The Backdrop of God’s Glory
What a contrast in leadership: Pontius Pilate and King Solomon! But against the backdrop of these two men we can see the glory of God in a fresh way.
And God gave Solomon wisdom and understanding beyond measure, and breadth of mind like the sand on the seashore, so that Solomon’s wisdom surpassed the wisdom of all the people of the east and all the wisdom of Egypt. For he was wiser than all other men.
I Kings 4:29-31a
So Pilate decided that their demand should be granted. He released the man who had been thrown into prison for insurrection and murder, for whom they asked, but he delivered Jesus over to their will. Luke 23:24-25
Solomon is said to have “loved the Lord” and was walking in the statutes of his father, David (3:3). God came to him in a dream and offered to answer his prayer for whatever he desired. Solomon asked for an understanding mind to govern the people God had given him. God was pleased with the request. He granted it and much more to Solomon. Solomon was known for his wisdom both within the kingdom and internationally.
Under this wise king, Israel reached the pinnacle of its glory. Never before and never again would there be such a wise king and a prosperous kingdom. This golden age of Israel would continue until Solomon himself stopped obeying God and followed other gods (1 Kings 11:1-13).
By stark contrast, at Jesus’ trials (before the Jewish Sanhedrin and then before Pilate and Herod) the depth of foolishness is seen. The Sanhedrin found Him guilty on trumped up charges and spun those to imply some sort of revolutionary terrorist status to Jesus. Neither Pilate nor Herod found him guilty, but Pilate succumbed to the pressure of the crowd and sentenced Him to death by crucifixion.
Think about it
We will see that Solomon’s reign demonstrates that even gifted, promising leaders who disobey God will fail. But the foolish and evil rulings of the Jews and the Romans that seemed to destroy Jesus’ life and ministry became a crucial element in God’s plan of redemption for all mankind. The Church of Jesus Christ has spread to every corner of the earth. Praise God that He is glorified in the crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension of our Lord. He is glorified in the ongoing proclamation of the gospel throughout the world. He has shown His glory against the backdrop of human foolishness. Praise God for His glory, power, and wisdom that has reached to you and me.