Summary: Solomon was given more wisdom than anyone who has lived yet he chose not to use it.
There are all kinds of warnings in life.
Most products we purchase have labels warning about improper use. Here are a few that I found.
- A label on a snow sled which says: "Beware: sled may develop high speed under certain snow conditions."
- A fishing lure, with a warning that reads: harmful if swallowed.
- A warning on an electric router made for carpenters cautions: “This product not intended for use as a dental drill.”
- A warning label found on a baby stroller cautions the user to “Remove child before folding”
- A container of underarm deodorant says, “Caution: Do not spray in eyes”
- A cartridge for a laser printer warns, “Do not eat toner”
- A car sunshield that keeps sun off the dashboard warns, “Do not drive with sunshield in place”
- On a prescription bottle for a dog, “Use care when operating a car.”
We laugh at the ridiculousness of some of these warnings but they are there for a reason. Either someone has used an electric router for a dentist drill or has eaten toner. Or a lawyer suggested that a company warn parents not to fold their children up in a stroller or a driver to drive with their sunshield in place to avoid a lawsuit.
We have a book of warnings at our disposal. It is called the Bible. We are warned to watch our speech. “Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry” (James 1:19). We are instructed to listen to the other viewpoint more than we are to try to win the argument for our viewpoint.
We are warned to watch our anger. “In your anger do not sin: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry” (Ephesians 4:26). There is a place for righteous anger—child abuse, modern-day sex slavery, injustices done to the poor or weak, etc. Yet many of us are more provoked by our personal offense. We are to restrain ourselves from sinful acts caused by anger.
We are warned to watch our money. “Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have” (Hebrews 13:5). The striving to make more money to buy more things to gain more fame, fortune, and respect from men—comes from the cravings of this world more than the desires of the Spirit. Money of itself isn’t evil; rather, it’s the love of money along with the willingness to lay aside the real values of life such as our relationship with God and other believers.
We are warned to watch our pride. “For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world” (1 John 2:16).
Pride can be a good thing when in the perspective of doing a great work and feeling a sense of satisfaction or completion from it. But if not controlled it will slowly choke out our complete dependency on God.
We are warned to watch our worries. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God” (Philippians 4:6).
The great complication of anxiousness is that the little worry tugging on your mind throughout the day—will keep us up nights on end. We can’t trust in God and be filled with worries.
We are warned to watch our fears. “The one who fears is not made perfect in love” (1 John 4:18). Believers around the world are continually harassed, persecuted, and unjustly imprisoned without any hope of justice. Yet we aren’t to be a people of fear, but of faith, courage, and strength in the Holy Ghost.
We are warned to watch our doubts. “But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind” (James 1:6).
Believers are most assailed by doubts when our circumstances suddenly change. Doubt makes us feel like we are alone without hope or clarity of direction. Just remember, Peter would not have had the chance to walk on water if there hadn’t been a storm.
All of these warnings, both on products and our lives, are not necessary if we use one thing. That one thing is wisdom. We would never intentionally fold up a child in a stroller because wisdom would clarify that we shouldn’t. So why are labels and warnings necessary? Because we have a problem using wisdom.
Today we will examine the life of King David’s son. He succeeded David on he throne after David had died. His name was Solomon. We have heard of his reputation of being wise. In fact he is often called the wisest man who ever lived. But as we examine his life we will be forced to ponder the truth of that statement. For instance, let’s look at Solomon’s first decision as the King of Israel.