His Excellent Greatness
1 Kings 4:1, 7, 20-34, 10:1-9; Matthew 12:42
Some of the passages which have provided the background for our meditations have referred very definitely and precisely to the excellence and exceeding greatness of the Lord Jesus. One basic passage of tremendous implication is that which came from His own lips: "... no one knoweth the Son, save the Father ..." That is a declaration, in other words, that only the Father knows the Son, knows Who the Son is and what the Son is; only the Father knows all that the Son means. Along with that we have the profound statement of the Apostle Paul: "... it was the good pleasure of God ... to reveal His Son in me..." That relates to the beginning of his life in Christ Jesus, and it was a revelation which was destined to become so full that after all his years of learning, after all his discovery of Christ, at the end he is still to be found crying from his heart, "... I count all things to be loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for Whom I suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but refuse, that I may gain Christ ..." (Phil. 3:8). It indicates clearly that even at the end the Apostle recognized that there was a knowledge of Christ still available to him which was beyond anything that had yet come to him, and such knowledge was more precious and more important than all other things. We often sing in one of our hymns, "Tell of His excellent greatness" - "Behold, a greater than Solomon is here.
Our difficulty always will be to comprehend, to grasp, to bring that excellent greatness, that transcendent fullness within the compass of practical everyday life and experience. Yet it is necessary that this should be, and our approach to that fullness must be of such a kind as to render it of immediate value to us; for all that vast range of power and fullness, although so far beyond our comprehension, is yet for our present good and advantage. There are some features in this account of Solomon's greatness which foreshadow this greatness of the Lord Jesus, a greatness which, as we have said, is for our present benefit.
1. Supreme Dominion
We mark that it is said of Solomon that he was king over all Israel and that he had dominion over all the region beyond the river; and a greater than Solomon is here. The first feature, then, is this of his supreme dominion, his excelling lordship, kingship, sovereignty. That is of tremendous practical value. It operated, as we see, in two realms; he was king over all Israel, and he had dominion over all the region "beyond" the river.
(continued with # 28)