Bible Study Day 22: Was King Solomon actually wise?

Reading Time: 2 minutes

I Kings 2 – 14

10 “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of Wisdom.”

Proverbs 9

Introduction

The son of King David born to Bathsheba is famous for one of two things. Either building the first Temple of Jerusalem or asking God for a very noble trait, wisdom. King Solomon is known to be the wisest person in history, and there are several examples in the Bible, along with several books to support that claim. However, I challenge King Solomon’s wisdom in one crucial sense, having foreign wives, which eventually led to his apostasy.

King Solomon’s Wisdom

Great stories and books have been written exemplifying King Solomon’s wisdom. The most quoted book in the Bible, Proverbs, was written by King Solomon himself. A great story demonstrating his wisdom is when two women approach him with a dispute over who was that babies mother. He resolves the issue by saying the baby will be divided in half, and it is then when he discovers who the babies mother was.

Another example is when he decides to build a temple for God; he notices his people still sacrificing in high places, so he figured a temple was the best solution. Even though the temple pleased God, we see examples of Solomon demonstrating great wisdom in regards to people and less so in regards to God.

King Solomon’s Apostasy

God warns the Israelites about marrying foreign people primarily because they had a different culture and worshipped different gods. “Yahweh had said to the Israelites, ‘You shall not marry them, and they shall not marry you. They will certainly turn your heart after other gods.’ But Solomon clung to them to love. He had seven hundred princesses and three hundred concubines, and his wives turned his heart.” Even the wisest person in history turned away from God.

Conclusion

King Solomon is evidence that having all the wisdom in the world is not enough to maintain fellowship with God. “For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.” What God seeks from us beyond understanding are obedience and companionship. If Solomon had sought God, he would have found the wisdom he asked for as we read in his proverbs. Solomon had worldly wisdom before his apostasy; however, it was after he repaired his relationship with God that he gained godly wisdom.

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