We often hear of the wisdom of Solomon but we rarely hear about his stupidity. For all his wisdom in ruling and governing, he forgot the most basic rule of the covenant that God had made with Israel and her leaders. “You shall have no other God’s before me.”
Solomon not only breaks this commandment, but he breaks it on an epic scale. He begins by being a king who is solely focused on the one true God and constructs a magnificent temple to Him. Then he becomes a king who is distracted by power, money and his wives. His idolatry goes so far that he even builds places of worship to the gods of his wives in Jerusalem. Solomon’s actions will eventually encourage idol worship in Israel and tear a large portion of the nation from David’s descendants.
These accounts give us an important insight into the difference between Godly and worldly wisdom. Solomon would have been wiser if he had not been so worldly smart. We are reminded that it is better to remain in the Lord than to be brilliant in the eyes of the world. In truth, those who focus on false gods will find that the things of this world mean nothing in the end.
This week we also see an all too regular reminder as to why we need Christ. Solomon was considered to be one of the smartest, if not the smartest king who ever lived. However, his intelligence didn’t stop him from falling into greed, temptation and idolatry. Jesus however, the promised Savior who came to take our place, succeeded where Solomon and we have failed. When Christ was tempted with the things that Solomon and we have failed to resist, he succeeded and kept His heavenly Father first. He was unblemished by sin and that is why he was able to become our Passover lamb, our scapegoat and our sin offering.