Wednesday, August 20th, 2014

Wisdom Did Not Protect Him

11

wisdomHave you ever wondered how the world’s wisest man…stumbles and falls at the end of his life…stooping so low as to worship idols?

That’s what Solomon did.

That’s right.  The same man that God blessed with wisdom above all his peers.  None would be like him again.

He received riches and honor in addition to this…so much that they were piling up the silver outside of town when it lost value from all the gold which was available.

 After directly speaking with God, being the wisest person on earth, and living in an unprecedented time of wealth and success…Solomon worshipped idols.

Have you ever thought about this before?

Why did he do it?  How could a person with so much blessing…which he knew came directly from God…fall so far?

We’re given the answer here…

“But King Solomon loved many foreign women, as well as the daughter of Pharaoh: women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Sidonians, and Hittites — from the nations of whom the LORD had said to the children of Israel,”You shall not intermarry with them, nor they with you. Surely they will turn away your hearts after their gods.” Solomon clung to these in love. And he had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines; and his wives turned away his heart. For it was so, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned his heart after other gods; and his heart was not loyal to the LORD his God, as was the heart of his father David.”
1 Kings 11:1-5, NKJV

Solomon loved many foreign women and had 700 wives and 300 concubines.  Wow…I guess this is where the marriage joke comes in.

“Marriage is a wonderful institution…but who wants to live in an institution?” – Groucho Marx

In this passage above we’re told Israelites were NOT allowed to marry from these nations. 

So Solomon didn’t have a “fall” just at the end of his life as some people see it.

He started much earlier.  He took the first step in that direction the moment he broke this law God had setup to protect him…and other Israelites.

With that many wives, he had to be collecting them and breaking this commandment over and over again throughout his life.

It was a consistent willful action he took for decades before he turned to idolatry. 

Why would he do this?  Part of it was likely the lust of the flesh, but it went deeper than this.

Remember Solomon was king who lived in a time of peace.  These wives were from other countries.

At that time kings would marry the royal line of other nations to establish peaceful relationships.

He was doing what was the common wisdom of the day…the wisdom the world used to create peace.

In other words, he followed the world’s way of bringing God’s promises to pass.  He would have peace and properity for his kingdom.  And kings did that with these marriages.

You can expect he advisors leading him in this direction.  And it all made perfect sense.  The only probem was it was against God’s Word.

We all live in the world.  There is wisdom that comes from God.  And there is wisdom that comes from the world.  There is quite a bit you can learn in your career and your business…technical skills, marketing techniques, etc. 

The problem occurs when what you’re taught goes against the Word. 

That’s where the dividing line comes in. 

Learn everything you can.  Become educated so you can provide more value to those around you.  But the line stops once what you’re told is against what God has taught us. 

And that’s a line everyone of us has to watch out for.  If the wisest man could fall here, then the rest of us are definitely open to it.

You don’t decide on day to just turn your back on God and begin worshipping idols.  It’s a slow process as one commandment doesn’t seem so important anymore.  And it keeps compounding in your life just like it did in Solomon’s life.

This is where it really comes back to us needing to watch and pray.  And have other faithful believers around us who we allow to speak into our life. 

We are in this world, but we are not of this world…not anymore.

About Terry Dean
I've been in full-time business online since 1996. I've been an ordained minister since 1993. Yes, business and ministry are my passions. I also love God, my wife Julie, my two dogs, the outdoors, and video games.

Comments

11 Responses to “Wisdom Did Not Protect Him”
  1. Greg Nemer says:

    Hi Terry,

    You’re a man of “wisdom” and that is what I appreciate about you.

    Solomon was blessed with riches and honor after he asked for wisdom. God also told him that he would give him “long life”.

    Solomon didn’t even ask for these “bonus” blessings.

    There was a condition- “if he would keep God’s Commandments”.

    As you said, he eventually fell into the sin of Idolatry.

    Through the process of turning his heart away from God (blame it on the women if you will) he also dishonored God and his father David thus breaking the 5th Commandment to honor your parents.
    This is the only commandment with a promise (long life).

    As wise as Solomon was he didn’t finish the race triumphantly. He only lived to be 80 years old.

    I guess a lesson that can be learned here is that,

    “it’s not as important how you start the race, it’s how you finish it that counts….
    no matter how wise you are.”

    • Terry Dean says:

      Greg,

      I wouldn’t blame it on the women. Solomon openly chose that direction knowing better. He would have know God’s Law here and he chose to go the world’s way anyway. So it is his fault. But you can always point back to a cause which is what I feel the verse above is doing for us. It wasn’t a later fall away from God. It was a path he walked over a longer time period that led him to that end.

      By the way, this is kind of beside the point, but you said he only lived to be 80 years old. That seems pretty good to me for that time period…and even for our time period now. What would you feel would be a long life for someone to live?

  2. Randy Sutton says:

    Terry I really appreciate your integrity and the fact that you walk in God’s calling on your life.

    The worlds way as you mentioned was that the kings would marry the royal line of other nations to establish peaceful relationships.

    However I was thinking about what it says in Proverbs 16:7
    When a man’s ways are pleasing to the LORD, he makes even his enemies live at peace with him.

    Two very different ways but only ONE way is the right way.

    Also in Proverbs it says:
    There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.

    I leave you with Matthew 6:33:
    But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

    Thanks again Terry for all that you do brother!

    Randy

    • Terry Dean says:

      Excellent Randy…I agree copmletely with this.

      In this situation Solomon choose the way that seems right to a man instead of the Lord’s way…even though he had the wisdom to choose correctly in other circumstances.

      Thank you Randy for this addition!

  3. Coach Gogo says:

    It reminds me of the fact that no castle is built in a day.

    As much as we might want to imply (or believe) that “it just happened” in so many negative situations that we put ourselves in, it almost never “just happens”.

    If we shorten our “cycle of accountability” from every New Year, to “every Sunday”, to every moment, we’ll have the opportunity to stay within the zone of blessings that God wants to preserve for us.

    Great post.

    Gogo

  4. Patrisha says:

    Well Terry, this message came at a time when I’m at wits end when it comes to IM. I try so diligently to get something going, even if only a couple of thousand a month, but even if I write out my plan of action as to what I should do in a step by step manner as you have laid out for me it seems that I still cannot get anything done.

    I know and I believe if I could only apply half of what I have learned from the free content you offer that I could make this amount of money, but…every time I try it seems that I cannot focus or carry a train of thought long enough to get anything done, and when I do manage to make a little progress it seems that there’s always something that gets in the way..again.

    A long time, trusted, and very much loved friend of 30 years said something to me just yesterday that kind of got me to thinking. She said that I have so many good ideas, and I really seem to know what I’m talking about when it comes to IM but she is not surprised that I cannot seem to make anything happen.

    She said she believes that if I would only spend more time worshipping the Lord and less time on the computer I may be able to achieve something. So, in essence, she is saying that she believes I idolize this computer/marketing stuff because I actually go through withdrawals when I can’t get online every day for one reason or another and God is jealous God so…

    We prayed together about this issue and other things as we usually do but I didn’t think I was actually worshipping this stuff however I do spend way too much time trying…

    Thoughts?

  5. Randy Sutton says:

    Hi Patricia,

    I feel a kinship with you on this one.

    In the past week I have prayed that the LORD would just guide me where he would have me becaue in the end I only want Him to be glorified … however I do need to earn a living today.

    For some reason it just seems that I have been going through “but where do I start and what do I focus on … and how do I stay focused when I need to earn an income so badly”

    I know that I have not provided any wisdom here for you but by adding my thoughts of a similar situation perhaps this is something that Terry can shed some light on for all of us including even those who have not said anything but face the same thing.

    I am again just reminded of and leave you with what scripture says in Matthew 6:33
    But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
    (This scripture has been on my mind a lot lately)

  6. Orestes says:

    Hi! Terry,

    Thanks for the great and wise comment. Everytime I read about Solomon in the Bible I wonder how a man so wise and favour of God could ended doing such things. But that tells me how dangerous is to live in this world when we forget for a second to PRAY and WATCH, ´cause it can happen to anybody. I believe we need to be really in alert all the time as well as humble ourself and let the Holy Spirit lead us which is the best and save option.

    Blessing!

  7. Bruce Hoag says:

    @Patrisha

    Whether you’re friend is right or not depends on your behavior. Do you set aside time every day to read your Bible and pray? Do you seek first His kingdom and His righteousness? If so, then her charge is unfounded. But, if you’re on the computer from morning until night and make the excuse that you don’t have the time to spend with God, then I’d have to agree with her.

    Let’s assume that you do spend time with the Lord every day. It’s likely that you’re busy all day long, but not necessarily doing those things that will get you closer to reaching your goals. In other words, it’s possible to just be busy. If this is true of you, then I suggest that you examine your working habits.

    For example, did you know that every time you’re distracted, it takes 20 minutes to get back your brain back to where it was beforehand? That’s just three well spaced episodes in an hour. An obvious instance of this is with email. Make it a habit to check it at the beginning of your work day, and then again at the end. Turn off all notifications that you’ve received any messages so that you’re not distracted.

    Another thing you can do is to ask yourself – put a big note up where you can see it all the time – Is what I’m doing now the best use of my time? The best use of your time is determined by whatever the most important next step is in reaching your goal. If your goal is to have a successful business, then decide specifically what that next indispensable step is and work on it until it’s done.

    Cheers, Bruce

  8. Bruce Hoag says:

    Terry,

    This is a great post!

    One of my favourite passages is Psalm 1. The blessed man, in effect, doesn’t put himself in the path that leads to thinking like and accepting the world. How hard that is to do, seeing how it is that we live here. This why I think it’s so important to obtain business coaching from Christians: They’re beginning from the standpoint of seeking first God’s kingdom and righteousness. To me, that means not just glorifying Him, instead of me, but also obeying him from the outset. That also means that I’m more likely to be given advice that honours Him; something that the unsaved never even think about.

    As to Solomon’s particular problem, Jesus Himself acknowledged that God only ever intended a man to have one wife (Matthew 19:3-8). Solomon had a harem, which not only violated the Law (especially Commandment number 10), but also demonstrated that he practiced the customs of the heathen nations.

    Nevertheless, we ought to be encouraged by the gracious way in which God dealt with Solomon. We all of us are as tainted by the world in which we live as he was. Rather than judge him for what he did, we should examine our own lives in order to discover where we’ve taken our eyes off of Him, confess our failings, and remove ourselves from all paths that lead us to sin in the first place.

    I speak to myself as much as to anyone else, but it’s good to be reminded of this.

    Cheers, Bruce

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  1. [...] Have you ever wondered how the world’s wisest man…stumbles and falls at the end of his life…stooping so low as to worship idols?  Terry Dean writes about how this could have happened in his blog article, “Wisdom Did Not Protect Him“. [...]



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