Than an old and foolish king who will be admonished no more.
14 For he comes out of prison to be king,
Although he was born poor in his kingdom.
15 I saw all the living who walk under the sun;
They were with the second youth who stands in his place.
16 There was no end of all the people over whom he was made king;
Yet those who come afterward will not rejoice in him.
Surely this also is vanity and grasping for the wind.
(Ecclesiastes 4:13-16, New King James Version)
The Youth and the King
Remember, as you read the Bible passage shown above from Ecclesiastes 4, that the writer of this book was King Solomon. We do not know his age when he wrote this proverb, so we do not know if he was equating himself with "the youth" or with "the old and foolish king." He was both--you know.
Perhaps Solomon was still just a youth, himself, when he wrote these words. As a youth in the kingdom of David, I am sure he had plenty of opportunities to view his father, the king, in both wise and foolish situations.
We know that Solomon was the son of David and Bathsheba. Though David sinned grievously against God when he made Bathsheba his wife, yet God forgave him of his sin and blessed he and Bathsheba with the birth of Solomon. Even as a child, Solomon was especially loved by God.
24 Then David comforted Bathsheba his wife, and went in to her and lay with her. So she bore a son, and he called his name Solomon. Now the LORD loved him, 25 and He sent word by the hand of Nathan the prophet: So he called his name Jedidiah, because of the LORD. (2 Samuel 12:24-25, New King James Version)Notice those words at the end of verse 24, "Now the LORD loved him." We must be especially careful that we do not disdain our own youth! Even when he was but a baby, God loved Solomon.
I fear that we often think we can do anything while still a child as we are not responsible for our actions until we reach adulthood. That attitude may be part of the fabric of our society, but it is certainly not the case with God. The two greatest kings of Israel, David and Solomon, were both known to love the Lord passionately from the days of their youth.
None of us will probably have the opportunity to become a king, but, should God grant us the years, we will all have the opportunity to live to an old age. What kind of a person will we be when we are old? Will we be like the old and foolish king, or will we still be living a life devoted to the God we love? The answer to that question is being formulated right now while you are still in the days of your youth.
Devote your heart and life to God, right now, and pray for His grace to keep you close to Him. Go to Him, for in the end, it is God's power that saves us, it is God's power that keeps us, and it is God's power that will one day bring us into His courts to live with him forever!
As you think of the youth and the king, I pray that you will set your heart to be God's devoted servant all of the days of your life. Someday in heaven, perhaps we will have a chance to talk about how God blessed your life and mine.
To Him be all the honor and glory forever. Amen!
God Bless You,