“King Solomon was greater in riches and wisdom than all the other kings of the earth.
The whole world sought audience with Solomon to hear the wisdom God had put in his heart.”
(1Kings 10:23-24 NIV)
It’s hard to read 1 Kings 10 and 11. chapter 10 talks all about Solomon’s riches, his gold, his jewels, his horses, etc. and here and there it mentions his wisdom. The Queen of Sheba came and questioned him about all different things and was stunned by his WISDOM and his RICHES. And then all of a sudden, at the end of chapter 10, it talks about Solomon going astray. He began to worship foreign gods that God specifically told him not to go after. His riches and his wives’ religions became a greater priority than his wisdom or the Source of his wisdom. What’s funny about that, is that makes me say he was no more wise than anyone else I see in the world today. If he didn’t have the wisdom to avoid falling into sin, then how wise was he-And of what value is wisdom if it won’t keep you from sinning against God?
“Better a poor man whose walk is blameless than a fool whose lips are perverse.”
(Prov 19:1 NIV)
“Better a poor man whose walk is blameless than a rich man whose ways are perverse.”
(Prov 28:6 NIV)
“Better a poor but wise youth than an old but foolish king who no longer knows how to take warning.”
(Eccl 4:13 NIV)
When all of these people were coming to Solomon, he should have been showing off his God, and not his wisdom or riches. He should have been drawing people to the Living God, and not the dead idol of wealth or power.
Once I worked at a church that was cutting edge in terms of multi-media and video/lighting stuff during the church service. People would come from far and wide to meet with me and my boss and we would give them tours and talk about this system or that system that we used. It was neat and I think we helped a lot of people out and saved them some money from over-paid consultants that would have sold them too much fancy stuff.¬†
“Everyone has heard about your obedience, so I am full of joy over you; but I want you to be wise about what is good, and innocent about what is evil.”
(Rom 16:19 NIV)
Someday I hope that people hear about what we’re doing. I hope that God moves so much in our work that people hear about our busy God and they come to see, and I hope that when they come, they aren’t impressed so much with our building, or our technology, or our methods or glossy programs, but that they are impressed by our God, and that is all that we show them.
I know a lot of my friends from overseas were always impressed with my Apple computer, or my digital camera, or the things I could do in photoshop. That is all fine, I guess, but I want my pleasing merciful Jesus to shine through more than my slick computer. I want them to see that I am what happens when God remakes a man, not what happens when a man is born in America and gets a bunch of stuff. May God burn off our chaff, and make us into pure representations of who He is, so that people may not be confused and so that whenever they come to us, they move on from us to Him.