Hello my name is Solomon and I am angry. Tragically, I am a perfect example of a person who started off well and finished poorly. My father David was the chosen King of Israel. However, as parents…everybody knows my parents were not stellar, but still good parents. Like many before and after me, my dad spent too much time in the office (throne) while neglecting my siblings and me. I had a promising future as I built upon the success of my kingly father. Established by Jehovah, the Davidic Covenant seemed to be in jeopardy after the failed coup prompted by my brother Adonijah. The strategic alliance of my mother and the prophet Nathan served to establish a semi-peaceful transference of power and succession. Shortly afterwards, those who were the threats to kingdom were exposed and quickly executed.
Everything looked promising in the beginning. Political success was easily accomplished through pragmatic alliances. Arranged marriages for political posturing was my catalyst. In the times which I lived sexual vitality was a sign of a worthy king; the more wives one had, the more heirs they produced. Most students of Scripture don’t realize that I had eighteen brothers and one sister sired by my father David. My father’s example of multiple wives and concubines was mirrored by me hundreds of times. Politics was easy for me, but it was the religious side of things that was my downfall. Why the wisest man to ever live failed to see the plain truth about compromise tells you about the blinding effects of sin and religious perversion. Yoking yourself to a spouse is also yoking yourself to the god or gods they serve. In the end, I wound up an apostate. The kingdom of Israel was unequally divided with my son on the lesser end. You see, the difficulty of life is that godly wisdom often is minimized because of the paradoxes in this fallen world. Sadly, once a person gets to a place where they are managing the results of poor choices, ultimate loss is just around the corner. That is why I am angry, at myself. All was not ultimately lost. Jehovah graciously allowed me a second chance at the end to articulate that life is not necessarily vain in itself, but life without God certainly is.
Now back to 2021…My name is not actually Solomon. I am a pastor, yet I can appreciate clarity that Solomon gives. While it is true the wisest man also demonstrated poor judgement in the basics, this in and of itself is its own paradox. We live in absurd times, and I’m not talking of the politics, cancel culture nonsense, and vaccine mandates that occupy the news and conversations with friends. I am speaking of the difficulties of how believers need to think when they encounter paradoxes. Ponder the line in one of the prayers in the Valley of Vision, “My mind is a bucket without a bottom, with no spiritual understanding.” In the last blog I addressed Asaph’s paradox of how the life of faith is difficult while the life of the wicked is perceived to be easy, if not downright enjoyable. Solomon wrote in Eccl. 10:7, “I have seen slaves on horses and princes walking on the ground like slaves.” We see things that ought not to be yet they are. We can glean a simple biblical truth from this verse that pertains to the issue of fairness. While Asaph dealt with the specific problem, I would like to elevate our view from ground level and look at it from a higher elevation which offers a different viewpoint. Seeing the world from the ground is quite different than seeing the same terrain from 3,000 feet in the air. Instead of viewing life as either fair or unfair, I would propose that the child of God realize God’s normative intention in our lives is to give us a balanced portion of both blessings and difficulties.
You need to meditate upon the truth found in Ecclesiastes 7:13-14, “Consider the word of God; for who can make that straight, which he hath made crooked? In the day of prosperity be joyful, but in the day of adversity consider: God hath set the one over against the other, to the end that man should find nothing after him.” In reading this we do admit that there are those who experience life outside of this normative principle. Who wouldn’t mind a life like Solomon? He was brilliant, influential, and carefree in regards to finances. His was a life of ease. Then there are those who are born into a life of poverty, sickness, political unrest, and persecution for their faith. Sadly, the life of the Believer in North Korea begins in turmoil and continues throughout their life. However, you and I for the most part were allowed, by the providential purposes of God, to experience the extremities of prosperity and adversity. He does this for our good and spiritual equilibrium.
You can usually identify a misunderstanding of this religious paradox when you find yourself becoming resentful in life by things that are not easily identified. Discontentment or angst seems to settle in the gut and you don’t know why. Many acquire wealth and yet are unfulfilled instead of grateful for their station in life. Many more are plagued by different adversities and are embittered instead of being broken before God. Since when does the Scripture put value on having all of our desires met when the promise of God is to meet your daily needs by giving sufficient provision and a promise to sustain you along the way?
God has done something in the lives of His children to keep their feet on the ground while their minds are fixed on Heaven. Elsewhere Solomon writes, “He hath made everything beautiful in his time; also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the world that God maketh from the beginning to the end.” Eccl. 3:11. The Hebrew word used for ‘world’ is better translated ‘eternity’. The Lord has been gracious in giving us a sense of eternity as well as recognizing what things ought to be like as we experience how things are now. This is a wonderful God-given grace to help us navigate through life’s difficulties. Remember the encouraging words of Spurgeon when he told us, “Eternity rights the wrongs of time.”
Yes, at times, life is difficult. It’s supposed to be that way for us. If we find ultimate fulfillment in this life it removes future glorious expectations. I may not be angry at the struggles of Christians who find life perplexing, but I do find myself sorry for them. We struggle with paradoxes, spin our wheels, and waste precious time. Realize that God is sufficient for us today.