“And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit,”
This plant is a beautiful wildflower called Solomon’s Seal; it is native to this area. It likes a woodland setting and develops these lovely dangling blossoms on pretty arching stems in June.
The rhizomes beneath the soil carry a mark where the old growth and new growth meet that resembles one of those official doodads that the old timers used to use to seal documents with when pressed into wax.
Hence the name.
The reference to Solomon is interesting. Whoever named this plant thought of the Jewish King of old, the son of the famed King David who started his reign at around 970 BC. He was extremely affluent and powerful in his day, so his personal seal would have been in high demand for all his wheeling and dealing.
Now, there is also a plant called ‘false Solomon’s Seal’.
It isn’t as tall. The leaves are similar, but the flowers are more like little fluff balls at the ends of the stems as opposed to bells hanging under the stem. But it’s close enough to fool folks if they don’t know the difference.
Which has, of course, a spiritual application.
Anyone back in the day trying to use the name of King Solomon to do any transactions would have needed the right seal. You could fake it – dress and look the part in a business deal – but if you didn’t have the official insignia, you didn’t have the authority of Solomon’s court.
Or the backing of his gold.
There are a lot of ‘false Solomon’s Seals’ out there.
By that I mean folks who say they are Christians and talk the talk – but don’t have the authority of the King behind them.
Lots of terrible things have been done in the name of God over the centuries.
But they sure didn’t have the seal of God’s authority behind them…
See, something amazing happens when we come to faith – a genuine, internal spiritual shift that turns our former way of life upside down. We suddenly want different things in life. Our priorities shift, our motivations turn on their heels. We want to live as God designed us to live, in harmony with fellow sojourners, doing what is right to follow in the footsteps of Jesus.
There is evidence.
As in, a seal of approval. An outward manifestation of an inward revolution.
The presence of God in the form of the Holy Spirit begins to slowly but surely influence our thoughts, choices, behaviours. This is the practical out working of the promise of Immanuel, God with us.
A sign that we are legit.
Now, we are still human. I still mess up. Royally, at times. But there should be signals in the way I live that prove who I am.
Who I belong to.
I should carry the mark of God in my daily life if I want to represent His court.
Boy, that’s a high – and challenging! – calling.
Are you sealed?
Walk the talk with me?
Father, how important it is to represent You accurately and live under Your authority if we are to call ourselves by Your name. Give us the power and the desire to live as we ought, to prove our legitimacy in a world where authenticity is so lacking. Amen.