This morning, as I read through my devotional, I was struck by the wealth described in 1 Kings chapter 10 that came as a result of the wisdom that God gave King Solomon. However, there was one crucial fact that contributed to his ultimate failure in living in that wisdom. Let’s first focus on what he gained when God gave him wisdom. The wisdom that Solomon received gave him the ability to judge with discernment, understand all the knowledge he gained through observation of plants, animals, and systems. This wisdom empowered the thousands of proverbs he wrote down throughout his lifetime, many of which are recorded in Proverbs, my favorite book of the Bible!
To go even further, Solomon’s wisdom increased his fame across the ancient Eastern world, and drew kings and queens that came to sit at his feet. Just by asking God for wisdom, in response to God’s request for him to ask for whatever he wanted, he received so much from the wisdom he asked for. Even with all of the great things Solomon received, by the end of his life, he lost far more than he had gained for one simple reason.
No Fear of God
One thing that has stuck out to me this morning as I reflected on Solomon’s life is that he had all the wisdom in the world, yet never went back to the beginning of wisdom. Proverbs chapter nine, which Solomon wrote, states that the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom. The fear of God isn’t an anxious or terrified fear, but a reverence and respect for God, and our devotion to God comes as a result of that reverence we have for Him. Solomon didn’t have that, which is why in chapter 11 of 1 Kings it shows how he forsook the God of Israel and committed to other gods that his wives worshiped. These gods were the very gods that the Father told Israel never to worship!
What’s important to note is that the wisdom wasn’t the problem. Every good and perfect gift comes from God. But the truth is that the giving of gifts will not produce love and growth in someone. God gives each of us gifts and continues to give, because it’s in His nature to give abundantly to us. But none of the gifts God gives will ever produce the fruit of a godly life in us. That requires that we develop a loving relationship, where we trust and are devoted to God exclusively.
I remember seven years ago in college, I was in prayer and I heard the Lord tell me that He has given me the gift of wisdom. From that moment, I experienced His word come to life as I grew exponentially in wisdom, and I experienced the benefits of it. However, I look back on my life today, and I’ve seen areas where I still need to grow in. There is pride and stubbornness I deal with today, that I didn’t see before. I see places in my life where I lacked the discipline and awareness needed for growth, and God could never gift me growth, I had to be stretched and humbled through it. I’m thankful nonetheless that He has redeemed me, and His narrative is the word that my life will reflect!
Wisdom alone will not save you from making foolish, stubborn, short-sighted decisions that can cost you. Solomon had so much, yet lacked what was foundational to him, and all of us. There’s no gift that someone can give you that will cause you to grow, and God’s gifts are no different. What God wants more than us receiving what He gives, is a heart that desires Him more than any gift. What has your life shown to you regarding your heart? Is there a change that you would make? Would love to hear from you in the comments below!