Stories that ripple

1 Kings 4

Stand at the edge of the lake. Throw in a rock. Watch the ripples scatter rhythmically across the surface. In a couple minutes water will lap on the other side because of something that started at your feet.

There are some ideas in the Bible, so big, they ripple from book to book, story to story. Again, today we see that in Kings, we’re in the middle of story. What’s happening started generations ago, and the impact will continue and still does.

First big idea: God is faithful.

Judah and Israel were as many as the sand by the sea. They ate and drank and were happy.

This is no stray observation or random statement from the writer. This is significant and connects all the way back to the beginning of the story. Back in Genesis, God told Abraham to number the stars and promised to him and to Isaac and to Jacob that their family would multiply… like the sand of the sea. This is a promise finally fulfilled.

God is a deity who not only makes promises but also keeps them.

Second big idea: The character of Israel represents God to the whole world.

And people of all nations came to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and from all the kings of the earth, who had heard of his wisdom.

As we’ve already seen, Solomon’s wisdom was a gift from God. Now think about the kinds of people to whom you give gifts. You don’t usually give a present to a stranger or even an acquaintance. You give presents to people you love, that you care about, that you have a meaningful connection. Therefore, Solomon’s wisdom is evidence of his deep connection to God (at least, at this point in the story).

Again, in Genesis, God’s first promise to Abraham is to bless the whole world through Abraham and his family. Later in Isaiah, a time is anticipated when all nations will come to the temple and acknowledge God. And Paul will call Jesus himself the “wisdom of God” for all the world.

God has blessed Solomon in such a way that Solomon has something of tangible value to every nation on earth. It’s a foreshadowing of the wisdom of King Jesus that benefits the whole world.

Question: How has God been faithful to you this week?


About peterjwhite

I am a pastor to college students in Tulsa, OK.
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