Wisdom Wasted (1 Kings 11:1-3 )

It was an intriguing article comparing the IQs of some of the most brilliant minds who have ever lived. Isaac Newton, Einstein, and Thomas Edison were just a few of the names on the list. As I surveyed the impressive lineup, I thought one name was missing. Solomon. After all, the Bible states that God gave Solomon wisdom that made him the wisest man of the known world at that time. 

And God gave Solomon wisdom and exceedingly great understanding, and largeness of heart like the sand on the seashore. Thus Solomon’s wisdom excelled the wisdom of all the men of the East and all the wisdom of Egypt.

1 Kings 4:29-30 (NKJV)

The Bible lists many of Solomon’s formidable achievements.

He spoke three thousand proverbs, and his songs were one thousand and five. Also he spoke of trees, from the cedar tree of Lebanon even to the hyssop that springs out of the wall; he spoke also of animals, of birds, of creeping things, and of fish. And men of all nations, from all the kings of the earth who had heard of his wisdom, came to hear the wisdom of Solomon.

1 Kings 4:32-34 (NKJV)

During his reign, Israel achieved its greatest power, both in territory and wealth. If Solomon lived today, he surely would have been at the top of the list of high IQ’s and acclaimed as one of the greatest leaders. Yet within a year after his death, the Kingdom of Israel split in two. How could a mighty kingdom, ruled by such a wise man, suffer such a sudden downfall?

But King Solomon loved many foreign women, as well as the daughter of Pharaoh: women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Sidonians, and Hittites— from the nations of whom the LORD had said to the children of Israel, “You shall not intermarry with them, nor they with you. Surely they will turn away your hearts after their gods.” Solomon clung to these in love. And he had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines; and his wives turned away his heart.

1 Kings 11:1-3 (NKJV)

God sternly warned Solomon that if he turned his heart away from serving God, He would tear his kingdom away from him. Although Solomon was wise, he allowed his carnal desires to supplant his faith and trust in God. He no longer acted with the wisdom that God bestowed upon him but rejected it in favor of appeasing his many wives and concubines, and following their foreign gods. 

It was wisdom wasted.

Even the wisest man in the world fell victim to sin. It is a sobering reminder that all of us, regardless or our education or IQ, need to come to Jesus Christ to confess and repent of our sins and acknowledge Him as our Lord and Savior. Only through the supernatural power of the Holy Spirit indwelling within all believers will be able resist the temptation to turn away from God’s wisdom and follow the wisdom of the world. 

Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.

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