Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Rising In The Ranks

"Better was a poor and wise youth than an old and foolish king who no longer knew how to take advice. For he went from prison to the throne, though in his own kingdom he had been born poor. I saw all the living who move about under the sun, along with that youth who was to stand in the king's place. There was no end of all the people, all of whom he led. Yet those who come later will not rejoice in him. Surely this also is vanity and a striving after wind." - Ecclesiastes 4:13-16 ESV

Hidden in the book of Ecclesiastes is a passage where Solomon honors the memory of his father David. David was the wise Shepard boy who rose from humble beginnings to be king. Solomon could see the memory of his Father's reign fading from public consciousness and it troubled him.

Ecclesiastes is written from a backslidden man's perspective. Solomon was wise and he saw his father as wise. But we know David didn't get to be king because of his wisdom. Samuel anointed David to be king.

"Then Samuel said to Jesse, 'Are all your sons here?' And he said, 'There remains yet the youngest, but behold, he is keeping the sheep.' And Samuel said to Jesse, 'Send and get him, for we will not sit down till he comes here.' And he sent and brought him in. Now he was ruddy and had beautiful eyes and was handsome. And the LORD said, 'Arise, anoint him, for this is he.' Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers. And the Spirit of the LORD rushed upon David from that day forward." - 1 Samuel 16:11-13a ESV

Solomon is a man who has lost something. He is wise but not discerning. He has a redemptive history but he misses the redeemer that is in his history. He is right about the fickle public and their short memory but he is wrong also.

David's time isn't over.

"I will rescue my flock; they shall no longer be a prey. And I will judge between sheep and sheep. And I will set up over them one shepherd, my servant David, and he shall feed them: he shall feed them and be their shepherd. And I, the LORD, will be their God, and my servant David shall be prince among them. I am the LORD; I have spoken." - Ezekiel 34:22-24 ESV

Ezekiel is written long after the reigns of David and Solomon. David has a future that is still in humanities future. The word prince there is the Hebrew word Nasiy (Strong's H5387) and it means a leader who is rising in the ranks.

If we look at ministry through tired eyes we see the short memory of people but if God gives us eagle eyes we see the rising in the ranks of grace. Burial always comes before resurrection.

When I think of those who have come before me I honor their memory knowing that not many others will but their ministry isn't over nor was it executed by some natural power or quality that they possessed themselves alone. They did what they did because of God's grace. Let's do what we do by God's grace also.

"The saying is trustworthy, for: If we have died with him, we will also live with him; if we endure, we will also reign with him; if we deny him, he also will deny us; if we are faithless, he remains faithful - for he cannot deny himself." - 2 Timothy 2:11-13 ESV

I don't want to be wise like Solomon was in the book of Ecclesiastes. I see that book as one that points out the traps of intellect divorced momentarily from divine perspective. I want to have the mind of Christ. He is the Alpha and Omega. He sees every moment based of the beginning and the end of time.

God give us your mind today. Let us not judge by what we see and hear only. Give us righteous gracious judgement that sees redemption as finished on the cross and sees our fellows based on what You have done and not what they have accomplished or where they have failed. Thank You God. Thank You for not leaving us stranded in time. Thank You for saving us from the trap of natural thinking. Thank You God.


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