King Solomon, however, loved many foreign women besides Pharaoh’s daughter—Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Sidonians and Hittites. They were from nations about which the Lord had told the Israelites, “You must not intermarry with them, because they will surely turn your hearts after their gods.” Nevertheless, Solomon held fast to them in love. He had seven hundred wives of royal birth and three hundred concubines, and his wives led him astray. 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. 1 Kings 11:1-4
This is one of the most striking ‘Howevers’ in Scripture. The previous chapters in 1 Kings describe the massive amount of wealth and power that King Solomon had acquired. He had built the Temple and his own palace with wisdom and skill… seemingly by the blessing of God Almighty who filled that place with His Presence. God appeared and spoke to Solomon twice!
The previous chapters also describe the amazing wisdom of Solomon, which is infamous. The Queen of Sheba had heard stories of Solomon’s wisdom, but those paled in comparison to what was true.
She said to the king, “The report I heard in my own country about your achievements and your wisdom is true. But I did not believe these things until I came and saw with my own eyes. Indeed, not even half was told me; in wisdom and wealth you have far exceeded the report I heard. 1 Kings 10:6-7
Wisdom and wealth wasn’t enough to avoid Solomon’s ‘However.’ Oh those women he loved! He held fast to them and let loose of His God.
It’s such a head scratcher! If he had just been wealthy it would be understandable. Solomon’s father, David, sinned against the Lord when he lusted after another man’s wife, committed adultery and then murder (having the husband killed in battle unnecessarily). A weakness for women ran in his family, maybe, but David repented (Psalm 51) while Solomon did not. The head scratcher is all of that wisdom Solomon had. Couldn’t he see the path that he was on?
What wisdom will not do is trump the power of your choice. You may not choose well because you do not have the wisdom to know the right choice, but knowing the right choice… having that wisdom from God… does not guarantee your actually making the right and righteous choice.
Wisdom is not enough. We must surrender our will to the wisdom of God. We must choose the path of yieldedness to the Lord, not just know that path. Knowing the right way is not the same as choosing the right way. That’s the second step in a life that follows Jesus. We must choose, wisely.
Father, You are worthy of all worship. All wisdom comes from You, and you give to everyone who asks without finding fault in us (James 1:5). You want me to know You, the Truth and Source of all wisdom, and to choose You. I choose to know and follow You today.