Royal Wisdom – Proverbs, Ecclesiastes
King Solomon, the wisest king ever known, shares his journey of wisdom. His wise sayings along with the best wisdom of the age is included. His quest is, however, more a reflection of failure than success as he finds that his worldly wisdom and its consequences start costing him spiritual wisdom.
Through the ages believers have grappled with the challenge of maintaining worldly wisdom in tandem with spiritual wisdom.
Ecclesiastes represents realization of his mistakes and revised perspective on life. The storyline of Proverbs and Ecclesiastes is a reflection of the life of King Solomon.
The Call of Lady Wisdom
Solomon personifies wisdom, who calls to people (Proverbs 1:8). Solomon himself responds to this call (1 Kings 3) and asks God for wisdom when presented with an open choice.
Other Paths Beckon
Solomon repeatedly warns of falling into the path of the wicked and peril of adultery. That was a trap that he falls into – hard (1 Kings 11:1-3). He breaks God’s command and goes overboard to marry foreign wives – 700 of them plus 300 concubines. From a royal perspective this was his means of forging relationships with his neighboring kingdoms. This brought peace and wealth into the nation – for a while!
From Other Women to Other Gods
As Solomon grew old, his wives turned his heart after other gods, and his heart was not fully devoted to the Lord his God, as the heart of David his father had been (11:4-6).
When Wisdom turns to Folly
Solomon himself realizes that wisdom of the wrong kind can be meaningless. “17 Then I applied myself to the understanding of wisdom, and also of madness and folly, but I learned that this, too, is a chasing after the wind. 18 For with much wisdom comes much sorrow; the more knowledge, the more grief." – Ecc 1
How the Wisest King Failed
King Solomon constantly mentions the phrase “the fear of the Lord” as a key component to wisdom. While he was given earthly wisdom, his gradual falling away from God deprived him of true wisdom. His realization came too late to save his kingdom which got divided after his death.
Do we have adequate wisdom to bring meaning to a meaningless existence? Is spiritual wisdom our first priority? Have we achieved the balance of maintaining our spiritual perspective while developing shrewdness on earthly matters as well?