In the Presence of the King

Proverbs 25:1-7

1 These are also proverbs of Solomon, which the men of Hezekiah king of Judah copied out.
2 It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honor of kings is to search out a matter.
3 The heaven for height, and the earth for depth, and the heart of kings is unsearchable.
4 Take away the dross from the silver, and there shall come forth a vessel for the finer.
5 Take away the wicked from before the king, and his throne shall be established in righteousness.
6 Put not forth thyself in the presence of the king, and stand not in the place of great men:
7 For better it is that it be said unto thee, Come up hither; than that thou shouldest be put lower in the presence of the prince whom thine eyes have seen.

Hezekiah was the son of King Ahaz. King Ahaz did not cover himself in glory. (The story of Ahaz is told in 2 Kings 16:10-18 and 2 Chronicles 28:16-25.) Because Ahaz was a foolish man the people he ruled suffered as foreign armies invaded the land of Judah. A key verse is 2 Chronicles 28:19 (NLT):

The Lord was humbling Judah because of King Ahaz of Judah, for he had encouraged his people to sin and had been utterly unfaithful to the Lord.

King Hezekiah did not follow his father’s example. He did not get everything right, but as a young man of twenty-five he quickly set about putting right the wrongs of his father. Idols were removed and destroyed, and the Temple that had been boarded up by Ahaz was reopened for worship. It seems that Hezekiah took note of the wisdom of Solomon to the extent that he had the Proverbs of Solomon reproduced as part of his commitment to following God (Proverbs 25:1). Scripture records that:

Hezekiah trusted in the Lord, the God of Israel. There was no one like him among all the kings of Judah, either before him or after him. He held fast to the Lord and did not stop following him; he kept the commands the Lord had given Moses. And the Lord was with him; he was successful in whatever he undertook. (2 Kings 18:5-7 NLT)

As a King, Hezekiah was well placed to understand the importance of not indulging in an attitude of over-importance. Jesus drew on verses six and seven when he was at a feast and observed people fighting for the best place at the head of the table (Luke 14:7-14). Jesus suggested that the best place to be is the foot of the table. But that was before He died. Today the best place to be is at the foot of the cross. If we dare to look up we will see that the cross is empty. The King of kings is no longer nailed to that cross, but reaching out to take our hand. It is only when we humble ourselves before Him that He reaches down to us in this way. As it says in verse 7 above:

For better it is that it be said unto thee, Come up hither; than that thou shouldest be put lower in the presence of the prince whom thine eyes have seen. 

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About David

David is the son of Ken and father of Nick, who first introduced him to blogging. Ken is a retired Baptist Minister who continues to preach regularly, despite being in his eighties. Nick is training for full time Baptist ministry after several years serving as a youth pastor. Somehow the being a preacher thing skipped a generation with David. Although half Scottish David grew up in England and in the Channel Island of Guernsey. He served in the British Merchant Navy after leaving school, and did not attend University until he was twenty-eight years old. By this time he was married to Marilyn and father to Nick, and Nick’s brother Michael. Another son (James) was born the day before the start of David’s final University examinations. Beth and John followed a few years later. The older boys are all married, and David and Marilyn have been presented with four grandsons to date. Beth has served with British Youth for Christ (YFC) for three years as a member and then the leader of the Nomad cage football team (Google it!). She has recently taken up a new post involving a new YFC ministry (watch this space). John, who is 18, is now the only one of our children still living at home. David and Marilyn met in 1973 and have been married since 1979. Marilyn is a trained nurse, who gave up nursing to be a full time mother, grandmother, and maker of cakes for pastors, youth pastors, and any church function that needs cakes. There is a rumour that she secretly reads David’s blogs. Family and church leave little time for hobbies, but David enjoys walking and cycling, and listening to music. He also dabbles with languages and is currently learning to speak Welsh. (By way of explanation the Welsh border is 11 miles from David's home, and his water bills arrive in both English and Welsh from Dŵr Cymru.) View all posts by David

3 responses to “In the Presence of the King

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