I could just as easily have titled this post, “Four painfully stupid things King Solomon did.” Honestly? I think that maybe this book is in the Bible so we can learn from Solomon’s folly, not his wisdom. That even the wisest among us are prone to self-deception. Solomon is the poster boy for that club. As a friend of mine put it today, Solomon was possibly the world’s stupidest wise man.
1. He totally forgot where his wisdom came from. He wasn’t born wise. It wasn’t in his disposition. Remember? He asked God for it, and God gave it (which is what everyone is supposed to do, according to James 1:6). Somewhere along the path he forgot that his wisdom was a gift, not an ability. He started to believe that wisdom was something he could search out and study and acquire for himself. Know what? I didn’t find one reference to him praying through this whole book. He’d forgotten his own maxim: “Lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge (God) and he will make your paths straight” (Prov. 3:5,6). So his Crockeresque meltdown parallels Samson’s forgetting that God was the source of his mighty strength and paying for it dearly. We always do, in the end. Both brains and brawn end up in the same pile without divine help.
2. He did all those stupid, excessive, self-indulgent things and honestly expected them to mean something at the end of the day. I mean, come on! Dumb!
3. He did all those things one at a time, without balance. He went for the “supersize me” experience and got nailed with spiritual kidney failure. Hey, I know McDonalds isn’t healthy, but try eating ANYTHING exclusively for one month and then see how your body is doing! Solomon built a vineyard. That’s it. Then sat there thinking, “Huh. I feel empty.” Then bought a harem. “Empty.” Then a new house.”Empty.” One at a time, and not in combination. Not, buy your new house and enjoy the sunset from your balcony while cuddling with your kids. That might have gotten him somewhere, but no… He’s too dumb for that. Nothing is fulfilling in a vacuum, if you think about it.
4. Like I said, He did all those stupid, vain things without praying about it once. Dumb. If he had, or if he’d even just talked to a little girl on the street and asked her for advice, he could have avoided the whole experiment! Reminds me of a story: Apparently awhile back NASA spent millions of dollars developing a space pen that could write in zero gravity. The Russians? They used a pencil. Solomon wasted a third of his life proving what everyone already knows.
So, Solomon… it felt a bit hollow, did it? I could have told you that, you bonehead! His book reads like research that tells you that customers want to be treated well. Or that hitting your thumb with a hammer sorta hurts. What hurts, Solomon, is that your wisdom is anything but at this point.
Tomorrow: The three things Solomon didn’t say were meaningless, but didn’t think to explore. Dumb!