The Lesson of Solomon’s Life

These are the proverbs of Solomon, the Son of David, the King of Israel (Proverbs 1:1).

Three wisdom books, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Solomon, bear some mark of having been written by or inspired by Solomon. The Bible describes Solomon as the wisest person who ever lived. Certainly, he was the wisest of Israel’s kings. The reason Proverbs begins as it does is to alert the reader to the fact that this is no ordinary book. It is a book of wisdom inspired, written, or collected by the wisest human being who ever lived.

Solomon’s life is both and inspiration and a warning. Solomon was a patron of the wise men of Israel while alive and remembered as a supporter of wisdom literature after his death. His personal wisdom in ruling Israel and in judging disputes was legendary. Every school boy and girl knows the story of the two women who disputed over who was the real mother of a baby and of Solomon’s order to cut the baby in half so that he could see the reaction of the true mother (I Kings 3:16-28).

On the other hand, Solomon was unwise in his choice of wives, in his selfish desire to satisfy every craving of this heart, and in excessively taxing Israel. He was not a great father–or at least he raised a foolish son. Ultimately, he was unfaithful to God who gave him his wisdom, his wealth, and his power.

His life is, therefore, both an inspiration and a warning: wisdom is important, but it is not everything. The deepest wisdom is not a wisdom of the mind, but of the heart. Only when our heart is fully centered on God can we become wise. Respect for God is not just the beginning of wisdom. It is the condition of its development, continuation, and growth.


Copyright 2014, Christopher Scruggs, All Rights Reserved