Posted by: mikenicholsblog | June 28, 2010

so what can we learn?

History has recorded the stories of countless individuals who had it all, and then lost their way. We are left to wonder what causes a person of wealth and, often, wisdom to make decisions that violate the very principles that contributed to their success. There is no example greater than that of Solomon. Everyone knows of his wisdom and favor from God. But for all his epic wisdom and wealth, his journey did not end well. Viewing his life in total would cause one to ask, “How could someone who had it all fall so far?!” None of us will ever be as wise or as rich as Solomon, but his descent from God’s favor instructs us all.

I Kings 4:29
God gave Solomon wisdom and very great insight, and a breadth of understanding as measureless as the sand on the seashore.

I Kings 6:11-13
The word of the Lord came to Solomon: “As for this temple you are building, if you follow my decrees, carry out my regulations and keep all my commands and obey them, I will fulfill through you the promise I gave to David your father. And I will live among the Israelites and will not abandon my people Israel.”

I Kings 10:23
King Solomon was greater in riches and wisdom than all the other kings of the earth. The whole world sought audience with Solomon to hear the wisdom God had put in his heart.

I Kings 11:1a
King Solomon, however …

The words “King Solomon, however” begin a very sad chapter in the Bible. This man of greatness violated the design of God and took multiple wives and concubines (and I do mean multiple). And he took them from heathen nations, in direct rebellion to the command of God to the nation of Israel… “You must not intermarry with them, because they will surely turn your hearts after their gods.” — I Kings 11:2b. Chapter 11 continues on to tell of God’s anger with Solomon, and the eventual division of his kingdom. Our righteous God will always deal with us according to our obedience.

His wealth and wisdom are unsurpassed. But unfortunately, his temptations and sin were on an equally epic scale.  And though ours may not be in the same area, or of the same scale, or quite as public as Solomon’s, we are confronted with parallel choices every day.  So what can we learn from Solomon?

We can be reminded of the lesson of Genesis and the garden.  That however blessed we are of God, we are not God.  And although we have at our disposal the Source of divine wisdom, we do not possess it.  We would also do well to pray to God that we not repeat Solomon’s failure to follow the incredible counsel included in the words of Proverbs 4:23.  Words that God authored, but allowed to come forth from his own lips … “Above all else guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.”  And finally, Solomon’s choices were not made or felt in a vacuum, and neither are ours.  The choices you and I make will directly affect others. Those we love feel our choices, both wise and unwise.

If we are not careful, we will view the wisest and wealthiest with a bit of envy. But in reality, the Wisest and Wealthiest simply wants us to seek Him for counsel.  To make choices based on His Word, and then rest with His results. It’s a daily choice … let us pray just as often that we make a wise one.

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