1Ch_22:9-10. Behold, a son shall be born to thee, who shall be a man of rest; and I will give him rest from all his enemies round about: for his name shall be Solomon, and I will give peace and quietness unto Israel in his days. He shall build an house for my name; and he shall be my son, and I will be his father; and I will establish the throne of his kingdom over Israel for ever.
IF God have any great work to do, he will raise up fit instruments for himself, and qualify them for executing his will. Nor will he make use of such persons only as, of their own minds, covet the employment, but oftentimes such as are either averse to it, or unconcerned about it. Has he ordained to bring his people out of Egypt, or to gather to himself a people from the Gentile world? He raises up a Moses, or converts a Paul, that, as his agents, they may accomplish his gracious purpose. Thus when David was solicitous to build an house for God, and had made great preparations for it, God forbade him to carry into effect his designs; and conferred that honour on Solomon, his son. While we adore this exercise of his sovereign will, we are led to contemplate a mystery veiled under this dispensation, and to trace the resemblance which was by this means produced between Solomon, and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Though the words of the text in their literal sense relate to Solomon, yet they have undoubtedly a further reference to Christ; of whom Solomon was a type,
In his dearness to God—
Solomon was eminently favoured of the divine Being—
[He was a subject of prophecy before he was born; and was called “Jedidiah,” by Gods special appointment, in token of the peculiar love which God bore towards him [Note: 2Sa_12:24-25.]. His mental endowments were such as never had before been possessed by fallen man. His knowledge of natural philosophy was wonderfully extensive [Note: 1Ki_3:12 an 4:29–34.]; and his qualifications for administering the affairs of his kingdom were so perfect, as to be the envy, and admiration, of all who knew him [Note: 1Ki_3:16-28.]. He was honoured with repeated visions of the Almighty, and with most signal evidences of divine acceptance [Note: 1Ki_9:2.]. Throughout his life did God regard him as a beloved child; nor were the judgments inflicted on him toward the close of life for his awful declensions, to be considered in any other light than as paternal chastisements: for though we are not expressly told that he ever was recovered from his lewdness and idolatries, we cannot but hope that he became a real penitent, and died, as once he had lived, “beloved of the Lord [Note: It is most probable that the book of Ecclesiastes was written in consequence of his restoration to the divine favour.].”]
But Jesus was, infinitely beyond all others, the beloved of the Father—
[Jesus had been a subject of prophecy, not for a few years merely, but from the foundation of the world. The name, Emmanuel, was given him many hundred years before he became incarnate; and He was called Jesus, by the angel, before his conception in the womb [Note: Isa_7:14. Mat_1:21.]. Thrice, by an audible voice from heaven did God proclaim him his “beloved Son, in whom he was well pleased.” As for the endowments of his mind, he not only had the spirit of wisdom and understanding resting upon him [Note: Isa_11:1-3.], but all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge hid in him [Note: Col_2:3.], so that “he spake as never man spake.” So perfectly was he qualified for every part of his regal office, that “Righteousness was the very girdle of his loins,” with which he was always girt for the discharge of his duty [Note: Isa_11:5.]. And it is worthy of particular notice, that the very words of the text, which confessedly point out Solomon as a son of God, are quoted, by an inspired Apostle, as referring to Christ, and as declaring his superiority to all both in heaven and earth [Note: Comp. 1Ch_17:13. with Heb_1:5.]. While therefore, with the Apostle, we consider Solomon as a type of Christ, we learn to entertain the most exalted thoughts of Christ, as “the brightness of his Father’s glory.”]
We may observe a further resemblance of Solomon to Jesus,
In the office assigned him—
It was to Solomon that God assigned the honour of building an house for his name—
[David had shed much blood in the course of the many wars in which he had been engaged; and, though he had done this both by the direction and assistance of God himself, yet it unfitted him in God’s estimation, for building the temple. But Solomon, whose very name imported Peace, and who was to have rest on every side, was more fit to represent “the Prince of Peace,” and more at leisure to execute so great a work. Him therefore did God prefer: nor could any man prove himself more worthy of the employment. He entered on his work with zeal and piety; and, having finished the noblest edifice that ever the world beheld, and supplied it with most costly furniture in every part, he consecrated it in a solemn and public manner to Jehovah.]
But there is a far more glorious house which Christ alone erects—
[The temple of Solomon was only a shadow of another temple, the Church of God, in which God dwells, not by any visible symbol of his presence, but by his quickening, comforting, and sanctifying Spirit. Of this temple we ourselves are, as it were, the stones, hewn out by the Lord himself; fitted by him for the place we are designed to occupy; and so disposed by him, that “all the building fitly framed together may grow unto an holy temple in the Lord [Note: Eph_2:21.].” Moreover, Christ is declared, both by Prophets and Apostles, to be the founder and finisher of his house [Note: Zec_4:9; Zec_6:12-13 with Heb_3:3; Heb_3:6.]. And how infinitely does it exceed, both in beauty and magnificence, the structure by which it was typified! That was composed, like other buildings, of earthly and perishable materials; this is composed of lively stones, built upon a living Foundation-stone, and cemented, in every part, by the Spirit of the living God [Note: 1Pe_2:4-5.]: That was enriched with gold and silver; but this with all the gifts and graces of the Spirit, yea, with the “unsearchable riches of Christ” himself.]
Perhaps in nothing was Solomon a more glorious type of Christ than,
In the peacefulness and perpetuity of his kingdom—
Very remarkable were the peace and prosperity of Solomon’s reign—
[God had either put down all his enemies, or disposed their hearts to peace and amity; so that, till Solomon had departed from the Lord, and thereby provoked his displeasure, his kingdom enjoyed uninterrupted tranquillity. And though, for his transgressions, the ten tribes were rent from his immediate successor, and ever afterwards continued separate, yet the kingdom of Judah was transmitted to his posterity, and preserved in his family, as long as the kingly government itself existed.]
This however was a very faint image of what exists in the kingdom of Christ—
[It is true, that the Church has never yet enjoyed much outward peace: for though it has often been free from those bloody persecutions, with which it has at some times been harassed, yet it has never ceased for one moment to be an object of reproach, and abhorrence, amidst an ungodly world. Still, however, may we justly speak of the peacefulness of Christ’s kingdom, since all his subjects have peace with God, and in their own consciences, even a peace that passeth all understanding [Note: Isa_54:13. Psa_72:7.]. And there is a time coming, when the enmity of the carnal heart shall be slain; and all mankind, brought into one blessed family, shall live in harmony with each other, “the wolf lying down with the lamb, and the lion eating straw with the ox; there shall be none to hurt, or destroy, in all God’s holy mountain [Note: Psa_72:10-11. Isa_11:6-9.].” Of this kingdom too there shall be no end: for though the present mode of administering it shall be changed [Note: 1Co_15:28.], (there being no more occasion for a Mediator, when all the saints shall be glorified,) yet shall he, who now sits upon the throne of David, reign over Israel for ever and ever [Note: Luk_1:32-33. Isa_9:7.].]
How great and glorious a person must Christ be!
[We justly admire Solomon on account of the singular honour which God put upon him: but what were the endowments of his mind, what the grandeur of his works, or what the stability of his kingdom, when compared with the excellencies of the King of Zion? Surely they were but as darkness that renders Emmanuel’s light more visible. Let us then fix our eyes on our adorable Saviour; and learn from the faint glimmering of the brightest star, to admire the infinitely brighter glories of the Sun of Righteousness.]
How happy are the subjects of the Redeemer’s kingdom!
[The Queen of Sheba, filled with wonder at what she saw and heard in the court of Solomon, exclaimed, “Happy are thy men, happy are these thy servants, who stand continually before thee, and hear thy wisdom [Note: 1Ki_10:8.]!” But how incomparably happier must they be, who stand in the presence of Jesus, and hear his voice; and not only behold, but participate, his glory! Believer, know thy privileges, and learn to estimate them aright. And let all earthly glory be despised by thee as not worth a thought, in comparison of that which thou already possessest, and shall possess, when all the kingdoms of this world have vanished away.]
How inexcusable are they who neglect the Saviour!
[Our Lord warned his hearers, that the Queen of the South would rise up in judgment against them, and condemn them, because she went from the very ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; whereas they, when they had One greater than Solomon in the midst of them, despised and rejected him [Note: Mat_12:42.]. And will she not in a still greater degree condemn us, who, even while we profess ourselves the followers of Christ, shew no love to his person, no admiration of his glory, no zeal for his honour? Shall not we perish under a most aggravated load of guilt, when, under the meridian light of the Gospel, we prefer darkness to light, and the service of sin to the service of our Lord? May God the Spirit come down to convince us of our sin, and effectually subdue us to the obedience of faith!]