Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Solomon: The son of peace and love

Nathan smiled as he was escorted into the throne room. Not all his audiences with the king had been happy ones, but today's events were cause for celebration.

His smile broadened as he took in the scene. King David was on his throne, glorious in his robes, the crown on his head, the sceptre in his hand. To his right was a second throne, upon which sat Bathsheba. She too was arrayed in royal finery for today's event. His eyes scanned the room and noted all those in attendance: the officials and dignitaries, the musicians, the servants, the ladies-in-waiting. He could sense the joyous anticipation in the room.

Nathan stopped and bowed low before the King.

"Behold, my son Solomon." At this word from David, the nurse standing beside Bathsheba came forward. She held a small bundle of richly coloured blankets in which was swaddled the young prince.

Nathan stepped forward to meet her. He pushed back the edges of the blanket from around the infants's face so as to take a better look at him. He raised his face to smile at the parents. Then he closed his eyes, placed one hand gently on the small head, and raised a prayer of blessing and thanksgiving for the child.

When he was done, Nathan bent low and kissed the child's forehead. "You are loved, Jedidiah," he whispered.

The name Solomon means "peace." No doubt this meaning was a great comfort to David and Bathsheba, as their recent history had been marked by anything but. Their adulterous affair lead to a surprise pregnancy. The pregnancy lead to the murder of Bathsheba's husband Uriah. God then sent Nathan the prophet to confront David about his actions and pronounce judgement on his house. Their son died as part of that punishment.

But now God had given them another son, a son He had told them would be called Solomon. They were at peace with God. Their judgement was over. And they were told that this son would grow and prosper. He would become king, know peace and rest, and would be the one to build the temple in which God's presence would dwell.

So it is even more astounding that the child is given another name by God, Jedidiah, which means "beloved by the Lord." But then again, when telling David about this son who would be born, God did explain that they would have a very special relationship: "He will be My Son and I will be his Father."

Solomon had two names: one used by his human father, and one by his Heavenly Father. The names speak to the different ways Jesus is viewed from a human and a divine perspective. To mankind, Jesus is the means by which we need no longer fear the judgement for our sins. Paul tells the Colossians that He has made "peace with God through the blood of His cross." But from the Father's perspective Jesus is the only begotten Son, the One that He loved. To us He is Solomon, but to God Jesus is Jedidiah.

(2 Samuel 12:24-25; 1 Chronicles 22:6-10)