The life of Solomon, although tragic, is an excellent warning to American Christians. His spiritual life began well: he was the son of a great and godly king, he was beloved in the sight of God, and, in his role as the new sovereign of Israel, desired wisdom above earthly riches in order to rule God’s people well. It was this desire after wisdom that caused God to not only bless Solomon with the wisdom he requested, but to also grant him riches that he did not request. God was pleased with his new king.
Solomon displayed his wisdom in not only public demonstrations of justice, but also by producing thousands of proverbs; nuggets of practical wisdom that were divinely inspired, approved and preserved in the canon of Scripture.
It was not long into his rule, however, that Solomon began to cast aside his God-given wisdom and pursue folly; the same folly that he so adamantly spoke against in his own proverbs. Soon, his life was engulfed in materialism, idolatry and sex; far from the God to whom he used to draw near. Solomon’s turn from God eventually led to the split of his own kingdom.
So why do I say that Solomon’s life is a warning to American Christians? Because, from the life of Solomon we see that it is possible to pray for, receive, teach, and write about wisdom, and yet totally forsake it ourselves. Look around you. How many Bibles do you own? How many spiritual books full of wisdom are on your shelf? How many wise and instructive sermons have you heard? How many people have you instructed yourself? None of these things guarantee that you will live a life of wisdom. So take Solomon’s life as a gracious warning and seek diligently to not just pray for, not just know, not just teach, and not just write about wisdom, but to truly live it yourself.