Monday, December 10, 2007

Promising and tragic

I read today from the first several chapters of the book of 2 Chronicles. What a story! It is amazing to see God orchestrating Solomon's rise to power. It was not Solomon who decided to be great, but God who lifted him up. It is encouraging to see Solomon's initial humility. It is challenging to read of Solomon's impression of God. In desiring to build a temple, Solomon is overwhelmed by the greatness of God, and realizes that he is more than inadequate to build such a structure. It is gripping to see the kings and queens of other nations give gifts and their allegiance to Solomon.

And yet, the story of Solomon has a tragic ending. His heart is drawn away from God. His son is stubborn. His legacy is certainly not that of his father, David. Ecclesiastes is a book that is often attributed to him, and it begins "Useless, Useless." Such a promising life, such a tragic finish.

But, I also am reminded of the words of Christ when, speaking of Himself, he reminded us that "something greater than Solomon is here." As I look to people to be examples of how to live (even if they are Bible characters), I am often disappointed in what I see. I see traces of grace, but often I see the same flaws I have. But looking to Christ there is never disappointment. We can always look to Him as "someone greater."