Today’s selected reading continues in the Old Testament book of Second Chronicles which begins with the narrative of the days of Solomon king of Israel and his reign, and continues all the way through the days of the northern kingdom of Israel, the southern kingdom of Judah and the kings which ruled over them. More specifically, today’s passage is found in chapters twenty-one through twenty-five of this Old Testament book. NOW JEHOSHAPHAT SLEPT WITH HIS FATHERS, AND WAS BURIED WITH HIS FATHERS IN THE CITY OF DAVID! In order to truly understand the events which are written and recorded within this particular passage of Scripture before us it is necessary to understand the events surrounding Jehoshaphat king of Judah. Perhaps one of the most intriguing things about the books of First and Second Chronicles is that as you read them you will quickly notice that there are elements to the narratives of the lives and reigns of the kings of Israel and Judah which did not appear in the books of the kings of Israel and Judah, nor which appeared in the books of Samuel concerning David. As you begin reading and considering the events which took place within the life and reign of Jehoshaphat king of Judah you will find that before anything else was mentioned concerning him that he strengthened himself against Israel. What’s more, is that in the process of strengthening himself against Israel he placed forces in all the fenced cities of Judah, and set garrisons in the land of Judah, and in the cities of Ephraim which his father had taken. This reality and concept of establishing and strengthening fenced cities within the southern kingdom of Judah was not something new that had taken place during the days of Jehoshaphat king of Judah. If you turn and direct your attention back to the eleventh chapter of the book of Second Chronicles you will find that after Rehoboam and all those men who were with him returned from their attempt to fight against their brethren from the the northern kingdom of Israel, he dwelt in Jerusalem and built cities for defense in Judah. What’s more, is that as you continue to read the words which are found within the eleventh chapter of the book of Second Chronicles you will find that Rehoboam fortified the strong holds and put captains in them, and stores of victual, and of oil and wine. Moreover, in every several city Rehoboam put shields and spears, and made them exceeding strong, having Judah and Benjamin on his side. What we find and what we read here is actually quite remarkable and astounding when you think about it, for while Jerusalem itself was the capital city of Judah, and while Jerusalem was itself a great city of defense with its walls and gates—Rehoboam king of Judah would seek to make Jerusalem all the more secure during the days of his reign. It’s important for us to recognize and understand this, for this would be something that would be of great significance and importance in the days of future kings which would reign upon the throne of David in the midst of the city of the Great King.
The reality and concept of these fenced cities of defense and strength in the midst of the land of Judah are actually quite necessary when you consider the fact that when these cities were established in the midst of the land of Judah they were designed to serve as a shield round about Jerusalem. Jerusalem itself would be surrounded with walls and gates, however, even beyond the walls and gates which made up the city of Jerusalem, there was a great and tremendous need for these cities of defense to be set up round about the city of Jerusalem in the midst of the land that there might be an additional degree and measure of protection before and around it. If you fast forward in time to the days of the king of Assyria you will find that before he would actually come against the city of Jerusalem, he would first need to conquer and subdue the fortified cities of Judah which were round about the city of Jerusalem. Before Sennacherib king of Assyria, and even before Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon would march against the city of Jerusalem during the days of his reign, they would both need to conquer and subdue these fortified cities of defense which were round about the city of Jerusalem. It would be those cities which would essentially be the first line of defense in guarding and protecting the city of Jerusalem—the city of Jerusalem which would not only be the city of the government of the living and eternal God, but also the city of the glory of the living God. If you read and study the history of the city of Jerusalem you will find that the city of the Great King was one that would not only house the throne of David, but it would also house the Temple of Solomon. It would be these two symbols that would point to the LORD’s authority, the LORD’s sovereignty, and the LORD’s reign over the kingdom of Israel and over His people. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this, for when we read concerning the city of Jerusalem, we find that the throne of David was that place which represented—not the government of an earthly king which sat upon the throne, but the government of a heavenly and eternal King. It would be through the throne of David that we would see a clear and present picture of the government of the living God—a heavenly and eternal government that would be set up and established in the midst of the land. What’s more, is that the Temple which Solomon would build in the midst of the city of Jerusalem would represent the glory of God which would be manifested in the midst of the Temple as the Ark of the Covenant would be at the very heart of that Temple, and as the glory of the LORD would fill the house on the day it was dedicated.
In order to truly understand the significance of the city of Jerusalem, it’s necessary to recognize it as a city that not only was the place of the name of the Great King which ruled over it, but it was alto the place of the government of that King, and the glory of that King. Even more than the great wealth and vast riches which Solomon the son of David experienced, and even more than the great wealth and vast riches which Jehoshaphat experienced during the days of their reign, it is absolutely necessary and imperative that we understand that the beauty, the splendor and the magnificence we see in and through them is but a shadow and a picture of the true beauty, the true splendor, the true riches, the true wealth, and the true glory of the eternal King who reigns over the city of Jerusalem. As I sit here this morning thinking about and considering the words which are written and contained within these passages of Scripture I feel it necessary to draw your attention to that which was written concerning certain kings which sat upon the throne of David in the midst of Jerusalem, and how the picture we see of the great wisdom, the great wealth, and the great riches, strength, might, and so much more is a powerful picture of the beauty of the great and eternal King who rules and reigns over it. I feel it absolutely necessary to call and draw your attention to the words which are written and found within the book of Second Chronicles concerning Solomon son of David, as well as Jehoshaphat king of Judah, for what we find concerning these kings is a truly wonderful and truly powerful picture of a heavenly reality. It would be very easy to read concerning the great splendor, the great majesty, and the great might, strength and wealth that surrounds these earthly kings—even these kings which sat upon the throne of David—and yet if we are being honest with ourselves we must recognize and understand that they are but a shadow and picture of the splendor, the glory, the magnificence, the wonder, the wisdom, the wealth, and the might of the eternal King who was the true King over the city of Jerusalem, and the true King over the people of Israel. Consider if you will those words which are written and recorded concerning Solomon and Jehoshaphat, and those words which describe the great splendor, majesty, strength, power, might, wisdom and wealth the living and eternal God bestowed upon them in the midst of the earth during the days of their reign:
“And God said to Solomon, Because this was in thine heart, and thou hast not asked riches, wealth, or honour, nor the life of thine enemies, neither yet hast asked long life; but hast asked wisdom and knowledge for thyself, that thou mayest judge my people, over whom I have made thee king: wisdom and knowledge is granted unto thee; and I will give thee riches, and wealth, and honour, such as none of the kings have had that have been before thee, neither shall there any after thee have the like” (2 Chronicles 1:11-12).
“And when the Queen of Sheba heard of the fame of Solomon, she came to prove Solomon with hard questions at Jerusalem, with a very great company, and camels that bare spices, and gold in abundance, and precious stones: and when she was come to Solomon, she communed with him of all that was in her heart. And Solomon told her all her questions: and there was nothing hid from Solomon which he told her not. And when the Queen of Sheba had seen the wisdom of Solomon, and the house that he had built, and the meat of his table, and the sitting of his servant,s and the attendance of his ministers, and their apparel; his cupbearers also, and their apparel; and his ascent by which he went up into the house of the LORD; there was no more spirit in her. And she said to the king, It I was a true report which I heard in mine own land of thine acts, and of thy wisdom: howbeit I believed not their words, until I came, and mine eyes had seen it: and, behold, the one half of the greatness of thy wisdom was not told me: for thou exceedest the fame that I heard. Happy are thy men, and happy are these thy servants, which stand continually before thee, and hear thy wisdom. Blessed be the LORD thy God, which delighted in thee to set thee on his throne, to be king for the LORD thy God: because thy God loved Israel, to establish them for ever, therefore made he thee king over them, to do judgment and justice. And she gave the king an hundred and twenty talents of gold, and of spices great abundance, and precious stones: neither was there any such apiece as the Queen of Sheba gave king Solomon. And the servants also of Huram, and the servants of Solomon, which brought gold from Ophir, brought algum trees and precious stones. And the king made of the algum trees terraces to the house of the LORD, and to the king’s palace, and harps and psalteries for singers: and there were none such seen before in the land of Judah. And king Solomon gave to the Queen of Sheba all her desire, whatsoever she asked, beside that which she had brought unto the king. So she turned, and went away to her own land, she and her servants” (2 Chronicles 9:1-12).
“Now the weight of gold that came to Solomon in one year was six hundred and three score and six talents of gold; beside that which chapmen and merchants brought. And al the kings of Arabia and governors of the country brought gold and silver to Solomon. And king Solomon made two hundred targets of beaten gold: six hundred shekels of beaten gold went to one target. And three hundred shields made he of beaten gold; three hundred shekels of gold went to one shield. And the king put them in the house of the forest of Lebanon. Moreover the king made a great throne of ivory, and overlaid it with pure gold. And there were six steps to the throne, with a footstool of gold, which were fastened to the throne, and stays on each side of the sitting place, and two lions standing by the stays: and twelve lions stood there on the one side and on the other upon the six steps. There was not the like made in any kingdom. And all the drinking vessels of king Solomon were of gold, and all the vessels of the house of the forest of Lebanon were of pure gold: none were of silver; and it was not any thing accounted of in the days of Solomon. For the king’s ships went to Tarshish with the servants of Huram: every three years once came the ships of Tarshish bringing gold, and silver, ivory, and apes, and peacocks. And king Solomon passed all the kings of the earth in riches and wisdom. And all the kings of the earth sought the presence of Solomon, to hear his wisdom, that God had put in his heart. And they brought every man his present, vessels of silver, and vessels of gold, and raiment, harness, and spices, horses, and mules, a rare year by year. And Solomon had four thousand stalls for horses and chariots, and twelve thousand horsemen; whom he bestowed in the chariot cities, and with the king at Jerusalem. And he reigned over all the kings from the river even unto the land of the Philistines, and to the border of Egypt. And the king made silver in Jerusalem as stones, and cedar trees made he as the sycamore trees that are in the low plains in abundance. And they brought unto Solomon horses out of Egypt, and out of all lands” (2 Chronicles 9:13-28).
“And the fear of the LORD fell upon all the kingdoms of the lands that were round about Judah, so that they made no war against Jehoshaphat. Also some of the Philistines brought Jehoshaphat presents, and tribute silver; and the Arabians brought him flocks, seven thousand and seven hundred rams, and seven thousand and seven hundred he goats. And Jehoshaphat waxed great exceedingly; and he built in Judah castles, and cities of store. And he had much business in the cities of Judah: and the men of war, mighty men of valor, were in Jerusalem. And these are the numbers of them according to the house of their fathers: Of Judah, the captains of thousands; Adnah the chief, and with him mighty men of valour three hundred thousand. And next to him was Jehoahaz the captain, and with him two hundred and four score thousand. And next him was Amasiah the son of Zichri, who willingly offered himself unto the LORD; and with him two hundred thousand mighty men of valour. And of Benjamin; Eliada a mighty man of valour, and with him armed men with bow and shield two hundred thousand. And next him was Jehozabad, and with him an hundred and four score thousand ready prepared for the war. These waited on the king, beside those whom the king put in the fenced cities throughout all Judah. Now Jehoshaphat had riches and honour in abundance” (2 Chronicles 17:10-18:1).
The reason I mention each of these passages is because they bring us face to face with the tremendous reality of the great wealth, the great splendor, the great majesty that surrounded and was found in the lives of Solomon and Jehoshaphat. THE LAST KING STANDING! THE KING OF KINGS! We read the words in the New Testament concerning Jesus the Christ and how He is the King of kings and is the Lord of lords, and yet there is a tremendous picture of what this truly looks like within the life of Solomon son of David, and even within the life of Jehoshaphat king of Judah. It’s interesting to read the words which are written and found within the ninth chapter of the Old Testament book of Second Chronicles, for within this particular chapter we find it written how king Solomon passed all the kings of the earth in riches and wisdom. What’s more, is that as you read the words found in this passage of Scripture you will also read and discover that all the kings of the earth sought the presence of Solomon, to hear his wisdom, that God had put in his heart. Moreover, these same kings of the earth would bring every one of them his present, vessels of silver, and vessels of gold, and raiment, harness, and spices, horses, and mules, a rate year by year. As if this weren’t enough to read and consider, it’s also something else to consider that the author of the book of Second Chronicles goes on to write and describe how Solomon the son of David reigned over all the kings from the river even unto the land of the Philistines, and to the border of Egypt. Please don’t miss the tremendous impact and significance of what is found within these passages of Scripture, for what we find within these verses is a truly powerful picture of the son of David who would sit as king upon the throne of David his father. As you read the words found in the ninth chapter of this book you will find that it begins with the Queen of Sheba coming unto Solomon after hearing a report concerning his great wealth and wisdom, and yet it would transcend beyond simply the Queen of Sheba coming unto Solomon, to a wonderful and powerful description concerning this son of David who would sit upon the throne of his father. ALL THE KINGS OF THE EARTH SOUGHT THE PRESENCE OF SOLOMON! ALL THE KINGS OF THE EARTH BROUGHT EVERY MAN HIS PRESENT! SOLOMON REIGNED OVER ALL THE KINGS! ALL THE KINGS BROUGHT UNTO SOLOMON HORSES OUT OF EGYPT, AND OUT OF ALL LANDS! Please don’t miss the absolutely astounding and remarkable reality that is found within this passage, for while the ninth chapter would begin and open with a powerful description of the Queen of Sheba coming unto Solomon to hear his wisdom and to confirm the report which she had heard in her own land, it would conclude with a powerful statement concerning the kings of the earth.
I recently downloaded an album into my iTunes music library, and in one of the songs on the album there is a simple phrase that each and every time I hear it, I am continually and increasingly captivated by it. The phrase in the song is simply “the last king standing,” and the statement itself references Jesus Christ the Son of David who is not only the King of kings, but who after all has been said and done will and is going to be the last King standing. The psalmist David wrote in the second chapter of the Old Testament book of Psalms concerting the kings of the earth and the rulers thereof setting themselves against the Holy One and against His anointed, and I can’t help but find an absolutely wonderful and incredible picture—not only of the kings of the earth setting themselves in array against the Lord and against His holy and anointed One, but also as when it is all said and done, there will only be one King left standing. After every battle has been fought, and after every battle has been won, there will indeed only be one King standing who will not only be triumphant over every other king of the earth, but who will also be the last King standing. It’s actually worth noting the words which are written and recorded in the second chapter of the Old Testament book of the Psalms, as well as the words which are written in the New Testament prophetic book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ concerning the Rider on the white horse who will emerge from heaven with a heavenly host together with Him. Consider if you will the words which are written and recorded within each of these passages of Scripture concerning those kings who would dare set and raised themselves up against the eternal King of kings, as well as the words which the apostle Paul wrote in the second chapter of the New Testament epistle written unto the Philippians:
“Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against His anointed, saying, Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us. He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the LORD shall have them in derision. Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure. Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion. I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; This day have I begotten thee. Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession. Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel. Be wise now therefore, O ye kings: be instructed, ye judges of the earth. Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.” (Psalm 2:1-12).
“…Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: but made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: and being found in fashioni as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Chris this Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:5-11).
“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counseller, The mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this” (Isaiah 9:5-7).
“For unto the angels hath He not put in subjection the world to come, whereof we speak. But one in a certain place testified, saying, What is man, that thou art mindful of him? OR the son of man, that thou visitest him? Thou madest him a little lower than the angels; thou crownedst him with glory and honour, and dust set him over the works of thy hands: thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet. For in that he put all ins injection under him, he left nothing that is not put under him. But now we see not yet all things put under him. But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man. For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren, saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee. And again, I will put my trust in him. And again, Behold I and the children which God hath given me. Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; and deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham. Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like to his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful. High priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted” (Hebrews 2:5-18).
“And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and in his name is called The Word of God. And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the wine press of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh, a name written, KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORS! And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God; that ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, both small and great. And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army. And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone. And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh” (Revelation 19:11-21).
“And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, and cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season. And I saw thrones, and they that sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years. And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, and shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea. And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compasses the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them. And the devil that deceived them was cast into a lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever” (Revelation 20:1-10).
When and as you come to these particular passages found in Scripture you will come face to face with the absolutely incredible reality from the book of Psalms that the people imagine a vain thing, and the kings of the earth set themselves up against the LORD and against His anointed. As you come to the New Testament prophetic book of the Revelation of Jesus the Christ—not only will you see the beast, the false prophet and the kings of the earth setting themselves against the Rider on the white horse and the heavenly host with Him, but you will also find that after the dragon, which is Satan and the Devil has been released from his prison of one thousand years, he too will set himself up against the Son of David and against the One who sits upon the throne of David in the great city of Jerusalem. What I so absolutely love about the words which are written and recorded within the Old Testament prophetic book of Isaiah, for the words which are found there help paint an incredibly beautiful and powerful picture concerning Jesus the Christ—this eternal Son of David—who will not only rule from the throne of David in the midst of the holy city, but of whose government there will be no end. What’s more, is how absolutely stunning and remarkable the words which the apostle Paul wrote in the second chapter of the epistle which was sent unto the Philippian congregation, for the apostle Paul speaks of a name that is above every other name, and at the mention of that name—not only will every knee bow down, but every tongue shall confess that Jesus is Lord. I am convinced that this name which the apostle Paul wrote and spoke of might very well be the same name which the apostle John referenced in the prophetic book of the Revelation—a name which no one knew save the One who rode on the white horse. How absolutely incredible and powerful it is to think about the fact that Jesus the Christ—the eternal Son of David—will not only reign upon the throne of His father David in the midst of the city of Jerusalem, but when He emerges from the heaven He will be triumphant and victorious over the beast, over the false prophets, and over all the kings of the earth which aligned themselves with them. What’s more, is that not only would the beast and the false prophet be captured and cast alive into the lake of fire, but all those kings which aligned themselves with him would be completely and utterly defeated in battle. What’s more, is that as you continue reading—not only will you find the great dragon, which is that ancient serpent the Devil and Satan being bound for one thousand years and cast into the bottomless pit, but you will also find and read how even after he is released from his prison and deceives the nations in the four corners of the earth to join themselves in battle with him, fire comes down from heaven and consumes his army, and he himself is cast alive into the lake of fire, sulfur and brimstone. How absolutely wonderful and powerful it is to think about the words which are written and recorded within the nineteenth and twentieth chapters how Jesus the Christ is in fact the last King standing—the last King standing after all the other kings of the earth will have been defeated, and will have experienced the triumphant power, might and strength of the eternal King of kings.
With this particular reality of Jesus Christ the eternal Son of David being the last King standing when all the kings of the earth have been triumphed over, I find it absolutely necessary to turn back to the words which are written and found in the book of Second Chronicles, for within the ninth chapter of this Old Testament book we find Solomon passing all the kings of the earth in riches and wisdom, and how the kings of the earth sought the presence of Solomon, to hear his wisdom. Moreover, we find that Solomon reigned over all the kings from the river even unto the land of the Philistines, and to the border of Egypt. It’s absolutely wonderful and remarkable to read the words found in the ninth chapter of the Old Testament book of Second Chronicles and to read how not only did Solomon pass all the kings of the earth in riches and wisdom, but all the kings of the earth sought the presence of Solomon. We begin reading in the ninth chapter of the Queen of Sheba coming unto Solomon, and we are incredibly familiar with how this queen from a foreign land made the incredible journey to come visit Solomon, and yet as I sit here today and think about and consider this reality, I can’t help but think about and consider that awesome reality concerning wise men that came from afar to bring gifts unto the infant Jesus, as well as how there is One greater than Solomon was among those who were alive and present during the days and generation of Jesus the Christ. Consider if you will the narrative of the wise men who journeyed from the east seeking the Messiah bearing their gifts which they would give unto Him. What’s more, is I invite you to consider the words which Jesus Himself spoke concerning the Queen of Sheba who traveled from a great distance to hear the wisdom of Solomon, but how there was one who was greater than Solomon who was present among that generation:
“Now when Jesus was born in Beth-lehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? For we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship Him. When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born. And they said unto him, In Beth-lehem of Judah: for thus it is written by the prophet, And thou Beth-lehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel. Then Herod, when he had privilege called the wise men, inquired of them diligently what time the star appeared. And he sent them to Beth-lehem, and said, Go and search diligently for the young child; and when ye have found him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship him also. When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, when before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy. And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts: gold, and frankincense, and myrrh. And being warned of God in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed into their own country another way” (Matthew 2:1-12).
“Then certain of the scribes and of the Pharisees answered, saying, Master, we would see a sign from thee. But He answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas: For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. The men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: because they repented at the preaching of Jonas; and, behold, a greater than Jonas is here. The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: for she came from the uttermost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and, behold, a greater than Solomon is here” (Matthew 12:38-42).
“And when the people were gathered thick together, He began to say, This is an evil generation: they seek a sign; and there shall no sign be given it, but the sign of Jonas the prophet. For as Jonas was a sign unto the Nineveites, so shall also the Son of man be to this generation. The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with the men of this generation, and condemn them: for she came from the utmost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and, behold, a greater than Solomon is here. The men of Nineve shall rise up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: for they repented at the preaching of Jonas;, and, behold, a greater than Jonas is here” (Luke 11:29-32).
The words which we find and read in the New Testament gospel narratives which were written by the apostle Matthew and the physician Luke bring us face to face with the absolutely incredible reality that even from His younger years there would come wise men from the east who would come before and unto Him bringing great gifts whereby they might worship Him. What’s truly incredible about this is when you think about and consider the fact that when the wise men came unto the city of Jerusalem, they came searching for a King. Please don’t be too quick to miss and lose sight of this, for when the wise men of the east came unto the city of Jerusalem, they didn’t merely come to see an infant, nor did they ultimately come to see flesh and blood, but they came to see He who was and He who would be King of the Jews. It is absolutely necessary and imperative that we recognize this absolutely remarkable and astounding reality, for this reality brings us face to face with wise men who not only came searching and seeking for the King of the Jews, but they also came with their gifts in hand whereby they might worship Him. It would be there in the town of Bethlehem where the wise men would find the young child, and upon finding the child would bow down and worship Him, and would offer unto them their costly and precious gifts of gold, of frankincense and of myrrh. What’s more, is that when you actually come to the life and ministry of Jesus the Christ you will find Him speaking and declaring unto the Pharisees and religious leaders of those days that an evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign, and yet no sign would be given unto it save the sign of Jonah the prophet of the LORD who would be three days in the belly of a great fish. Taking this a step further you will find Jesus declare that the queen of the south came from a great distance away to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and yet during those days and in that generation there was one who was greater that Solomon. We must not miss and must not lose sight of this truly powerful reality, for it is this reality that points to and reveals the awesome truth that what we find in the Old Testament book of Second Chronicles is a powerful picture and shadow of the greatness of a different King who would not be one of mere flesh and blood, but one who would be the eternal and only begotten of the Father. The words which we find in the ninth chapter of the Old Testament book of Second Chronicles brings us face to face with the tremendous reality when you read concerning Solomon, he passed all the kings of the earth in riches and wisdom, and how all the kings of the earth sought the presence of Solomon, to hear His wisdom, that God had put in His heart. What’s more, is that you will also find and read how the kings of the earth—in addition to coming into and seeking the presence of Solomon—would bring unto this son of David who sat upon the throne of David gifts and presents that they might offer and present them unto him. It’s truly remarkable to think about and consider the fact that Solomon had surpassed all the kings of the earth in riches in wisdom, that all the kings of the earth sought his presence, that all the kings of the earth brought unto Solomon presents and gifts, and how Solomon reigned over all the kings of the earth.
Pause for a moment and consider just how magnificent and how glorious the reign of Solomon was—not only in terms of the riches and wisdom the living God had given him, but also the tremendous authority and dominion he had within and upon the earth. You cannot read the words which are found within these chapters and not come face to face with the awesome reality that the living God had indeed blessed Solomon above every other king of the earth, and how the living and eternal God had exalted and elevated the throne of Solomon above every other throne that was in existence in the midst of the earth. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this absolutely wonderful reality, for it is this reality that brings us face to face with the powerful truth that despite the great riches and wisdom Solomon had, there would be another Son of David who was greater than Solomon, who would truly be King of kings. Despite the fact that Solomon ruled and reigned over all the kings of the earth during the days of his reign, there is another King who not only rules over every king within and upon the earth right now, but who will rule over every king that can and will rise to authority and power within the earth. We must recognize and understand that there is another Son of David who has ruled over every throne and who has ruled over every king, and over every kingdom, and over every dominion. What is absolutely incredible is that the living and eternal Son of God is not only King of kings, but He is Lord of lords, and of the increase of His government there shall be no end. The Old Testament prophets saw a coming King that would rule over the nations of the earth, and a King who would govern with justice, with righteousness, with equity, and with faithfulness. What we find and what we read concerning Solomon king of Israel and how he ruled and reigned over all the kings of the earth round about the nation and kingdom of Israel not only highlights the earthly dominion of man, but also the dominion and authority of heaven over and upon the earth. When we think about and consider the throne of David it is absolutely necessary that we recognize its authority was not limited simply to the nation and kingdom of Israel, but it would extend beyond the borders and boundaries of the kingdom of Israel, and would extend unto and over the nations and kingdoms round about Israel. It would be through the many wars and battles of David that peace, rest and security would be established in the midst of the nation and kingdom of Israel, and that the nations and lands round about the kingdom would be subdued. It would be that peace and rest which David the son of Jesse would introduce in the nation and kingdom of Israel that would extend into the days and reign of his son Solomon who would sit upon his throne in the city of Jerusalem and who would rule and reign over all Israel.
If there is one thing I can’t help but find so absolutely astonishing and remarkable about the words which are present in this passage of Scripture, it’s that the dominion, the government and the authority of the throne of David wasn’t merely designed and intended on being present within the nation and kingdom of Israel, but it was meant to extend beyond the borders and boundaries of the kingdom. During the days of Solomon we would begin to see this in such a powerful and wonderful way, for it would be during the days of Solomon that we discover how he reigned over all the kings of the earth, and how essentially Solomon the son of David was indeed the king over all kings. Pause for a moment and think about that fact, for what was and what would have been true in the earthly sense is absolutely and without a doubt true in the spiritual and supernatural sense, as Jesus the Christ is indeed the King over all kings, and that Jesus the Christ is indeed Lord over and Lord above all lords. Within this passage we encounter and come face to face with the reality that the Queen of Sheba would travel a great distance in order that she might hear the wisdom of Solomon and to behold whether or not the report(s) she heard concerning him was true. It would be Jesus Himself who would reference and mention this visit from the queen of the south when emphasizing the fact that there was indeed one who was greater than Solomon present among them in their midst. What I so love about the words which are found in this passage is what would begin with a journey from the queen of the south would continue to describe the throne which Solomon himself would establish in the midst of the palace and in the midst of the city of Jerusalem. What would begin with the Queen of Sheba coming unto Solomon that she might hear his wisdom and behold the vast riches, wealth and prosperity the living God had bestowed upon him would eventually culminate into a powerful statement of a throne which Solomon would make for and unto himself. Scripture reveals how this throne would be a great throne of ivory, and how it would be overlaid with pure gold. Moreover, there would be six steps to the throne, with a footstool of gold, which were fastened to the throne, and with stays on each side of the sitting place and two lions standing by the stays. In addition to this, there would be twelve lions which stood there on the one side and on the other upon the six steps. The author of the book of Second Chronicles would go on to write how there would not be a throne like the one which Solomon sat upon in any of the kingdoms of the earth during those days. Even with all of that being said, it’s important for us to recognize and understand that despite how majestic, how splendid, and how beautiful the throne which Solomon had made for himself truly was, it would pale in comparison to the throne which the living and eternal God would Himself sit upon in heaven. I can’t help but be reminded of the words which are written in the Old Testament prophetic book of Isaiah, as well as the Old Testament prophetic book of Ezekiel, and even the New Testament book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ concerning the throne in heaven which the living and eternal God sits upon. Consider if you will the words which are written and recorded within these passages concerning the throne upon which the living God sits in the heavens:
“In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the LORD sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple. Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly. And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory. And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke. Then said I, Woe is me! For I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts. Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongues from off the altar: and he laid it upon my mouth, and said, O, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged. Also I heard the voice of the LORD, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me” (Isaiah 6:1-8).
“And above the firmament that was over their heads was the. Likeness of a throne, as the appearance of a sapphire stone: and upon the likeness of the throne was the likeness as the appearance of a man above upon it. And I saw as the color of amber, as the appearance of fire round about within it, from the appearance of his loins even upward, and from the appearance of his lions even downward, I saw as it were the appearance of fire, and it had brightness round about. As the appearance of the bow that is in the cloud in the day of rain, so was the appearance of the brightness round about. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD. And when I saw it, I fell upon my face, and I heard a voice of one that spake” (Ezekiel 1:26-28).
“After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter. And immediacy I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne. And he that saw was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone: and there was a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald. And round about the throne were four and twenty seats: and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothe din white raiment; and they had on their heads crowds of gold. And out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices: and there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God. And before the throne there was a sea of glass like unto crystal: and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four beasts full of eyes before and behind. And the first beast was like a lion, and the second beast like a calf, and the third beast had a face as a man, and the fourth beast was like a flying eagle. And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him: and they were full of eyes within; and they rest not day and night, saying, holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come. And when those beasts give glory and honour and thanks to him that sat on the throne, who liveth for ever and ever, the four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying, Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created” (Revelation 4:1-11).
“And I saw in the right hand of him that sat on the throne a book written within and on the backside sealed with seven seals. And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof? And no man in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the book, neither took therein. And I wept much, because no man was found worthy to open and to read the book, neither to look thereon. And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep no: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof. And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth. And he came and took the book out of the right hand of him that sat upon the throne. And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by the flood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; and hast made use unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth. And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands; saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing. And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto Him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever. And the four beasts said, Amen. And the four and twenty elders fell down and worshipped Him that liveth for ever” (Revelation 5:1-14).
The more I read the words which are written and recorded in these chapters the more I can’t help but be absolutely gripped and captivated with the fact that despite how magnificent and elaborate the throne which Solomon built, there always has been and there always will be one throne that is absolutely greater. If you read Scripture you will find two distinct references in the Old Testament prophetic books of Isaiah and Ezekiel, and within those books you will find two ancient Hebrew prophets each receiving a vision of the throne of God which stands in heaven. What’s more, is that when we transition all the way to the New Testament prophetic book of the Revelation of Jesus the Christ we find the same throne which both Isaiah and Ezekiel saw still very much in existence, and still very much real and active. It is absolutely necessary and imperative that we understand this, for it brings us face to face with the fact that the thrones of men come and go, and the thrones upon which men sit upon can be occupied by another, however when we speak about the throne which stands in the midst of heaven itself—not only has no one ever occupied that throne, but that throne has never been vacated. It’s worth noting and pointing out that there is a throne that has been existence since before time began, and it has been a throne before which all other thrones have bowed, and which all other thrones have found themselves under. We dare not, we cannot, and must not miss and lose sight of this absolutely astonishing and remarkable reality, for to do so would be to miss out and lose sight of the fact that the throne which stands in heaven is one that has always been occupied by the eternal King of glory. It was in the year that king Uzziah died that Isaiah the ancient Hebrew prophet saw the LORD, and what the prophet saw during that time was a powerful reality that although the earthly throne itself had been vacated, and although the earthly king which sat upon that throne had died and been buried, there is another throne that has never and will never see the One who is seated upon it every being removed, every dying, and ever giving up that throne to another. Even when Lucifer who was the bright and morning star sought to usurp that throne, and even when Lucifer thought that he would be able to exalt himself and the throne upon which he had sat above the throne of God, he would ultimately find himself being cast forth out of the presence of the living God, cast out of the heaven of heavens, and cast as profane to the earth. What I have found to be so absolutely incredible is when you read the Old Testament prophetic books of Isaiah and Ezekiel, and the same ancient Hebrew prophets who both saw a vision of the throne of God in heaven—not only did they both see the throne in heaven with one seated upon the throne, but they also both saw that one who attempted to usurp the throne by attempting to elevate and exalt himself above that throne. Perhaps one of the greatest realities concerning the throne in heaven is that if you were to speak with anyone who saw that throne, you will find that there wasn’t a single one who saw the throne empty. What’s more, is that that there has never been, nor will there ever be anyone who has seen the throne in heaven empty. Consider if you will the words which are written and recorded in the fourteenth chapter of the Old Testament book of Isaiah, as well as the twenty-eighth chapter of the Old Testament book of Ezekiel concerning Lucifer who dared lift himself and elevate his own throne above that of the eternal God:
“How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit. They that see thee shall narrowly look upon thee, and consider thee, saying, Is this the man that made the earth to grumble, that did shake kingdoms; that made the world as a wilderness, and destroyed the cities thereof; that opened not the house of his prisoners? All the kings of the nations, even all of them, lie in glory, every one in his own house. But thou art cast out of thy grave like an abominable branch, and as the raiment of those that are slain, thrust through with a sword, that go down to the stones of the pit; as a carcass trodden under feet. Thou shalt not be joined with them in burial, because thou hast destroyed thy land, and slain thy people: the seed of evildoers shall never be renowned. Prepare slaughter for his children for the iniquity of their fathers; that they do not rise, nor possess the land, nor fill the face of the world with cities” (Isaiah 14:12-21).
“Moreover the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Son of man, Take up a lamentation upon the king of Tyra, and say unto him, Thus saith the LORD God; Thou spealest up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty. Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tablets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou was created. Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee. By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire. Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee. Thou hast defiled thy sanctuaries by the multitude of thine iniquities, by the iniquity of thy traffick; therefore will I bring forth a fire from the midst of thee, it shall devour thee, and I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that. Behold thee. All they that know thee among the people shall be astonished at thee: thou shalt be a terror, and never shalt thou be any more” (Ezekiel 28:11-19).
As you read the words which are written and recorded within these two passages of Scripture you will encounter two different descriptions of the same event which took place in heaven—namely, the rebellion, the insurrection, and the attempted self-exaltation of Lucifer. What makes the words which are found within these passage of Scripture so absolutely astounding is when you think about and consider the fact that both events were written and recorded by two ancient Hebrew prophets who each had their own vision of the throne of God which was in heaven. It’s absolutely incredible and remarkable to think about the fact that not only did these prophets encounter the rebellion and insurrection of Lucifer, but despite the fact that Lucifer attempted to exalt his own throne above the throne of God in heaven, his attempt would not succeed. Despite Lucifer’s best laid plans and despite his best laid efforts his insurrection would be overthrown and the throne of God would remain occupied by the eternal God of eternity. One of the most astounding and remarkable realities surrounding the prophetic visions which the prophets Ezekiel and Isaiah saw is that not only did they see a vision of the throne, but they both saw a vision of the throne that was indeed and was in fact occupied. It would have been one thing for them to see a vision of the throne and not see the One who was seated upon the throne, but it’s another thing to see the throne and see the throne being occupied. We dare not, we cannot, we must not miss and lose sight of this absolutely remarkable and astounding reality, for despite the attempt of Lucifer to overthrow the throne of God and the One who sits upon the throne—and even despite the efforts of the kings and rulers of the earth attempting to set their own thrones above that of the living and eternal God—the throne in heaven has never and will never be triumphed over. There has never been and there will never be any man, nor any principality, nor even the dragon, which is Satan and the Devil himself who has been able to remove the living God from the throne in heaven. What we must recognize, however, is that despite the fact that there the living and eternal God can never be removed from the place of His throne, and despite the fact that there is no man or principality who can ever dethrone the throne of God in heaven, there have been attempts to cast off the authority, the government, the dominion, the strength and power of that throne. This is perhaps what is so absolutely remarkable about what is written and recorded within the Old Testament book of Psalms, for the kings of the earth and the rulers of the earth have always done and will always do whatever they can to cast off the dominion and authority that is before, within and upon the throne. Upon bringing this writing to a close and speaking to the great authority, dominion and power that flows from the throne I leave you—not only with the words which are written in the eighteenth chapter of the Old Testament book of the Psalms, but also the words which are found and written within the ninety-seventh chapter of the same Old Testament book:
“Then the earth shook and trembled; the foundations also of the hills moved and were shaken, because he was wroth. There went up a smoke out of his nostrils, and fire out of his mouth devoured: coals were kindled by it. He bowed the heavens also, and came down: and darkness was under his feet. And he rode upon a cherub, and did fly: yea, he did fly upon the wings of the wind. He made darkness his secret place; his pavilion round about him were dark waters and thick clouds of the skies. At the brightness that was before him his thick clouds passed, hail stones and coals of fire. The LORD alto thundered in the heavens, and the Highest gave his voice; hail stones and coals of fire. Yea, he sent out his arrows, and scattered them; and he shot out lightnings, and discomfited them. Then the channels of waters were seen, and the foundations of the world were discovered at thy rebuke, O LORD, at the blast of the breath of thy nostrils. He sent from above, he took me, he drew me out of many waters. He delivered me from my strong enemy, and from them which hated me: for they were too strong for me. They prevented me in the day of my calamity: but the LORD was my stay. He brought me forth also into a large place; he delivered me, because he delighted in me” (Psalm 18:7-18).
“ The Lord reigneth; let the earth rejoice; let the multitude of isles be glad thereof. Cloud and darkness are found about him: righteousness and judgment are the habitation of his throne. A fire goeth before him, and Burnett up his enemies round about. His lightnings enlightened the world: the earth saw, and trembled. The hill melted like wax at the presence of the LORD, at the presence of the LORD of the whole earth. The heavens declare his righteousness, and all the people see his glory. Confounded be all they that serve graven images, that boast themselves of idols: worship him, all ye gods. Zion heard, and was glad; and the daughters of Judah rejoiced because of thy judgments, O LORD. For you, LORD, art high above all the earth: thou art exalted far above all gods. Ye that love the LORD, hate evil: he preserveth the souls of his saints; he delivereth them out of the hand of the wicked. Light is sown for the righteous, and gladness for the upright in heart. Rejoice in the LORD, ye righteous; and give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness” (Psalm 97:1-12).