulfillment of the promise of God, he does so as one dependent on the grace of God. Though Solomon loved the LORD (3:3), he also had a weakness for the world, taking a daughter of Pharaoh king of Egypt as his wife, thus making an alliance with Jacob’s land of bondage (3:1-2). Talk about your unequal yoking . . . talk about reason for God to pause and give second thought as to this successor to the promised throne . . . especially knowing what a weakness women would become for Solomon.
And then I read that Solomon “sacrificed and made offerings at the high places” (3:3). What?!? Wonky worship and worldly women? Is this really the guy God’s raised up to fulfill His promise?
Evidently yes . . . for it’s after this foreshadowing of Solomon’s two clay feet, that God appears to Solomon in a dream and asks, “What shall I give you?” And Solomon, though very human, shows great humility, desiring great faithfulness as he asks God for wisdom that this “little child” might have “an understanding mind” to govern God’s people (3:5-9).
And “it pleased the Lord.” God answers the newbie king’s prayer . . . and then some. Not only gifting him with “a wise and discerning mind” but also with that which Solomon could have asked for but didn’t, “riches and honor, so that no other king shall compare with you” (3:10-13).
And I’m encouraged. God’s perfect promise fulfilled in less than perfect people. God’s eternal plan advanced through men of mortal flesh. Even amidst the flesh’s failure, the Father is pleased with a heart that seeks to faithfully serve. And in His grace, God supplies heavenly provision sufficient for those tasked with earthly obedience. A reminder that grace is available.
But then I came across my second encounter with the fulfillment of God’s promise to David. And what a contrast as I pause and reflect on the greater Solomon.
“Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call His name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to Him the throne of His father David, and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.”
(Luke 1:30-33 ESV)
Not a king in need of grace, but a King who from eternity past is declared to be great. Though of the flesh and tempted as Solomon was, yet without sin (Heb. 4:15). Not needing an extra measure of divine wisdom, but “in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Col. 2:3). Come the first time to claim a people for His own and establish a kingdom in redeemed hearts of faith. Coming again in might and power to reign forever in a kingdom that will know no end. Thus fulfilling fully God’s promise to David. A reminder of the glory to be revealed.
Our God is a keeper of promise. If He begins a work, He will finish it.
And it will be by His grace. His all sufficient, abundantly flowing grace.
And on that day when faith gives way to sight, it will manifest His glory. His everlasting, worship evoking glory.
All hail the King! Amen?