Before success got to him, Solomon’s life was a bright attraction
Praise the LORD your God, who delights in you…1 Kings 10:9
In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said,
“…let your light so shine before men so that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in Heaven.” -Matthew 5:16
I’ve always been a little stumped by His line of thinking here. At first glance, Jesus seems to have it wrong. I mean, if people see our good works, aren’t they going to notice us and not God the Father? Won’t it be the people doing the good things that get the glory and not Him?
The idea is that as we live lives of faith in Jesus and kindly share that with others, it will help awaken their awareness of God – that He exists, that He is ultimately good, and that He alone is worthy of worship. In other words, by representing Jesus well we help others believe.
There’s a great example of this in the life of Solomon. As the distinguished son of David and the new king in town, Solomon was so blessed. His Dad had fought the hard battles necessary to bring peace to the land, so all Solomon had to do was build and expand the kingdom. It was glorious. To go with it, he was both super wealthy and wise.
Unfortunately, it would eventually all get away from Solomon. His appetite for human pleasures outpaced his appetite for the things of God and he would end up making some very unwise decisions.
But before this happened, Solomon was a bright light in a dark world.
When the queen of Sheba visited Solomon to see for herself if what everyone was saying about Solomon was true, she was overcome with awe. As she saw and heard the grace of God on display in Solomon’s life, the queen did not say, “Solomon, you are everything they say and more!!” Rather, she said:
Blessed be the Lord your God, who has delighted in you and set you on the throne of Israel! Because the Lord loved Israel forever, he has made you king, that you may execute justice and righteousness.”1 Kings 10:8-9
Maybe this is what Jesus had in mind. Like the people around us are watching and listening, so the queen was watching and listening. She saw Solomon’s good works and she heard his good words and she attributed all of it to God. She was impressed – not so much with Solomon – but with the one who was ultimately responsible for the good – God Himself.
I’m not sure whether the queen was a believer previously, but by the sounds of it, she became one. All because Solomon let his light shine. He didn’t hide it. It was out there for the world to see.
During this Christmas season, may the Lord Jesus, the Source of all light, shine brightly in us and through us. May others see in us a steady faith, a strong hope, and a stubborn love and may it help them to believe and give praise to God.
This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine…
It’s a new day with God. Run with it.