I read today in 2 Sam 12:25 that when Solomon (name meaning “peaceful”) was born God sent Nathan to tell David the child’s name is Jedidiah, “Beloved of the Lord.” My first thought was I don’t think I ever recall Solomon being called Jedidiah and I had never noticed this verse before.
Saul becomes Paul and the Bible calls him Paul. Abram becomes Abraham, Sarai – Sarah, Jacob – Israel, and the same with others. But Solomon the wisest man ever, is not called by this name again. I went to some Bible tools to confirm that Solomon was never referred as Jedidiah again. It turns out, 2 Sam 12:25 is the only instance of that word/name used in the entire Bible. Why?
As I sat, lost for an explanation I was reminded that our name is our nature. Simon becomes Peter, a rock/stone (who became the boldest of speakers). Saul becomes Paul, small/little (perhaps to counter the greatness of his revelation and mystery).
Having a name change did not mean that these men never failed again. Abraham gave his wife as his sister twice, one as Abram and once as Abraham. But Abraham knew who he was. He knew who God called him to be (Abraham means, “Father of a multitude”).
The truth I see, the picture that God is showing me is that Solomon, blessed with everything the world had to offer including wives, wealth and wisdom was left longing and disillusioned as he aged. He did not know his identity. He did not know how God saw him or what God called him or at least the Bible suggests it wasn’t a significant part of his story.
This is not a statement about behavior. Rather it is a statement of the state of our soul and spirit. Solomon knew God, but in some way, he did not know who he was with respect to God’s thoughts toward him. Solomon states in Ecclesiastes 2:4-11; “I made great works. I built houses and planted vineyards for myself. I made myself gardens and parks, and planted in them all kinds of fruit trees. I made myself pools from which to water the forest of growing trees. I bought male and female slaves, and had slaves who were born in my house. I had also great possessions of herds and flocks, more than any who had been before me in Jerusalem. I also gathered for myself silver and gold and the treasure of kings and provinces. I got singers, both men and women, and many concubines, the delight of the children of man. So I became great and surpassed all who were before me in Jerusalem. Also my wisdom remained with me. And whatever my eyes desired I did not keep from them. I kept my heart from no pleasure, for my heart found pleasure in all my toil, and this was my reward for all my toil. Then I considered all that my hands had done and the toil I had expended in doing it, and behold, all was vanity and a striving after wind, and there was nothing to be gained under the sun.”
What is it God has named you? Who are you to Him? Who is He to you?
Fulfillment in life comes not from the externals but must start with the internals. Are you, “beloved of the Father”, “one He is especially fond of”, “loved with an everlasting love”, “precious in His sight”, “cherished”, “the evidence that He loves ‘quirky’”?
Take a moment today. Ask God your name. Ask Him His thoughts toward you. Ask Him who He made you to be and what you are. I know the answer to this last question. You, my friend, are His masterpiece.