Summary: Solomon was the wisest man that ever, and yet he made some foolish decisions.
THE FOOLISH WISE MAN
1 Kings 3:1-3:15 listen as I read today’s text
1And Solomon made affinity(means “Solomon made a marriage alliance with Pharaoh king of Egypt.”) with Pharaoh king of Egypt, and took Pharaoh’s daughter, and brought her into the city of David, until he had made an end of building his own house, and the house of the LORD, and the wall of Jerusalem round about.
2Only the people sacrificed in high places, because there was no house built unto the name of the LORD, until those days.
3And Solomon loved the LORD, walking in the statutes of David his father: only he sacrificed and burnt incense in high places.
4And the king went to Gibeon to sacrifice there; for that was the great high place: a thousand burnt offerings did Solomon offer upon that altar.
5In Gibeon the LORD appeared to Solomon in a dream by night: and God said, “Ask what I shall give thee.”
6And Solomon said, “Thou hast shewed unto thy servant David my father great mercy, according as he walked before thee in truth, and in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart with thee; and thou hast kept for him this great kindness, that thou hast given him a son to sit on his throne, as it is this day. 7And now, O LORD my God, thou hast made thy servant king instead of David my father: and I am but a little child: I know not how to go out or come in. 8And thy servant is in the midst of thy people which thou hast chosen, a great people, that cannot be numbered nor counted for multitude. 9Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad: for who is able to judge this thy so great a people? “
10And the speech pleased the Lord, that Solomon had asked this thing. 11And God said unto him, “Because thou hast asked this thing, and hast not asked for thyself long life; neither hast asked riches for thyself, nor hast asked the life of thine enemies; but hast asked for thyself understanding to discern judgment; 12Behold, I have done according to thy words: lo, I have given thee a wise and an understanding heart; so that there was none like thee before thee, neither after thee shall any arise like unto thee. 13And I have also given thee that which thou hast not asked, both riches, and honour: so that there shall not be any among the kings like unto thee all thy days. 14And if thou wilt walk in my ways, to keep my statutes and my commandments, as thy father David did walk, then I will lengthen thy days.”
15And Solomon awoke; and, behold, it was a dream. And he came to Jerusalem, and stood before the ark of the covenant of the LORD, and offered up burnt offerings, and offered peace offerings, and made a feast to all his servants.
Solomon was the wisest man on earth, but failed to realize he did not know it all.
As wise as Solomon was, he made several serious mistakes. The first mistake we will talk about is that: “He started well, but he did not finish well.”
We have all seen the runners who burst into the lead in a race and then did not have the stamina to finish the race. The world is filled with people who were voted “most likely to succeed” who not long after school, burned out early in life’s race so to speak. They’re good and strong at the beginning but soon fizzle out.
The Bible talks often about the importance of finishing well
Jesus said, in Matthew 24:13 3But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. Which was a reference to some how enduring through the tribulation.
Toward the end of his life the apostle Paul was able to say, 2 Timothy 4:7-8 I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: 8Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.
Think of what Solomon was like in the beginning. God visited him in a dream and told him to ask for anything his heart desired and it would be his. He could have-- ----asked for riches or fame, but instead he asked the Lord for wisdom to rule his people. He wanted to be a good king. And because Solomon’s request pleased the Lord, he not only gave him great wisdom, but he gave him riches and fame as well.
Solomon wrote the bulk of the wisdom literature of the Old Testament. the book of Proverbs, He wrote Ecclesiastes, the Song of Solomon and part of the book of Psalms. He had a lot to say about how to live wisely, but he failed to follow his own advice.