Text: 2 Chronicles 1:7-12, 2 Chronicles 6:12-21, Micah 5:2, Zechariah 9:9-10
A king humbly serves his people. A king’s job in the Old Testament was to know what his people needed and to lead in such a way that they would have it. He was to lay down his life for his people, using his powerful position to secure for them what only he could. Doing this well required great humility.
“Look for the helpers.”
It was Mr. Rogers who shared this insight with us—advice his own mother gave him when he would see scary things happening as a child. “You will always find people who are helping.”
Have you seen them? Men or women risking their comfort, their time, their very lives to serve or even rescue others? They’re the helpers. And in a very real sense, Solomon was the helper to the people of Israel.
In 2 Chronicles 1, God said to Solomon, “Ask. What should I give you?” (v. 7). The God of the universe offered the new king whatever his heart desired. This is how we know Solomon was a humble king: he put the care of his people ahead of his own glory by asking God to make him a better ruler for them. “Now grant me wisdom and knowledge so that I may lead these people, for who can judge this great people of Yours?” (v. 10).
Not riches, not wealth or glory or long life, or even the destruction of his enemies. Solomon understood even in his answer what some leaders never realize: power is not simply found in a display of strength or force. True power is displayed in humility. The Old Testament kings of Israel and Judah who followed and feared God understood this. And Jesus, of course, would be the ultimate demonstration of this power.
A good king is always a helper. But sometimes, the better the helper, the harder he is to spot. Can you find the helper-King in Matthew 27:41-43?
“So also the chief priests, with the scribes and elders, mocked him, saying, ‘He saved others; he cannot save himself. He is the King of Israel; let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him.’”
Jesus Himself was the helper—humbly sacrificing His life for ours. It didn’t look much like heroism, but it was the most selfless act of royal rescue in human history. Jesus gave the help Israel needed—the help they didn’t know they needed, the help only He could give. His demonstration of power didn’t look like brute force at all. In fact, to the world it looked a little like weakness. He knew His people’s greatest need and was obedient even unto death to secure it for them. This is what makes Him the King of kings.
Solomon humbly, yet imperfectly, ruled over Israel, giving them a continued awareness of their need for a perfect King. They ached for that King. They believed God’s prophets who said He would come, and they rejoiced on behalf of the generations to come who would one day know Him.
Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion!
Shout in triumph, Daughter Jerusalem!
Look, your King is coming to you;
He is righteous and victorious,
humble and riding on a donkey,
on a colt, the foal of a donkey.
- Zechariah 9:9
Do you see the Helper? Righteous and victorious. Humble and riding on a donkey.
He’s coming. Hallelujah, He is coming!