The Golden Age of the Kingdom
Today’s reading: 1 Kings 4:20-7:12
My selection: I Kings 4:20-21
Judah and Israel were as many as the sand by the sea. They ate and drank and were happy. Solomon ruled over all the kingdoms from the Euphrates to the land of the Philistines and to the border of Egypt. They brought tribute and served Solomon all the days of his life.
. My reflections: Here is a window of peace and prosperity in the kingdom. Solomon ruled without conflict. He ruled with great wisdom. He kept his obligations and promises. He built the temple with great care and beauty. The surrounding kingdoms did not question his dominance. Solomon was just in his business dealings, it seems. He went to Hiram and the Sidonians for timber for the temple, but he paid them for their materials and labor.
In a fallen world there are few times in human history when we see extended periods of peace and prosperity. Leaders can be relatively wise or foolish, just or evil, but they are all fallen sinners who are only sometimes wise and just, at best.
Jesus came announcing that the Kingdom of God was at hand. We look for a city whose builder and founder is God. We look for a kingdom in which righteousness dwells. It is not hard to imagine a perfect world with a perfect King who would rule redeemed people in righteousness. It is impossible to find one, either currently or anywhere in all of human history.
My challenge: In the USA, our political parties argue back and forth about the merits of one candidate over another and about the merits of greater government control and involvement over greater freedom for individuals. Our country zig-zags back and forth between the values of justice and freedom trying to find the perfect balance.
Meanwhile, we must live for God’s glory in this time, fully engaged in this world but with an eye on the next one. Right now matters for eternity. But right now is not eternity.
Trust God. Do His will today. Do not lose heart. We will someday see the true golden age of the Kingdom of God which will never end.
Tomorrow’s reading: 1 Kings 7:13-8:61