Posted by: mikenicholsblog | April 13, 2015

above all else

History has recorded the stories of countless individuals who had it all, then lost their way. We are left to wonder what causes a person to make decisions that violate the very principles which contributed to their success. There is, perhaps, no greater example of this than King Solomon. Everyone knows of his wisdom and favor from God, but for all his epic wisdom and wealth, his journey was wrought with disobedience. Viewing the whole of his life 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 10:23-24
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 (700 total), 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.

Solomon’s wealth and wisdom were unsurpassed, but unfortunately, his temptations and sins were on an equally epic scale.  Though our’s may not be in similar areas, of the same scale, or quite as public as Solomon’s, we are confronted with parallel choices every day.  What, then, can we learn from this learned man?

I believe we can learn the lesson of Genesis and the garden …  that however blessed we are of God, we are not God.  Also, although we have the Source of divine wisdom at our disposal, we do not possess it.  We do well if we pray to God for His strength in not repeating Solomon’s failures, choosing rather to follow the incredible counsel included in the words of Proverbs 4:23.  Words that God authored, but allowed to come forth from Solomon’s own lips:

Above all else guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.

Finally, Solomon’s choices were not made or felt without consequences … neither are ours.  The choices you and I make will directly affect others, whether they are wise or unwise.  If we are not careful, we will view the wisest and wealthiest with a bit of envy. Choose instead the counsel of the one true Wisest and Wealthiest.  Seek Him, base your choices on His Word, then rest with His results.  It is a daily choice … above all else, guard your heart today!

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