When You Need Someone Greater

May 13, 2024

When You Need Someone Greater

King Solomon was a truly remarkable man. God set him on a path to greatness shortly after he ascended to the throne. The Lord appeared to him in a dream one night and said, “Ask what I shall give thee.” Solomon responded with humility, saying, “O Lord my God, thou hast made thy servant king instead of David my father: and I am but a little child: I know not how to go out or come in . . . Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad: for who is able to judge this thy so great a people?” (1 Kings 3:5, 7-9).

The Lord was pleased with Solomon’s request and told him, “Because thou has asked this thing, and hast not asked for thyself long life; neither hast asked riches for thyself, nor hast asked the life of thine enemies; but hast asked for thyself understanding to discern judgment, behold, I have done according to thy words: Lo, I have given thee a wise and an understanding heart; so that there was none like thee before thee, neither after thee shall any arise like unto thee” (1 Kings 3:11-12).

Solomon asked selflessly and God gave to him generously, blessing him with riches, power, and more wisdom than any man before or after him.

There were witnesses to Solomon’s greatness. The Queen of Sheba was one who testified to it. In her own country, she had heard so much about King Solomon that she determined to see for herself if it were true. When she arrived in Jerusalem, she was utterly amazed. The things she saw were so impressive; Solomon himself was impressive! She observed his wisdom, the abundance of food at his table, the fine clothing and contentment of his servants, and the splendid Temple he had built. She told the king, “It was a true report that I heard in mine own land of thy acts and of thy wisdom. Howbeit I believed not the words, until I came, and mine eyes had seen it: and, behold, the half was not told me” (1 Kings 10:6-7).

Though Solomon had an abundance of resources, wisdom, authority, and wealth, there is nothing he can do for us today. He may have been great among men, but he was limited to a certain time and place in history. There is, however, Someone even greater who walked this earth, and He still has all power and infinite resources—the Son of God came and lived among us. When unbelievers asked Him for a sign, Jesus said of Himself, “A greater than Solomon is here” (Matthew 12:42). The New Testament gives the account of His physical life, but He is not bound by time or space. John 1:1 tells us, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” Jesus is “the Word.” He has been with mankind from the very beginning. Whatever we are lacking today—salvation, guidance, deliverance, healing—there is a greater than Solomon among us who can meet our every need.

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego

Jesus was present throughout the Old Testament, and one example of His presence is found in Daniel 3. This chapter tells of three Hebrew youths—Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego—who found themselves in a dangerous situation. King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon had created a great golden image and ordered everyone in his kingdom to bow down and worship it. These three young men determined that they would not bow to the image, and they were not afraid to tell the king so. They said, “Our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods” (verses 17-18). They took a stand, even knowing what the consequences were. 

The threat of the furnace was real. In a rage, the king ordered that it be heated seven times hotter than usual. Then he commanded that the three young men be thrown in. God could have delivered them right then by stopping the king from giving that command, but He didn’t. He could have put out the flames—it would have been nothing for Him to quench that fire. However, he let the king have his way. Sometimes God allows us to go through the fire, but that doesn’t mean He has abandoned us.

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were bound and cast into the furnace, but that wasn’t the end of their story! No, King Nebuchadnezzar took a look into the flames, probably expecting to see three burning figures, and was astonished. He saw not three figures, but four! There were four men in the furnace and they weren’t bound. They were loose, walking around, and without harm. The king asked, “Did not we cast three men bound into the midst of the fire?” The reply was “True, O king.” He said, “Lo, I see four men . . . and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God” (verses 24-25). The king recognized God’s divine intervention.

How must Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego have felt when they looked around in that furnace? A few moments before, they had been facing terrifying circumstances. But in the flames, they could say, “We are not alone.” God’s presence was right there in the furnace beside them. The Lord didn’t deliver them from the king’s command or put out the flames. Instead, He was with them in the fire! That is what He does for us. When we go through the hard places in life and put our trust in Him, He is right there to strengthen, encourage, and carry us. A greater than Solomon is among us.  

In Nebuchadnezzar’s furnace, the only thing that burned were the very ropes that had bound those three young men. We could say that going through the fire set them free. Sometimes God allows difficult circumstances into our lives to free us from the things that hinder our walk with Him. Don’t despair when He takes you through the fire! Look to Jesus, and He will bring you out stronger than when you went in.

Rahab

When the enemy of our souls says something is impossible, the Lord says, “I am here; a greater than Solomon is here.” In Joshua chapter 2, we read about a woman named Rahab who had much going against her. If anyone’s situation was impossible, it was hers. She was a Gentile and an Amorite living in a pagan city that God was about to destroy. In addition, according to the Scriptures, she was a harlot by profession. She had strike after strike against her, but she turned to the Lord for help.

Two Israelites came to spy out the land, and they lodged at Rahab’s house atop the walls of Jericho. When the king’s men sought the spies, she hid them, and in return, asked that they spare her life. She said her people had heard that God dried up the Red Sea and destroyed Israel’s enemies, and their hearts had melted with fear. She had come to the conclusion that “the Lord your God, he is God in heaven above, and in earth beneath” (Joshua 2:11).

The spies told her to hang a scarlet cord from her window when the Israelites came, and anyone inside her house would be spared. In faith, she obeyed, and when the walls of Jericho fell down, her part of the wall stood firm. The Lord protected her, and not only her, but all in her family who were willing to remain inside the house marked by the scarlet cord.

The protection that Rahab and her family received reminds us of what we can experience. When we turn to God in faith, confessing and forsaking our sins, the Blood of Jesus covers us. We receive forgiveness for our sins and the penalty of death is removed, making us ready for Heaven. However, we need to come to the place where we say, “Lord, here’s my life. I give it all to You.” That is what Rahab did—she placed her life in God’s hands, and He protected her. God wasn’t concerned about her disreputable past. He was interested in what she could become if she surrendered her life to Him. He had a plan to bless her, and when she turned to Him in faith and obedience, He preserved her and set her on a new course.

That is what Jesus does for us—He changes our hearts and cleans up our lives! He takes away the old and makes everything new. The Apostle Paul said, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17).

God not only spared and redeemed Rahab, but He used her for His glory. She went on to marry Salmon, a Jewish man from the tribe of Judah. They had a son named Boaz who married Ruth, and those two became the great-grandparents of King David. Jesus made reference to this, identifying Himself as “the root and the offspring of David” (Revelation 22:16). He said “the root” because He was here from the beginning, before David, and the “offspring” because He came from David’s lineage. The Messiah came through Rahab!

God changed this woman’s reputation and today she is named among the heroes of faith in Hebrews 11: “By faith the harlot Rahab perished not with them that believed not, when she had received the spies with peace” (verse 31).

The Lord is not limited by impossible situations or our past failures. A greater than Solomon is here, and He wants to make something new and beautiful of our lives. He is still looking for those who are willing to turn to Him in faith and obedience.

My own experience

I was privileged to be raised in this wonderful Gospel, but I didn’t always appreciate it. I left the Lord out of my life until one day a perilous situation showed me how much I needed Him.

At seventeen, I was fishing out on the Pacific Ocean when a huge wave came up and washed over my little boat filling it with water. It started to roll, and I had to jump side to side to balance it and keep it from going all the way over. I frantically bailed water, knowing that my life was in jeopardy and I was not ready to meet the Lord. In that moment, there was only one kind of help I needed, and it wasn’t the Coast Guard or another boat. I needed a greater than Solomon; I needed Jesus Christ to be with me in that boat. I started talking to Him, and He was there!

The Lord spared my life, and I am grateful. Later that summer, I came to a Sunday morning church service and afterward knelt at the altar and prayed. I poured out my heart to God and surrendered all to Him. Solomon in all his glory could not take anyone out of sin, but the One who is greater met me and changed my heart! He cleansed me and made my life new. Since then, He has been everything to me. Not only did He take away my sin, but He prayed for my sanctification, He departed so the Comforter could come, He is touched by my infirmities, and He intercedes on my behalf.  

Your needs can be met

What do you need from the Lord today? Jesus said, “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth” (Matthew 28:18). A greater than Solomon is here, and He is waiting for you to call on Him, so He can meet your needs.

apostolic faith magazine