June 11

Written by Bill Grandi on June 11th, 2019

My title for this devotion is Wisdom Given vs. Wisdom Wasted.

One of the most intriguing, confusing, unbelievable, disheartening, and incredible stories in the Bible is Solomon.  At a young age, Solomon did not ask for riches or a big kingdom but for wisdom. It was seen on one occasion (the 2 prostitutes and the dead baby controversy), but it was also marveled at and spoken about (Queen of Sheba).

But in chapter 11 Solomon’s life takes a disturbing turn. After a description of his wealth in chapter 10, chapter 11 opens with these words: “Now King Solomon loved many foreign women…” The list of women reads like a list of Who’s Who of heathen nations. It even says he married women from nations God said, “You shall not enter into marriage with them…for surely they will turn your heart after their gods.” And turn they did.  For the sake of ease-and because this is the way my preacher mind works-here’s how I noted it in the margins of my Bible:

  • The warning: “You shall not…” [v.2]
  • The numbers: 700 wives/300 concubines  [v.3]
  • The fall: “And his wives turned away his heart. For when Solomon was old his wives turned his heart after other gods.”  [v.3b-4]
  • The false gods: Ashtoreth. Milcom. Chemosh. Molech. A Who’s Who of false gods. [vv.5-8]
  • The consequence: The kingdom would be torn. [v.11]

Even the wisest man on the earth could not resist the pull of fleshly pursuit. Wisdom was asked for and given; wisdom was cast aside as he allowed the influence of his wives to grip and consume him.

“Father, if it could happen to someone like Solomon, who am I to think it won’t or can’t happen to me? Keep my focused on You and not the side attractions. Solomon’s foreign wives are not me, but I have those things clamoring for my attention, calling for my affection as his wives did for him.  Help me to resist and be strong in You.”


5 Comments so far ↓

  1. Glynn says:

    It can happen to any of us. I think it’s one of the reasons we have that account – to guard against pride and thinking we’re immune. We’re not.

    • Bill Grandi says:

      You are absolutely right Glynn. It can happen to all of us so we must be cautious about all we do.

  2. Bill, I’ve always found this story disheartening, too. How can one be given such an outstanding gift of wisdom and forget to use it? But it definitely becomes a warning for all of us; no one is too big to fail if we put God in the back seat of our lives. Wise words today, my friend!

    • Bill Grandi says:

      I think it is a good warning for us Martha. “Take heed lest you fall” comes to my mind.

  3. floyd says:

    I think the same thing about Solomon. If he could fail anybody can fail. Although I think Ecclesiastes kind of shows some redemption.

    It’s a lesson to be on guard… and then some.