Set up for life?
Imagine your dad is the richest, most famous and wisest man in the world, and you live in the most beautiful palace in the world. The capital city you live in is so rich that silver is as common as stones. It’s also the cultural and intellectual capital of the world.
On top of all this, your dad writes you a bestseller that’s full of practical tips on how to get wise! You might have thought that such a son was set for life. You’d be wrong though, because a guy called Rehoboam was just such a person (and King Solomon was his father). But despite his dad being one of the best rulers the world has ever seen, as soon as Rehoboam got into power he managed to provoke a civil war that tore his country in half.
‘What has this got to do with me?’ you may be thinking. Well, the book Rehoboam’s dad wrote – Proverbs – is not only the best bit of parental advice still in print, but also one of the writings inspired by the Holy Spirit to communicate truth to every generation. As one of its sayings puts it: ‘Every word of God is flawless; he is a shield to all who take refuge in him’ (Proverbs 30:5).
This book divides humanity into two camps: the wise – who fear God and take refuge in him; and the foolish – who despise wisdom and truth.
Our postmodern society questions the assertion that wisdom can only be found in God’s words. We live in a nation where many do as they see fit in their own eyes, and while this does not make everyone murderers and paedophiles, it does constitute moral anarchy.
If God is so holy, why would we want to take refuge in him? The key is Jesus and his message, ‘The time has come, the kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news’ (Mark 1:15). The kingdom of Israel at the time of Solomon was a symbol of God’s kingdom, a place where people can take refuge from God’s wrath for their sins.
Such safety is made possible by Christ’s death, in which he bore the punishment we deserve for our sins. Christ’s resurrection confirms him as the Lord over all things who welcomes all who repent and trust in him.
There is safety from the coming storm of God’s wrath, but it is only for those who shelter in the side of the Lord Jesus Christ.