Friday, January 16, 2015

Wisdom Isn’t Enough

Encouragement for your daily walk with God

Solomon wrote the book on wisdom. He was exceptionally wise, but don’t think it was solely of his doing. Other than asking for it, his wisdom was a God-thing. “I have given you a wise and discerning heart,” God told Solomon, “so that there has been no one like you before you, nor shall one like you arise after you” [1 Kings 3:12]. Talk about exceptional!

It’s really too bad, then, that Solomon didn’t pay attention to his own words. Given that he literally wrote the book on wisdom, how could he have become so corrupted? How could he have behaved so foolishly? How could the man who built the dwelling place of God, the Temple in Jerusalem, get lured into idolatry [1 Kings 11:1-8]?

The answer is simple, but not simplistic — compromise. First, he formed a marriage alliance with Pharaoh, King of Egypt. I’m convinced he thought it would bring national security. It may have for a brief period of time, but it came at a high price. Secondly, his love for foreign [non-Jewish] women who didn’t know the God of Israel.

Yes, he was wise, so how did he miss it? Why didn’t he see it coming? So often he had written about dealing with sin when it is small, that is, before it flourishes. [See, for example: Proverbs 17:14; 24:33-34; Ecclesiastes 10:18]. In other words, he should have foreseen the danger of the little exceptions that would grow beyond what even he could control.

Wisdom can’t out-think the consequences of compromise. The crack in Solomon’s heart would eventually destroy the Temple and deport an entire nation to foreign lands. And it all began with compromises ignored.

Wisdom isn’t enough. We must add to it obedience.

But Samuel replied, “What is more pleasing to the LORD: your burnt offerings and sacrifices or your obedience to his voice? Listen! Obedience is better than sacrifice, and submission is better than offering the fat of rams. 1 Samuel 15:22

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