“And as for you, if you will walk before me, as David your father walked, with integrity of heart and uprightness, doing according to all that I have commanded you, and keeping my statutes and my rules, then I will establish your royal throne over Israel forever, as I promised David your father” (1 Kings 9:4-5 ESV).

After Solomon had completed the building of the Temple, the Lord appeared to him a second time. In this appearance, the Lord repeated the conditional promise that He had made to his father, David. Notice the “if-then” words that mark such a conditional statement. The promise was conditional on Solomon’s integrity and obedience to the Lord. But as Solomon grew older, his many foreign wives “turned his heart after other gods, and his heart was not fully devoted to the LORD his God, as the heart of David his father had been” (1 Kings 11:4).

With the death of Solomon the kingdom was divided. The ten Northern tribes rebelled and established a new Northern kingdom of Israel, which was later conquered by the Assyrians. The Lord let Solomon’s son keep Judah and the Southern Kingdom for the sake of David, yet even that kingdom eventually fell too.

Solomon’s reign represented the peak of Israel’s power and prestige. Yet, it is a picture of the disappointment that every human government, no matter how promising its beginnings, always ends up bringing. For all humanity longs for the ultimate fulfillment of the Lord’s promise to David of an eternal kingdom established by the Lord. This is the kingdom that was inaugurated by Jesus, Son of David, Son of God, and its fulfillment awaits His return.

Until then, we pray, “Thy kingdom come, Lord Jesus!”

PRAYER: Dear Father, we pray Your kingdom come, Your will be done in us, in our families, in our churches, in our country and in our world. We tire of the wickedness of human governments and long for Your reign through Your Son, Jesus. Until then, we ask for Your strength and grace for this day. In Jesus’ name, amen.