Vessels of Truth
Solomon Blesses the Assembly1
Now when Solomon finished offering all this prayer and this plea to the Lord, he arose from facing the altar of the Lord, where he had knelt with hands outstretched toward heaven; he stood and blessed all the assembly of Israel with a loud voice:
“Blessed be the Lord, who has given rest to his people Israel according to all that he promised; not one word has failed of all his good promise, which he spoke through his servant Moses. The Lord our God be with us, as he was with our ancestors; may he not leave us or abandon us, but incline our hearts to him, to walk in all his ways, and to keep his commandments, his statutes, and his ordinances, which he commanded our ancestors. Let these words of mine, with which I pleaded before the Lord, be near to the Lord our God day and night, and may he maintain the cause of his servant and the cause of his people Israel, as each day requires; so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the Lord is God; there is no other. Therefore devote yourselves completely to the Lord our God, walking in his statutes and keeping his commandments, as at this day.”
Solomon Offers Sacrifices2
Then the king, and all Israel with him, offered sacrifice before the Lord. Solomon offered as sacrifices of well-being to the Lord twenty-two thousand oxen and one hundred twenty thousand sheep. So the king and all the people of Israel dedicated the house of the Lord. The same day the king consecrated the middle of the court that was in front of the house of the Lord; for there he offered the burnt offerings and the grain offerings and the fat pieces of the sacrifices of well-being, because the bronze altar that was before the Lord was too small to receive the burnt offerings and the grain offerings and the fat pieces of the sacrifices of well-being.
So Solomon held the festival at that time, and all Israel with him—a great assembly, people from Lebo-hamath to the Wadi of Egypt—before the Lord our God, seven days. On the eighth day he sent the people away; and they blessed the king, and went to their tents, joyful and in good spirits because of all the goodness that the Lord had shown to his servant David and to his people Israel. “
The One Who Comes from Heaven
The one who comes from above is above all; the one who is of the earth belongs to the earth and speaks about earthly things. The one who comes from heaven is above all. He testifies to what he has seen and heard, yet no one accepts his testimony. Whoever has accepted his testimony has certified this, that God is true. He whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for he gives the Spirit without measure. The Father loves the Son and has placed all things in his hands. Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever disobeys the Son will not see life, but must endure God’s wrath.
John gives us a short, and almost obscure reference to the importance of Truth with his written dialogue between Jesus and Pontius Pilate. It is one of the underlying themes that rises above the surface several times in his gospel. With an audience that included Jewish theologians who had been influenced by Greek philosophy for decades, if not centuries… making a decision on whether truth existed and could be known was an important step.
You see, postmodernism was not invented in the twentieth century. the so-called tennets of pluralism are a natural phenomenon any time cultures mix together. For example, I recently watched a documentary on wildlife in Alaska. As it turns out, Sperm Whales are making a bit of a comeback up north, and. I’m fairly certain that their protected status as an endangered species will contribute to their proliferation. Except, they are not proliferating culturally, just numerically. In the last century, as human technology has improved our fishing capabilities in those same waters, the whale’s hunting abilities are being lost. Instead of being territorial and hunting wild fish to eat, these great mammals have learned that it is far easier and more efficient to simply follow the fishing boats and pull the fish from the nets with their jaws. These hunters have traded in their centuries-old hunting skills for a ticket to the seafood buffet.
Now I’m sure that some of these whales have had bad experiences with boat, and there are certainly other whales in the world who are not protected, who swim away at the first sign of humans. These Alaskan whales though have become post-modern pluralists in being willing to change their behaviors (and beliefs) for the sake of just getting along with the different (human) culture around them – and they have even found away to make it more profitable. Does this change better reflect “truth” simply because they are learning from another culture? Not necessarily. If they cross the Pacific and visit some of our Asian nations, they may find not only retaliation for stealing the fisherman’s livelihood, but also some fishermen who are more prepared and less restricted from hunting the whales themselves. The idea the whales are acting on: It’s only wrong if I got caught works up until the moment you get caught except for them, they are not just disciplined, they are killed. As it turns only some truth exists to protect us, not just restrict us.
Solomon knew that he could not live well, let alone rule a nation well without that Truth. What we call “wisdom” is really just knowledge + right application of Truth. Solomon wanted to be a vessel of that Truth, to lead and guide him, and to give him something to share with his people. Jesus is the ultimate vessel of Truth. He is the Word of God made flesh – the clearest expression of who God is. Pilate could not see it when Truth looked him right in the face.
Can you see the Truth?
How does that Truth go with you each day?
How do others around perceive that Truth in you?
Who are you passing that Truth on to?