Genuine Wisdom; July 7, 2017


1 Kings 11:4 As Solomon grew old, his wives turned his heart after other gods, and his heart was not fully devoted to the Lord his God, as the heart of David his father had been.

Here we have the incredible stupidity that for me negates all of the wisdom for which Solomon was so famous. I get stirred up and angry every time I read this passage. What on earth is one man doing with 1,000 women in the first place!? The writer here pulls no punches, talking about how God had expressly forbidden the Israelites to take wives from specific idolatrous nations, for exactly what brought Solomon down: they would lead them into idolatry. When Solomon spoke such an exalted concept of God the Creator at the dedication of the temple, it is mind boggling that he would descend into idolatry with any god, much less the truly detestable gods of the nations from which he chose women. The passage repeatedly uses the word “love” in describing Solomon’s relationship with his wives and concubines, but I certainly wouldn’t dignify it with that word. After 48 years of a blessed marriage, I can’t see how Solomon had anything remotely approaching what I have. No wonder he became so bitter, as comes out in Ecclesiastes! He could have avoided that tragedy had he followed the instructions in Proverbs, that supposedly includes a lot of material he himself wrote: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3:5-6) Solomon trusted in his own understanding, and so was quickly deceived. He failed to hold the Word of the Lord as an absolute standard against which to judge everything else, and so fell horribly.

I may have something of a fixation with Solomon because I have a high IQ, and he is such an example of how that can go horribly wrong. The interesting thing is, I’ve got to be careful not to be proud of my humility! I have certainly not been the steward I could have been of all that God has placed in me, but by God’s amazing grace He has kept me from going the way of Solomon. It wasn’t so many years ago that He finally got through to me that He’s smart and I’m not, rather than my simply being a lot less smart than He is. My intellect is simply on a different plane from His, and there can be no comparison. As He told Isaiah, it’s on the order of the distance from here to another galaxy, versus going down to the corner store. (Isaiah 55:8-9) I have got to go by what He says, rather than simply what seems “reasonable” to me. I am frequently asked for advice and counsel by various people. I am not to ignore what I have learned over years of walking with the Lord, but I still am not to rely on what I have already been given, but rather seek God for right now. He will not violate His Word, but He may well apply it in ways that would never occur to me, and His way is always best.

Father, thank You for this reminder. Thank You for the person who came for counsel and comfort last night, and for what You did in that time. It certainly wasn’t anything I did! Help me be available to You at all times, allowing You to take me by the hand and lead me to do Your will, for the blessing of many and for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!

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About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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