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Monday, November 24, 2014

King Solomon's Thinking--Old Covenant or New?

We all know that King Solomon was the wisest man in the world, and probably the richest; but was his thinking dominated by the Old Covenant, or the New? There were many good, faithful Israelites who did many good works, under the Old. In ancient times, it was better than paganism (Old Covenant "Christian" living is better today than being in "Babylon"; we can be proud that we've "come out").
Solomon's Ecclesiastes is certainly not gospel-oriented, although by much searching we can find a little good news hope therein; but Solomon's enormous ego dominates. God gave him the wisdom that he requested when a youth, but he later came to see it as his acquirement. His message in Ecclesiastes is basically egocentric: do what's right and you'll reap a great reward. "Wisdom"!
(The "good news" is that after his descending to the level of paganism and even offering a child as a burnt offering, and tragically mis-feeding his people with theological poison that eventually ruined the kingdom, God forgave the foolish old king and restored him personally, drooping with contrition, to salvation-favor--giving hope to any sinner today who has gone the length in rebellion against the Lord.)
But was it really Solomon's fault totally that he fell? Reality is that he inherited Old Covenant thinking all the way from Mt. Sinai. Jeremiah later saw it clearly--the New Covenant in that day remained the one that the Lord "will make [future tense] with the house of Israel; after those days, says the LORD" (31:33, emphasis supplied). Revival after revival under "good kings" was only temporary in nature (the Northern Kingdom never had even one!), until the Old Covenant finally drove Israel into captivity in Babylon, and then in the end to crucify their Messiah.
Moral: it's time for us to grow up out of the Old into the New!
--Robert J. Wieland

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