Saturday, August 5, 2017

Counseled By The King: The Proverbs Of Solomon. Day 68. A Secure Throne

"The human spirit is the lamp of the Lord that sheds light on one's inmost being." (Proverbs 20:27) Bible scholar James Coffman points out that the word "spirit" literally means "breath" in Hebrew. When God created Adam, He breathed life into him, and that breath of God is like a lamp that searches out all our secret thoughts, whether they are godly or ungodly. King David recognized the ability of the Lord to know his every thought and his every intention, so he said, "You have searched me, Lord, and You know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; You perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; You are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue, You, Lord, know it completely." (Psalm 139:1-4)

Isn't it wonderful that the One who knows our every thought loves us anyway? It comforts me that God is familiar with all my ways. He knows me like nobody else knows me and He still loves me. Because He knows me so well, He can help me like no one else can. You may have heard the song "When He Was On The Cross, I Was On His Mind". The lyrics say, "He knew me, yet He loved me". That's the stunning thing about what Christ did for us. There was nothing about us He did not know, but He was still willing to lay down His life on our behalf. He still wanted to spend eternity with us.

"Love and faithfulness keep a king safe; through love his throne is made secure." (Proverbs 20:28) Solomon is speaking from experience, for his own throne was established by the love and faithfulness of the Lord. When Solomon was born the Bible tells us, "The Lord loved him." (2 Samuel 12:24b) And because the Lord loved him, even though David and Bathsheba had named their baby boy Solomon, the Lord gave him a second name: Jedidiah. Jedidiah means "loved by the Lord".

Why did the Lord love him? Well, I think it could be said of every baby born that the Lord loves him or her. But there is also an element of faithfulness in God's love for Solomon as the chosen successor of David's throne, for God promised David, "When your days are over and you rest with your ancestors, I will raise up your offspring to succeed you, your own flesh and blood, and I will establish his kingdom. He is the one who will build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. I will be his father, and he will be My son." (2 Samuel 7:12-13) The Lord also made this personal promise to Solomon, "I will establish your royal throne over Israel forever, as I promised David your father when I said, 'You shall never fail to have a successor on the throne of Israel.'" (1 Kings 9:5) The Lord said that breaking His promise to David would be the same thing as telling a lie, "I will not violate My covenant or alter what My lips have uttered. Once for all, I have sworn by My holiness---and I will not lie to David---that his line will continue forever and his throne endure before Me like the sun; it will be established forever like the moon, the faithful witness in the sky." (Psalm 89:34-37)

To this day there is a successor for the throne of Israel, a King above all kings, because God has kept the solemn vow He made to David. He promised that His own firstborn Son would come from David's line. (Psalm 89:27) Though there is no literal throne in Israel today and no human king upon it, there is a successor. There is a promised Son. There is a royal line that will endure forever. Solomon knew what he was talking about when he said, "Love and faithfulness keep a king safe; through love his throne is made secure." His own throne was secured by the love and faithfulness of God. And the throne of Jesus Christ, King of kings and Lord of lords, is secured by the love and faithfulness of God. What God has promised, God will do. David will never fail to have a successor on the throne of Israel because Israel's king, and the Savior of the world, is alive and well. He will someday take charge of all the kingdoms of this world and will reign over them in righteousness forever. As the Lord assures us in Zechariah 14:9, "The Lord will be king over the whole earth. On that day there will be one Lord, and His name the only name."

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