Discover His heart: He grants wisdom for our lives as we follow Him
Sadly, we learn that the wisest man that ever lived wasn’t always all that wise. “Now King Solomon loved many foreign women…The Lord had clearly instructed the people of Israel, ‘You must not marry them, because they will turn your hearts to their gods.’ Yet Solomon insisted on loving them anyway. He had 700 wives of royal birth and 300 concubines. And in fact, they did turn his heart away from the Lord.”(11:1-3) Soon God allowed foreign kings to rise up against Solomon as well as his own people, shortening his reign and his life, ultimately splitting the kingdom. What was the wisest man in the history of the world thinking?
In response to Solomon’s love for Him, God offered Solomon the moon, but Solomon asked for wisdom instead. In and of itself, this was wise. As a young, inexperienced king, he knew he could only survive with God’s help. As time passed, Solomon’s kingdom was lavished with prosperity and notoriety, so much so that the Queen of Sheba traveled over 1,000 miles to visit him, and in those days that was quite the trip. (10:1-13) With all this prosperity and unlimited wisdom, Solomon’s reign could have lasted much longer than 40 years, but he had disregarded the if clause in his granted wish. God said He would give him wisdom and understanding as well as riches and fame for the rest of his life, “…if you follow me and obey my decrees and my commands as your father, David, did, I will give you a long life.”(3:14)
Solomon lost God’s moral direction for his life, the thing that had guided his great wisdom, when he followed his own moral code and worshiped other gods with his many wives. It seemed wise to Solomon to marry women from neighboring royal families, shoring up his strength in the region, protecting him from foreign invasions. However, this seemingly altruistic wisdom was contrary to God’s instructions, “You must not marry [foreign women], because they will turn your hearts to their gods. And in fact, they did turn his heart away from the Lord.” I’ve often heard repeated the Chinese proverb, “Man is the head of the family, woman the neck that turns the head,” and for Solomon this proved true.
Solomon wrote in Proverbs 14:12 and again in 16:25, “There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.” (NIV) He would know. Written late in Solomon’s life, Ecclesiastes reveals the regrets and final conclusions of this one-time great king. Great lessons can be learned from Solomon’s life, the good, the bad and the ugly. God loves and rewards us when we ask for His wisdom to guide our lives, and He loves it, even more, when we follow it.
Moving Forward: I will follow the dictates of His wisdom today, not those things that just seem wise to me.
Tomorrow @ Psalms 69-71