King Solomon is just an incredible communicator. And I don’t think it’s the way Ezra writes this chapter, either, that makes me see him that way. I was trying to picture myself standing in that crowd of people listening to King Solomon’s prayer and what a glorious event it would be. Then, I realized … King Solomon is not giving a speech to the crowd; he is praying over them. He could have jumped on that stage and said all the things he said in a way different demeanor. For example, he could have just said things like, “If you sin against the Lord, then ask God for forgiveness,” or, “Your actions will determine the way God treats you.” But instead, he prayed those things. He presented them to God. He emphasized to every member of the crowd how loving and forgiving God is … without ever wielding his kingly authority. King Solomon gives me a humble vibe, how about you?
I also, as I was reading through parts of this chapter, got to thinking about false prophets and how easily anyone in that crowd could have ridiculed and doubted King Solomon’s genuineness. For instance, have you ever watched one of those televangelists or gone to a big event where a preacher stood on stage and “humble bragged” his way to an overflowing tithing bag? Books have been written about these controversial ministries, and honestly, I’m not sure how I feel about them. I know I respect some incredible evangelists like Dr. Stanley and Andy and Miss Beth and Priscilla, and I also know that these pastors have some nice stuff and wear some nice clothes and get a lot of flack for having some nice stuff and wearing some nice clothes, and I don’t mind that these guys all have nice things. In fact, I’m happy they do! They work their tales off nourishing me and thousands of others with God’s Word each and every day. But then there are the Joels and the Tammy Fays that I just can’t tolerate to listen to for very long, but once in a while I do listen, just to see if I still feel the same way, which is conflicted. And I guess that’s what I’m trying to say about King Solomon: I’m not conflicted when I read his prayers. His words give me a peace beyond understanding, while some pastors just don’t. And that’s where I get so confused!!! How on earth do you know??? Obviously, the Joels and Tammy Fays are drawing in crowds. And whether I want to admit it or not, they are preaching the Word of God. And if you listen, a lot of it is true and right and edifying and totally backed up by Scripture, so why does it set so badly with me and so goodly with others? No idea. I’ll add that to my list of questions to ask Jesus and open up the floor for your thoughts.
Writing prompt: the floor is open
Tell us your thoughts on big-name evangelists and compare a few to King Solomon.