Greater than Solomon
Greater than Solomon – Matthew 12:42
Recently I was told about few Christian groups, comprised of youth and teenagers and how they are living for Jesus Christ. Whoever I spoke to, had only great things to tell about such groups. Then I was asked to look at their photos in Facebook to have an idea about how great and awesome they are. And as I did that, the Spirit of God spoke into my heart: “Greater than Solomon”.
I visited the Facebook pages of few such groups and there were few things in common in all of them. It did not matter which part of the country (I am talking about such groups in India), what their language or culture is, but there were few things they all had in common.
1. They are awesome.
They all claim that they are awesome and those who are thinking about must check them out. Yes, they are awesome, knowledgeable, fun to be with. Just listen to them once and you will realize how awesome they are. It is their claim. And I am not saying they are not. On the contrary. Most probably they are awesome, knowledgeable and fun to be with. Just like king Solomon was. The Bible says…
And men of all nations, from all the kings of the earth who had heard of his wisdom, came to hear the wisdom of Solomon. – 1 Kings 4:34.
But the thing is Solomon, for all his mistakes, never claimed he was awesome. It was because the LORD made his wisdom known, people came to him.
But there is One Who is greater than Solomon. And He never claimed He was awesome. Instead He was despised and rejected by men. We hid our faces from Him. HE was despised and we did not esteem Him. Greater than Solomon.
2. They are having so much fun.
Almost all the photos show how much fun they are having. And all the comments were about what a great time they had together. And those who missed those fellowship always complain about missing all the fun.
Now is it wrong for Christians to have fun? Oh no. I wish more and more Christians open up and learn to laugh; learn to enjoy life – from the food we eat to the nature that proclaims the majesty of its Creator. There is nothing wrong in having fun.
But when most of the time, it is about having fun and not Christ, you are not a “Christian” youth group; you are just a youth group. Probably you may not be doing certain “sinful” things the other youth groups are associated with, but that does not make you a “Christian” life group.
And no one knew how to have fun compared to Solomon. Wealth. Tick. Intellectual quest. Tick. Inventions. Tick. Sensual pleasures. Tick. Quenching one’s curiosity. Tick. Songs and dances. Tick.
But there is One Who is greater than Solomon. And when you are in His presence, He fills you with joy everlasting. Jesus gives a peace that transcends all human understanding. Greater than Solomon.
In Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore. – Psalm 16:11
3. They make you feel special.
Oh, how good and sweet is flattery! It is always, “Oh, you are so special. You are so talented. You are amazing. You are so great. We are so blessed to know someone like you.” And those who go there, want to go there again and again. Who would not?
There is this episode in “Friends”, where a salesgirl says that Ross is like Indiana Jones. Later when Ross tells Rachel that he likes that girl, Rachel has a zinger: “Of course, you liked her, Ross; you would date a gorilla if it called you Indiana Jones.” (Season 8 episode 21. TOW Cooking Class)
Yes, we all love to be admired and appreciated. We love encouraging words. There is nothing wrong in that. But there is a difference between encouraging words and plain simple flattery. Admiring someone for who they are is different from flattering someone for something they are not. And that flattery makes us to like their company more and more. But it leaves us bitter towards our family and old friends, who know us better. We start to feel that our family and friends do not understand us the way this new support group understands. We become antagonistic towards anyone who does not treat us as these people treat us. And above all, the Bible says that a man who flatters his neighbour spreads a net for his feet. (Proverbs 29:5) That may not be their intention, to spread a net for your feet, but even with the best of intentions, when these youth groups flatter the new comers, by default, a net is spread for your feet.
The courts of Solomon may make you feel special. But there is One Who is greater than Solomon. Jesus never flatters anyone. HE knows your inner thoughts. There is nothing hidden from Him, yet He loves you. But He will not flatter you.
4. They also love being flattered.
As I was following their various posts in Facebook, I noticed how others have showered the group leaders with various encomiums and how often, these leaders of these groups have “loved” or “liked” those comments.
Of course, one can say, “What else one can do? What is the harm in accepting little praise?” The wise king Solomon wrote so much against flattery. But there is One Who is greater than Solomon. And He said: How can you believe if you accept praise from one another, yet make no effort to obtain the praise that comes from the only God? (John 5:44) When you accept praise from one another, you will not be able to believe in Jesus Christ.
Oh, those are tough words, you may say. Just some kids flattering each other. What is the harm? Honestly, none – as long as they are some kids flattering each other. But when you do it in the name of Jesus Christ, then His Word reigns supreme. And He asks how can you believe in Me when you accept praise from each other?
5. They always meet in posh restaurants.
Always in posh restaurants. With good food. Does it cost? Yes, of course. Do they have the money? Yes, they have. So what is your problem? None. But I remembered an anecdote about a saint from the early Christian Church. (Some say it is Francis of Assisi; some Thomas Aquinas and so on.) This saint came to Rome to see the pope. The pope showed him the papal palace and the treasury, and showing all the gold and silver, the pope commented, “You see, we cannot say, as Peter said, ‘Silver and gold I have none’.” (Acts 3:6) To this, the saint replied, “No, and neither can you say, ‘In the Name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk.”
When you have riches, give to the poor. Meet in places where it won’t cost you so much. And you can always rent a church. The money will be of use to that church and you will have a great atmosphere to praise and worship the Lord. Oh, but then, that has to be your primary reason for gathering, right?
The grandeur of Solomon is present in such gatherings. But the One Who is greater than Solomon is here. All you need is two or three people to assemble in His Name and He will be present among them. HE does not need posh restaurants and great food. Jesus does not need some extravaganza to be impressed; all He needs is a broken and contrite spirit.
6. The time for worship is less than the time for other “fun activities.”
It is not surprising, considering that king Solomon took only 7 years to build the Temple, but took 13 years to complete the construction of his royal palace. Similarly, the time for God is only half of the time meant for other fun activities. Oh, dear young children, the One Who is greater than Solomon is here.
There are many more points that I can write. But I am exhausted already. If it is God’s will, I will write more on this. But, Christian parents, do make sure when your kids go to a Christian youth group, that Christ is there. And, young people, it is easy to get lost in the fast moving world today. Look at Jesus and Jesus alone. Know Jesus Christ and Him crucified alone.
Greater than Solomon is here.
Posted on October 6, 2016, in Christian Life and tagged 1 King 4:34, A man who flatters his neighbor Spreads a net for his feet, Christian groups, Greater than Solomon, In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore., John 5:44, Matthew 12:42, Proverbs 29:5, Psalm 16:11, youth. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.