It is amazing that Solomon could lay out all the principles and commandments for living as he did in Proverbs and other writings. He was not only the King of Israel, but also the King of "principles" by which to live, one-liner precepts such as:
- Watch what you do in this kind of situation
- Watch out for this kind of person and avoid them
- Listen to this kind of wise person
- Do this in these circumstances
- Behave in this way
- Avoid this kind of situation
- Be careful with this and watch out for that
Good counsel? Absolutely; the way of life? Absolutely!
Solomon was the king of the one-liners, as far as counsel and principles to live by; no one ever exceeded him in earthly, relationship wisdom.
YET we see the end of this man, who knew every truth and every principle to live by.
"Now King Solomon loved many foreign women . . . . from the nations concerning which the Lord had said to the people of Israel, 'You shall not enter into marriage with them, neither shall they with you, for surely they will turn your heart after their gods. Solomon clung to these in love. He had 700 wives, princesses, and 300 concubines. And his wives turned his heart after other gods, and his heart was not wholly true to the Lord his God. . . . so Solomon did what was evil in the sight of the Lord . . . then Solomon built a high place for Chemosh, the abomination of Moab and for Molech the abomination of the Ammorites on the mountain east of Jerusalem. So he did for all his foreign wives, who made offerings and sacrified to their gods." (1 King 11: 1-8)
Solomon had almost as many relationships with women as Bayer has aspirin. [ So much for the modern interpretation of the Song of Solomon that popular Bible teachers are touting, which teaches that the book is not about Christ and the church, but rather is a book of sacred romance between one man and one woman- Solomon, the perfect lover of one woman- are you kidding me? Its about Christ and his bride- don't ever believe anything different. ]
This reality does not remove the exceptional gifting God put in his life nor does it negate the wisdom of Proverbs and Ecclesiates. But it does tell us that even the greatest or most knowledgeable person is still susceptible to tragic destruction if they do not keep walking with a heart of obedience to God daily. Knowledge or past experience does not preserve a person in the future. The strongest man, Samson, was captured by sin; the great-heart David was captured by sin; the wisest man who ever lived--Solomon--was captured by sin. If sin brings down the best, can it not easily get the rest?
Here's this man with all the knowledge ever needed, who also had personal, direct, and audible revelations of God Himself on more than one occasion. But Solomon's wisdom in earthly matters, even all the practical principles for life and relationships, did not keep him. Why?
Because this man, who could lay out all the commandments and teach principles in a way far beyond anyone who ever lived--his heart was far from God. So much for trusting in your knowledge or theology.
What's the lesson for us from Solomon?
What we know cannot preserve us ultimately. It is God Himself, Christ Himself, that is the Preserver of our lives. Our hearts must be His daily or we too can be gradually given over to the creeping and snaring consequences of subtle sin.
What you know cannot keep you; It's Who you know. Solomon would write another book on that if he could.
- Mack Tomlinson