A Greater Than Solomon Is Here

 •  4 min. read  •  grade level: 10
In looking back to Solomon’s greatness, we may sometimes be a little overawed by his riches, his glory and his wisdom. He was doubtless the wealthiest king that ever lived, and he has had an influence over posterity that no others have ever had. What he wrote has been part of the Word of God and has been read by millions of people, while his name is synonymous with wisdom, even in worldly circles.
Yet, even in the midst of all this, we are reminded that all God’s purposes are in Christ, His beloved Son, and thus it is more the failure of Solomon that is before us in Scripture rather than his glory and his successes. Even in natural things, the Lord Jesus could remind those to whom He spoke that even “the lilies of the field” were more beautiful than the best clothing that Solomon could boast of (Matt. 6:28-2928And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: 29And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. (Matthew 6:28‑29)). While we can and should learn from Solomon’s failure, there are many people, even believers, who would like to have the wealth and influence that he had. I well remember a conversation with a young man, and I pointed out to him that money and material things could not satisfy his heart. His typical response was, “You may be right, but I would sure like to try!”
But when we consider the One with whom we have to do, how his glory and wisdom eclipse that of Solomon! The Queen of Sheba “came from the uttermost parts of the earth” to hear the wisdom of Solomon, but the Lord Jesus could remind the people in His day that “a greater than Solomon is here” (Matt. 12:4242The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: for she came from the uttermost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and, behold, a greater than Solomon is here. (Matthew 12:42)). Today men are also impressed by displays of power and glory, but there is One in whom God has centered all His purposes to a coming eternity and whose glory will surpass anything that has ever been seen. Indeed this is evident from the account in Luke, where similar words are used to those in Matthew, except that the order is reversed. In Matthew we get the normal order of salvation: first repentance, which is then followed by the burning desire to know the truth. Thus Jonah’s preaching to the men of Nineveh is mentioned first, and then the glory of Solomon. But in Luke, Solomon’s glory is mentioned first, and then the repentance of those in Nineveh. This is in keeping with the fact that Luke is the introduction to Paul’s ministry — a ministry that begins with God’s purposes in Christ. In 2 Corinthians 4:4, we read that “the god of this world has blinded the thoughts of the unbelieving, so that the radiancy of the glad tidings of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should not shine forth for them” (JND trans.). First in God’s purposes is His desire to glorify His beloved Son; then He delights to bring us into blessing with Him. Satan seeks to blind men to that glory, but everything must pale before that glorious One, even a man as great as Solomon, who was a type of Christ reigning in millennial blessing.
Solomon’s wealth and glory came at the expense of heavy taxation, while the blessing in the millennium will come from the largesse of blessing from the heart of God. In our day, we read that “eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit” (1 Cor. 2:9-10). In the next chapter we read that “all things are yours” (1 Cor. 3:21). Solomon’s glory was his alone, although others could see it and enjoy it. But Christ shares with His own all that He has won, for we are “heirs of God, and coheirs with Christ” (Rom. 8:1717And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. (Romans 8:17)). The Queen of Sheba came to prove Solomon with hard questions; we have to do with One who is made unto us “wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption” (1 Cor. 1:30). More than this, we read prophetically that His name shall be called “Wonderful, Counsellor, Mighty God, Father of eternity, Prince of peace” (Isa. 9:66For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6) JND). Solomon filled a place on earth that drew forth the admiration of others from afar off; we behold the glory of the One who has “ascended up far above all heavens, that He might fill all things” (Eph. 4:1010He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.) (Ephesians 4:10)).
Finally, the greatness of God’s grace is seen in the fact that He does not usually pick up the wise of this world, but rather “has chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty” (1 Cor. 1:27). Great men of this world seek to surround themselves with other great men, and all the while perhaps despise those whose natural wisdom does not come up to theirs. But God has shown and magnified His grace in bringing the weak and despised people of this world into a place of glory and blessing with Christ. What a position for us, and how we ought to enjoy it more!
W. J. Prost