Summary: Solomon could have had it all...what a tragedy!
Solomon.. Forgotten Wisdom
I once read a story about a man who was on a cruise. When it came time for meals, he could always be found sitting on the deck eating cheese and crackers and drinking water.
Finally, a steward asked him why he was not enjoying some of the fine dining offered on the cruise ship.
The man replied that he had spent a lot of money just to go on the cruise and had no money left on which to eat.
It was then that the steward informed him that the meals came with the price of the cruise.
This man had fine food and beverages available to him but he was not taking advantage of them and relegating himself to cheaper things.
Many times, we are like that spiritually.
When we receive Christ into our hearts as Savior and Lord, we are given some incredible blessings.
The blessing of a Savior upon which to call.
The blessing of Christian fellowship.
But then we relegate ourselves to something cheaper.
When in trouble or when encountering some problem or tragedy, we turn to self-help books or our own devices. We forget the Word of God and what it has to offer. We neglect the church and other Christians even though they are desperately wanting to reach out and love us through it.
We miss out on blessings that are so easily at our disposal.
Solomon was like that.
God came to him in I Kings and said that whatever he wanted to receive was his.
"You have shown great mercy to your servant David my father, because he walked before you in truth, in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart with You; Yo have continued this great kindness for him, and you have given him a son to sit on his throne, as it is this day. Now, O Lord my God, You have made your servant king instead of my father David, but I am a little child; I do not know when to go our or come in. And our servant is in the midst of Your people whom You ahve chosen, a great people, too numerous to be numbered or counted. Therefore, give to Your servant an understanding heart to judge your people, that I may discern between good and evil. For who is able to judge this great people of Yours." (I Kings 3:6-9 NKJV)
And the scripture goes on to say that God honored that command and gave him an abundance of wisdom., We read in I Kings 4:29-31 that his wisdom exceeded that of any other man.. He was skilled on botany, zoology, music, economics.
And Israel prospered because of His God given wisdom. According to biblical historians, Israel took in untold amounts of gold and silver and other precious commodities. According to I Kings 10:23, Solomon himself took in greater wealth than all the kings of his time.
But something took a bad turn.
Because by the end of his reign, Solomon was not that successful.
Instead he was mired in sin. I Kings 11:4 states that by the end of his reign, Solomon was full of himself...he was caught up in the worship of other gods that he had been introduced to through his 300 wives and 700 concubines. He ended up being remembered by the people of his time more for his manmade arrogance than for his God-given wisdom.
Doesn’t that happen to many of us? Don’t we forget sometimes that it is God who gets the glory and not ourselves?
I have told you many times that there are times when I get really full of myself when it comes to preaching... I start taking credit for decisions made and for people coming to know Christ. "It was my dynamic preaching.. my incredible delivery! My sparkling personality!"
The truth is that if I have any talent at all, it’s on loan from God. If any decisions are made, He gets the glory.
And that goes for any of us in Christian service.
The Sunday School class we teach is booming.... it’s God that gets the glory!
The respect that others within the church body give us.. .it’s God that gets the glory!
A successful Vacation Bible School, a booming youth group, a position of leadership....
Because the truth is, He made our mouth. He gave us our abilities. He is the one who deserves the credit!
But we forget that...We get full of ourselves. We start feeling like we’re the most talented invincible person alive.
And the one who created us, the one we’re supposed to be serving...gets forgotten and replaced by the god of arrogance and pride.
And that never leads to a good ending.
King Saul was called out by God to lead the nation of Israel. But he got full of himself and it led to a horrible ending.