In this final post, we will examine the implications of the covenant promises being fulfilled in Solomon. Please read the previous two posts on this topic. In summary, we noted that 1 Kings 3-11 is showing God fulfilling the promises made to David as recorded in 2 Samuel 7:12-16. However, when Solomon’s heart is lead away from God, we see the promises and blessings of God receding, just as God predicted in 2 Samuel 7:14, “When he commits iniquity, I will discipline him with the rod of men.” So what does all of this mean?
1. God is showing the inability to bless us because of our sins. This is a repeated problem in the scriptures. Our sins block the blessings that come from God. We see this initially with Adam and Eve, whose sin caused a severing of fellowship with God and curses being placed on humanity and creation. We cannot access the promises of God because our sins continue to be the obstacle. Just as God begins to bless us and fulfill his promises, we ruin them with our sins. Sin keeps us shut out from receiving God’s promises.
2. Humanity needs someone to do what humans could not do. Every human falls short of receiving the blessings of God because we all sin. Therefore, humanity needed a representative to act on its behalf, to obey the law and will of God, and open the blessings of God to world (cf. Romans 5:15-21).
3. Solomon’s kingdom shadowed what God was planning to do. As we read about Solomon’s kingdom we see his kingdom being established, the enemies being subjugated, the nations coming to Jerusalem for instruction, wisdom and instruction flowing from Jerusalem, and peace and prosperity extending to the citizens of Solomon’s kingdom. Sin causes this to fail but revealed to the world what God’s plan was for his kingdom when it was restored in Christ.
4. Second Samuel 7 is directly Solomonic, not directly Messianic. Many have interpreted 2 Samuel 7:12-16 to be exclusively Messianic, except for the end of verse 14 which speaks of David’s son committing sin. But this is not an acceptable method of interpretation, that is, to pick and choose which part of the prophecy belongs to Jesus and which part belongs to Solomon. The whole of the prophecy is speaking about the rise and fall of Solomon. But verses 15-16 speak of hope to the future because God will not remove his steadfast love from David’s descendants. Hope is given that another will rise from the lineage of David (the Messiah) and establish the throne eternally.
5. None of the Abrahamic promises were fulfilled until Christ comes. Sometimes it is argued that two of the three promises given to Abraham were fulfilled, that is, the land and the nation promises. But the third promises in which all the nations would be blessed was not fulfilled until Jesus. I believe the Kings account as well as the New Testament authors show that all three promises were not fulfilled until Jesus. Prophecies like Isaiah 48:18-19, Jeremiah 33:14-26, and Hosea 1:10 show that the hope was still for the land and nation promises to be fulfilled when the Messiah came. The writer of Hebrews makes the same point that Abraham did not receive any of the promises while he lived and the nation did not receive the promises when it came into the land of Canaan (cf. Hebrews 4:8-10; 11:10-16,39). The hope was for the Messiah to accomplish all of God’s covenantal promises.
6. The Messianic hope. With the people longing for this hope, the words from the prophets speak with greater strength about what made the coming of Jesus so special.
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 7 Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this. (Isaiah 9:6–7 ESV)
God has kept his covenant promises and revealed his steadfast love for us. In a physical picture we see the glorious kingdom in the days of Solomon, a mere shadow and faint picture of what it is like to be in the kingdom of Jesus the Christ.