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Saturday, June 3, 2017

Long Live The King

Solomon was the third in a line of three kings who ruled God’s kingdom, Israel.  In many ways, he was the greatest of the three kings with God giving him wisdom, wealth, and power.  In the end, though Solomon came to a surprising conclusion.

These are the words of the Teacher, King David's son, who ruled in Jerusalem. "Everything is meaningless," says the Teacher, "completely meaningless!" (Ecclesiastes 1:1-2 NLT)

The book of Ecclesiastes is confusing to read at first, especially when we are looking for wisdom from the man who received all wisdom from God.  As we saw this week, though, Solomon didn’t always follow that wisdom.  What about Ecclesiastes, then?  Is it a book of wisdom or is it more ranting from the man who walked away from God?  Perhaps some words from a later book will help.

Then I saw heaven opened, and a white horse was standing there. Its rider was named Faithful and True, for He judges fairly and wages a righteous war. His eyes were like flames of fire, and on His head were many crowns. A name was written on Him that no one understood except Himself. He wore a robe dipped in blood, and His title was the Word of God. The armies of heaven, dressed in the finest of pure white linen, followed Him on white horses. From His mouth came a sharp sword to strike down the nations. He will rule them with an iron rod. He will release the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty, like juice flowing from a winepress. On His robe at His thigh was written this title: King of all kings and Lord of all lords. (Revelation 19:11-16 NLT)

Solomon came to the end of a long and fruitful reign only to come to this conclusion: he was not king.  Yes, he was king of Israel.  That is for sure.  Yes, he was responsible for the millions of Israelites.  But he was not responsible for the Egyptians.  He was not responsible for the Moabites, Hittites, or any of the other “ites”. He was a king, but his reign was limited and, more importantly, subject to the reign of another King.  That King is the King of kings.  That Lord is the Lord of lords. That King will judge us all at the end of our lives.  Some will be found with the King.  Others will be found against the King.

They will make war on the Lamb, and the Lamb will conquer them, for he is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those with him are called and chosen and faithful.” (Revelation 17:14 ESV)

Solomon was writing the book of Ecclesiastes after having learned this piece of wisdom.  He knew that all the worldly pursuits that we made important were really meaningless.  They would have an end.  The LORD’s reign, however, will never end.  We should be less concerned about what we can get or achieve in this life, then, and more concerned about what will happen when we face the real King.

That's the whole story. Here now is my final conclusion: Fear God and obey His commands, for this is everyone's duty. God will judge us for everything we do, including every secret thing, whether good or bad. (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14 NLT)

Solomon came to this conclusion after he had married 1,000 wives, turned from The LORD, and knew what he gave up for temporary pleasures of this life.  This is why Solomon said, “Everything is meaningless.”  Now, Solomon passes his wisdom on to the rest of us so we won’t make the same mistakes.  The decision is in our hands now.  Will we fight the King or will we say, “Long live The King!”  Will our prayer be the model prayer given us by our King.

Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. (Matthew 6:10 ESV)

How about you?  Do you see the big picture – the longer perspective?  Do you see that Jesus is the King of kings?  Do you hide from or fight against this King? Or, do you proclaim, “Long live The King!”?