God Rules in the Affairs of Men
The Messianic Equation
A covenant of no Preconditions
The first thing one should note is, that the promise delivered to David via Nathan the prophet (not unlike the covenant made with Abraham, of whom God said confidently “I know him”), involved no conditions (although there was a condition placed upon his earthly throne: see I Kings 2:4; 9:4-6; 11:11-13, 26-36; I Chron. 22:13; 28:6, 7; II Chron. 6:16; 7:17-28). There were no stipulations to which he was required to adhere. There was no minimum level of performance to be met. Not even the fact of David’s two biggest screw-ups ever in his career, as king over the people of God, would interfere with God’s plan to continue the Abrahamic declaration, through the Davidic household. That determination, as laid out before David, was a done deal, from eternity past, settled in the heavens forever. No matter what he did, the die was cast, the type was set, before the earth was even built. Thus, even the foolishness of his adulterous affair with Bathsheba and the attendant fool-hearty, sinful, shameful set-up to cover-up his first sin, resulting in the death of her husband, Uriah, could not undo the plan of God.
Nathan is in the Loop
Of the two sons of David mentioned in the NT genealogies, obscure Nathan is only mentioned in the OT versions, and in Luke chapter 3:31. He is therefore only featured in one of the NT variations, and only once in any kind of prophetic plan of God; namely that of the end-times, after the battle of Armageddon (see Zechariah 12:12; one should note that his name featured here, following that of his father David is not without significance—as opposed to that of his brother Solomon.). Must he therefore, then, be a part of the great Messianicequation, i. e.,Abraham plus or to David plus or to???? (whomever) equals or leads to the Messiah(the Seed, the Prophet, the Branch or Root of Jesse), when so promising a son as Solomon is the one “more likely to…succeed”?
Eliminating King Solomon
A covenant of conditions
Of all David’s sons, Solomon was the one most favored, in the eyes of God and of his father, hand picked by David the king to succeed him upon his throne; bypassing any rules and other preconceived notions or protocol involving the rights of firstborns. David’s short-range vision was deliberately and intentionally left unimpeded and unaided by Divine revelation beyond the tip of his nose, thus he had no sense as to the scope of the scheme of which he was an indelible part. Solomon, though wiser and much more intelligent, and perhaps, in some sense, more blessed of God, was equally as clueless. Even with his immense, incomparable wisdom chugging and churning on all cylinders, in full force, the subtle overtones permeating God’s promise to him apparently went totally unnoticed. One might say, that God’s choice of language and wording was a bit “over-the-top”, even for this “wisest-of-the-wise”.
“If your walk and life before Me is, as was that of your father David’s…in keeping My statues and commandments, then My hand will uphold and establish your kingdom, and your throne over Israel will continue forever…you will always have a descendant in Israel’s throne room. However, on the other hand, should either you or any of your offspring at all turn your backs to Me, refusing to obey My commands and judgments…rendering service and worship to false gods and idols, then I will destroy both the nation of Israel and this house which I have consecrated and set apart for My Name…” (I Kings 9:4-9).
The steep cost for Messianic inclusion
In so many words, in order for the Abrahamic Seed, the Messiah, to proceed from the Solomonic branch of king David’s sons, both he and his own children had to produce flawless performances. Failure, to any degree (on any level), on the parts of either would render the promises null and void (as far as the promises’ involvement of them was concerned). Moreover, by inclusion of stipulations in the same basic promises made to David (without conditions), God appears to have been giving assurance to Solomon that he in fact was destined not to be part of His Messianic equation.
“But, Solomon was a lover of many strange and foreign women from countries on the ‘forbidden’ list, as far as intermarriage goes…so that, when he was old these women caused him to stumble, in which case he ceased to follow the Lord (as David his father had), instead, choosing to do evil in the sight of Almighty God, following the idols of his foreign wives, building high places in their honor….” (I Kings 11:1-8).
All Bets are off; All Hope is Gone
Nipped in the bud
Hereby, Solomon shattered any hope he ever had that his family line would ever host the Messiah. Although certain of his descendants were faithful, in a manner comparable to king David, Solomon’s failure was all that was necessary to void the promise, where he and his offspring were concerned. Effectively, with every opportunity in the world before him to succeed on the one hand (ostensibly, that is, given the family factor, which still could have wrecked any success on his part), he never had a chance, on the other. He did not merely do something wrong; that would have been bad enough. Rather, this, the wisest man of all time—by the Hand and generosity of the God of his father, no less—did completely severe his good relationship with the God of his fathers, choosing and committing himself to doing evil in His sight, in deference to his seven hundred and three hundred pagan wives and concubines, respectively (he never repented or returned; Ezekiel 3:20-21).
“Because you have done this, having refused to obey My commandments and My statues, I will now take the Kingdom from you and give it to your servant…you will be left with only one tribe, and that, only for sake of My servant David, and for Jerusalem, which I have chosen…so as to preserve on his behalf a Light in My presence, forever” (I King 11:11-13, 36; that Light “preserved forever is, in none other than the Light of the world—the Messiah Himself).
The last glimmer of hope
Immediately prior to the Babylonian invasion and captivity, as if to squeeze every glimmer of any remaining light out of a dark, lightless chapter long closed and dead to the Solomon clan with reference to the grand plan, God makes the following declaration regarding the last of David’s rebel descendants to rule upon the throne in Jerusalem: “even if Coniah (Jehoiachin, son of Jehoiakim) …were a signet upon My right hand, I would nonetheless pluck it off…this is what the Lord has to say, ‘write this man off as one who has never had a child, one who will not prosper, ever, in his life…given that none of his progeny will ever prosper, sitting (as king) upon the throne of David, or ruling any more from Judah’” (Jer. 22:24-30).
The point of Jeremiah’s prophecy is not that Coniah would never have sons. Rather, God was emphasizing finality of his determination that no son or descendant of Solomon would ever be included in the Messianic line-up. His proclamation was therefore, the final death nail in a series, on top of the ultimate of death nails, this man would never have a son who would ever serve as king in Jerusalem. The lineage listing in Matthew’s gospel shows quite clearly that Jehoiachin did in fact have sons, albeit, in captivity, after he was deported by the Babylonians. None was ever a king, otherwise, Joseph, husband of Mary and stepfather to the Christ, would have been king at the time of the birth of Jesus. “…if you forsake Him, He will forsake you, forever”, David, the incumbent king, warned Solomon in his waning moments (I Chron. 28:9). King Solomon never returned or repented of his evil. Therefore, his place and light in the Messianic game plan was extinguished forever, by his actions. It only required the failure of one person in his branch of the family, to void the promise. In addition, it is noteworthy that, since the Babylonian captivity and deportation of Israel’s last king, that nation (when it was one) has never had a sitting king, as such, from among its own ranks (notwithstanding the Messiah’s presentation of Himself to be, as He was, rejected and crucified by the people by whom He should have been welcomed and embraced!).
Thus then, we see among the Jews the very proclamation made to the heathen, utterly pagan king Nebuchadnezzar, by Daniel the prophet (during the captivity): “…the Supreme (One) governs in the kingdom of men, giving it to whomever He chooses, even as He sets over it the lowest (most wicked) of men” (Dan. 4:17, 25, 32; 5:18, 21). So likewise, in the kingdom of the Jews, the point He wishes to stress and drive home to roost is that it is He who ultimately makes the final decision in terms, not only of the “who” sitting upon the throne in the kingdom of His earthly people, but, He is also at absolute liberty to randomly pick and choose the players who will fill the void(s) leading to the fulfillment of His promise to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and, to Moses and King David. Hence, the family of Solomon, having failed, most miserably at that, the Lord and God of all glory (the Yahweh Elohim) shifted and turned His focus to the plenarily ambiguous person of Nathan as the channel bearing the Christ, by whom all the nations of the earth have been blessed (Nathan is never mentioned in the biblical record except in passing as one of the lesser known sons of king David).
A wake-up call to the Churches
It might be said, that the saga of Solomon and the Messianic line-up is one that holds a double tragedy for this wisest of both men and kings: first he knocks himself completely out of the running, completely destroying any hope of a place and involvement in the coming of the Messiah. Secondly, because of his love for his many, many wives, and women and their false gods grew to far exceed that of his love for God, he completely turned his back on Him whom he formerly loved. Thereafter, refusing to repent and give up his newly found summary pre-occupation, Solomon ultimately in his old age permanently eliminated his name from the roles of Heaven.
Solomon’s plight might be considered remotely similar to that of his predecessor in Samson—fun-loving, womanizing, out-going; having no need or concern for the things of God throughout the vast majority of his life, although he knew the will of the Lord, and his place in it as a non-self-appointed Nazarene. Unlike Solomon, however, Samson showed in the end a humble and contrite heart toward God (his eyes having been gouged out; his womanizing days stilled). His sins have, therefore, been forgiven. Similarly, unlike Manasseh—the most wicked and murderous, the bloodiest of all the kings of Judah throughout his 52-year rule, who nonetheless humbled himself in his old age, repenting in his latter years—Solomon never turned. These men will walk with their God upon streets of gold, throughout all eternity; Solomon will spend his eternity with the wicked, in that Lake of Fire and yellow sulfur (brimstone)—where the flames are never quenched, and the memory of his turncoat past will never fade.
The wicked king Ahab of Israel illustrates well the fact that as long as Solomon was alive, there was always hope of redemption, no matter how far he fell. Spiritually dead, a puppet in the palms of his evil wife Jezebel, God looked with favor and delight upon him during his one moment of humility, only to have a hope kindled thereby extinguished forever by that same Jezebel.
This knowledge should serve as a wakeup call to all in the churches today who see themselves as secure in their faith and walks with God. In light of the plight of King Solomon, and the fact that “…God causes His sun to shine upon the good and upon the evil, even as He sends the same rain upon the just and the unjust”, so likewise prosperity cannot be taken as a sign of right standing with God. Health, wealth and wellness are not precursors to a winning walk in the Father’s eyes. They are not signs of favor with the Almighty, in and of themselves—although, as with any blessing, each should be received with thanksgiving and praise. For this reason, every “successful”, Christian should be diligent to ascertain whether he is in the faith. All saints should be undergoing constant re-examination self and their theology against the word of God. Just as Solomon will never enter God’s Kingdom of Heaven, even so multitudes of today’s saints are racing down a path that seems right, although it is leading straight to the Lake of Fire and Brimstone.
In finale, then, the long and the short of this message: it is the genealogical record as chronicled byDr. Luke, i.e., His mother Mary’s lineage, which is the correct one of the two in the New Testament, through which our Lord and Savior was given birth (Adam to Abraham to Judah to Jesse, to David, to Nathan, to Mary, to Jesus Christ, by the intervention of the Holy Spirit of God.).
Pray now that God will add a blessing to this and every thoughtful consideration of His Word.