A king humbly serves his people. A king’s job in the Old Testament was to know what his people needed and to lead in such a way that they would have it. He was to lay down his life for his people, using his powerful position to secure for them what only he could. Doing this well required great humility.
I recently saw a news story in which a firefighter ran into a burning building to save an elderly lady’s dog. No, he didn’t run in to save a baby, or the lady’s husband, or even a priceless family heirloom. Just a little dog which, frankly, looked more like an oversized rat.
The firefighter could’ve let the dog die. Nowhere in a firefighter’s job description does it command him to run into a burning building for a dog. But in the interview afterward, he said, “I couldn’t stand to watch that sweet woman so distraught over her puppy. I had to go in.” If it were me, I’d have saved the woman and left it at that. But this firefighter was willing to risk his life for someone else. It was more than a duty; it required an extra dose of kindness and humility.
A king’s job in the Old Testament was to know what his people needed and lead in such a way that they would have it. He was to lay down his life for his people, using his powerful position to secure for them what only he could. To do this well required great humility.
In 2 Chronicles 1, we see King Solomon praying a prayer of intense humility: “For You have made me king over a people as numerous as the dust of the earth. Now grant me wisdom and knowledge so that I may lead these people, for who can judge this great people of Yours?” (vv. 9-10).
God acknowledged that Solomon was right to ask for wisdom and knowledge to lead his people, rather than for riches or revenge. Because of his humility—because he didn’t ask for a Mercedes-Benz-level chariot—he was granted wisdom and knowledge. At least in this moment, Solomon was a good king. As we see later earlier in 2 Chronicles, a good king serves his people by worshiping God (2 Chronicles 6:12-21).
Of course, Solomon wasn’t perfect. We’ve mentioned time and again that no king was or could’ve been. Israel needed to be rescued from a far greater foe than Egypt or Assyria; they needed rescuing from sin and death.
Our King displayed the greatest act of love and humility by coming down to save us (Philippians 2:5-11). He didn’t stop at doing a few nice things for us. He didn’t merely leave us with good teaching. And He didn’t simply fight the Roman army to get His people a tax break. Our King laid down His life for us. He ran not into a burning building to save our dogs, but onto a Roman cross to save our souls.
Our King serves us in the perfect wisdom and knowledge of God—and He invites us to approach the throne boldly to ask not for riches, but for grace (Hebrews 4:16).
Written By Brandon D. Smith