Fools lack common sense and wisdom. They act imprudently and are easily tricked or deceived. If you wish to avoid the labels of simpleton, dunce, blockhead, and imbecile, I encourage you to avoid fools and seek out the company of wise men and women. Sit at their feet and soak in the knowledge they share. Try very hard to apply it to your life. Wisdom is having knowledge AND THEN understanding how to apply it to all situations.
“He who walks with wise men will be wise, but the companion of fools will be destroyed.” Proverbs 13:20 (NKJV)
King Solomon had many faults, but he did appreciate the value of wisdom and understanding. He asked God for wisdom because he wanted to effectively lead the children of Israel. God blessed this son of King David’s with insight so great he was recognized for it all around the world. A fool leading a nation is dangerous. Both King Solomon and God wanted a wise and competent ruler for Israel.
“And God gave Solomon wisdom and exceedingly great understanding, and largeness of heart like the sand on the seashore. Thus Solomon’s wisdom excelled the wisdom of all the men of the East and all the wisdom of Egypt. For he was wiser than all men—than Ethan the Ezrahite, and Heman, Chalcol, and Darda, the sons of Mahol; and his fame was in all the surrounding nations.” 1 Kings 4:29-31 (NKJV)
So, if King Solomon was incredibly wise, how did he fall into such horrendous sin and become a fool? After all, his sins are what eventually tore the kingdom of Israel apart. How could this ruler, who built the first temple of Jerusalem, fall into such idolatry? His idolatry actually took his focus off the one true God and moved it to the gods of his 700 foreign wives. I suggest lust and pride had a lot to do with his downfall, and possibly an unwillingness to seek out and accept wise counsel.
“For it was so, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned his heart after other gods; and his heart was not loyal to the Lord his God, as was the heart of his father David. 5 For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites. 6 Solomon did evil in the sight of the Lord, and did not fully follow the Lord, as did his father David. 7 Then Solomon built a high place for Chemosh the abomination of Moab, on the hill that is east of Jerusalem, and for Molech the abomination of the people of Ammon.”1 Kings 11:4-7(NKJV)
Additionally, pride will lead to disobedience and arrogance. King Solomon did not heed the words of Deuteronomy 17:16-17 (NKJV).
“But he (a king) shall not multiply horses for himself, nor cause the people to return to Egypt to multiply horses, for the Lord has said to you, ‘You shall not return that way again.’ Neither shall he multiply wives for himself, lest his heart turn away; nor shall he greatly multiply silver and gold for himself.”
Unfortunately, King Solomon was guilty of ignoring all three of these commands. Did he think he was above the law?
If only King Solomon had kept the company of insightful men who were not afraid to speak the truth and exhort a King! Solomon may have been the author of Proverbs and Ecclesiastes, but ALL men are tempted and can easily find themselves entangled in sin. A lack of wise counsel and accountability has been the downfall of many world leaders, kings, and rulers. Sin is not a disease assigned to just the common man.
So here is a warning, and I pray you heed my counsel. You may presently be in a spiritually mature place. Your relationship with God might be intimate and close. The thought of ever stepping out of His will is beyond your imagination. But this is pride! We ALL have the capacity to fall away from God. 1 Peter 5:8 warns us to “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.”
The story of Solomon is in the Bible for a reason. It is God’s living Word and our heavenly Father knew we needed the lessons from this real life account. A wise man understands the importance of learning from the mistakes of others, and King Solomon made some real whoppers. The great and mighty can fall hard, the righteous can become unrighteous, and sin has no prejudice. It latches on to any person, great and small, through temptations and deceit.
You may be highly favored in the sight of God, just as King Solomon once was, but this will not excuse you from judgment and discipline should you ignore the commandments written in the Word of God. Our Lord shows no favoritism. He is impartial. Although longsuffering, He is also just.
Fools may read scripture, but this does not mean they apply the instruction to their lives, or memorize and keep the words hidden in their heart. King Solomon stopped relying on God and trusted more and more in himself. He forgot the source of his wisdom, wealth, and power.
Oh, how the great have and will continue to fall! I desperately want everyone reading this devotion to consider his or her ways. Are you relying on God or have you put your trust in personal resources? Do you surround yourself with wise advisors and are you in fellowship? Does pride cause you to turn a deaf ear to God’s instruction or has a sin distracted you from the mysteries of God?
Learn from Solomon and fear God. For the fear of the Lord is the beginning of all wisdom and the foolish do not desire or understand her ways.
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” Proverbs 9:10 (NKJV)
“Those who trust in themselves are fools, but those who walk in wisdom are kept safe.” Proverbs 28:26 (NIV)
“Never approach a bull from the front, a horse from the rear, or a fool from ANY direction.” ~Unknown