“This, Too, Shall Pass”
The Fellowship | July 30, 2019
The king then took an oath: “As surely as the LORD lives, who has delivered me out of every trouble, I will surely carry out this very day what I swore to you by the LORD, the God of Israel: Solomon your son shall be king after me, and he will sit on my throne in my place.” — 1 Kings 1:29–30
Suffering, in all its various forms, is a universal human experience. While there often isn’t an answer to the question why suffering exists, there are many answers to how we can respond to the suffering of others. Our devotions explore how God comforts us, and how we can comfort others in times of suffering. Learn more through our complimentary Bible teaching on suffering.
Inside the city of Jerusalem, there is a little jewelry shop known for creating hammered pieces engraved with meaningful words. Some people order pieces with their names, others with favorite Bible verses. However, the store’s most popular piece is a silver ring with the Hebrew version of these words: “This, too, shall pass.” Thousands of years ago, this often-quoted phrase was made known to the world in those very same streets.
There are many different versions of the story, but the simplest version is this: A man who was suffering from his many life challenges decided to travel to Jerusalem in order to seek advice from King Solomon, the wisest man of all. After listening to the man’s problems, Solomon gave him a ring bearing the inscription “this, too, shall pass.” The man was consoled and was at peace.
At the conclusion of Abraham’s life, the Jewish sages teach that he had endured ten difficult tests during his lifetime, beginning with the commandment to leave his birthplace for an unknown land and ending with the commandment to sacrifice his only son, Isaac. Similarly, King David also endured many trials and tribulations during his lifetime. From facing the giant Goliath to being hunted down by King Saul as a common criminal, to having his own son rebel against him, King David was no stranger to difficulties and challenges. Yet, like Abraham, he got through them all with prayer and faith.
In our Scripture, David was going through his final challenge to make sure that his son Solomon would succeed him. Another son was already trying to seize the kingship even as David was still alive. So David promised his wife, Bathsheba, that their son Solomon would be the one to become the next king. He vowed: “As surely as the LORD lives, who has delivered me out of every trouble, I will surely carry out this very day what I swore to you . . .”
The sages notice that David refers to God as the one “who has delivered me out of every trouble” and they comment that those words would seem to be unnecessary. Yet King David wanted to teach Bathsheba how God had helped him through life’s challenges. So important is the message that it would one day end up on his son’s famous ring: Just as God has saved us from troubles before, He will save us again: this, too, shall pass.
Friends, let us carry these words with us throughout the days and years of our lives. Let us constantly think of them and turn to them as though they were a ring on our finger reminding us: Troubles come and troubles go, but God’s salvation is forever.
To learn more, download our complimentary study from Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein on Suffering: God’s Refining Fire.