The Foolish Wise Man
1 March 2020 PM – 1 Kings 2:12 – Kings20 – Scott Childs
Introduction: Solomon, whose name means, peace, became the third king of Israel when he was just 18 or 20 years old. Though he had several older brothers, both God and his father David chose Solomon to be the third king (1Ki 1:33-36).
Because Solomon loved the Lord, at his request, God gave him more wisdom than any other man. He was very wise. In Proverbs 5:1 Solomon wrote, “My son, attend unto my wisdom, and bow thine ear to my understanding:” However, during many of his 40 years as king, he lived as a fool. He was the foolish wise man of the Bible.
Transition: As we examine the life of King Solomon, I want us to divide it into three sections that we might learn how to avoid becoming a foolish wise person.
1. Solomon’s Wise Beginnings
a. His spiritual potential (1Ki 3:3-15)
1) He loved the Lord (1Ki 3:3)
2) He worshipped the Lord (1Ki 3:4)
3) God offered him anything he desired (1Ki 3:5)
4) Solomon asked for wisdom (1Ki 3:6-9). Wisdom is the God-given ability to make right choices.
5) God gave him more wisdom than any human (1Ki 3:10-12).
a) He became extremely wise (1Ki 4:29-34). (1 Kings 10:23-24) “So king Solomon exceeded all the kings of the earth for riches and for wisdom. And all the earth sought to Solomon, to hear his wisdom, which God had put in his heart.”
b) No one had as much wisdom as Solomon. (1 Kings 4:33) “And he spake of trees, from the cedar tree that is in Lebanon even unto the hyssop that springeth out of the wall: he spake also of beasts, and of fowl, and of creeping things, and of fishes.” God gave him a wise mind, perhaps similar to that of Adam before he sinned. He clearly knew how to make God-honouring right choices in every situation.
c) Did you know that in James 1:5 God offers us similar wisdom? Do you regularly ask God for wisdom?
6) God also gave him riches, honour, and potential of long life (1Ki 3:13-15).
b. His political prosperity
1) As stated, he began his reign at age 18 or 20.
2) It seems that Solomon’s first wife was the one of whom he wrote in the book of Song of Solomon. This must have been before he married the daughter of Pharaoh.
3) His kingdom was established greatly (1Ki 2:12).
4) He had a large kingdom (1Ki 4:21).
5) He had a huge family and staff to feed (1Ki 4:22-23).
6) He was an ingenious builder. He built a magnificent temple for the Lord (1 Kings 7-8). He build two palaces for himself (1Ki 1:1-2).
7) God appeared to Solomon a second time (1Ki 9:1-7).
8) Solomon was rich (1Ki 10:24-27). (1 Kings 4:26) “And Solomon had forty thousand stalls of horses for his chariots, and twelve thousand horsemen.”
2. Solomon’s Foolish Wanderings
a. His willful disobedience
1) He certainly knew God’s word and God’s will (De 17:14-17), yet…
a) He multiplied horses (1Ki 10:28)
b) He multiplied silver and gold (1Ki 10:21-23)
c) He multiplied wives (1Ki 11:1-8)
2) He knew right, but he did not do right. He lived as a foolish wise man. He allowed pride, power, prosperity and lust to turn him away from God.
3) Beware! Never think that you are beyond committing any sin. Solomon started out loving God and full of wisdom, yet he became a fool.
4) In the book of Proverbs Solomon warns much about immorality. He may have written this before the multitude of women entered his life. Others think he may have written it as a regretful old man. That is likely the case with the book of Ecclesiastes. Either way, with God’s wisdom, he certainly knew what was right.
5) Just as Solomon knew what was right, our problem is seldom that we do not know what is right. When we sin, our problem is that we choose to do what we know is wrong. That is foolish. Do not be a fool.
b. His lustful passions
1) He knew God’s warnings regarding multiplying wives.
2) He wilfully chose to love many strange (foreign) women (1Ki 11:1-2).
3) He lustfully had 700 wives and 300 concubines (unmarried wives) (1Ki 11:3).
4) Just as God had warned, these women turned his heart away from God (1Ki 11:3-4). God tells us that this happened when Solomon was old. (Nehemiah 13:26) “Did not Solomon king of Israel sin by these things? yet among many nations was there no king like him, who was beloved of his God, and God made him king over all Israel: nevertheless even him did outlandish women cause to sin.”
5) God ordained in the Garden of Eden that marriage is to be one man with one woman for life (Gen 2:24). Any variation of that will bring heartache.
3. Solomon’s Empty Reflections
a. His tardy realizations
1) Solomon’s uncontrolled lusts turned his heart away from God, ruined his testimony, damaged his family and made his aged years miserable.
2) As an elderly man, he could see the foolish wise man that he had been. He had tremendous potential, yet he lived like a fool. What a shame and loss!
3) It was then too late. He could do nothing to change his foolish actions.
4) My carpentry boss often used to tell me, “Measure twice and cut once.” That is good advice for life as well. If we will always think twice and act once, we would prevent many hurtful mistakes in life.
b. His regretted foolishness
1) As we study the book of Ecclesiastes, we will see repeatedly that Solomon spoke from experience when he said (Ecclesiastes 2:10-11) “And whatsoever mine eyes desired I kept not from them, I withheld not my heart from any joy; for my heart rejoiced in all my labour: and this was my portion of all my labour. Then I looked on all the works that my hands had wrought, and on the labour that I had laboured to do: and, behold, all was vanity and vexation of spirit, and there was no profit under the sun.”
2) If you live your life ignoring God’s will, your life is going to be empty and unprofitable.
3) It is no wonder that Solomon closed the book of Ecclesiastes with these words. (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14) “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.”
Conclusion: This evening we have examined Solomon’s wise beginnings. He loved God and received a wise heart from God. We examined his foolish wanderings when he allowed pride, power, prosperity and lust to turn him away from God. We noted Solomon’s empty reflections. With a broken life and sorrowful heart, all he could say to us is “fear God and keep his commandments.”
May Solomon’s empty reflections be a stern warning to each of us! Even a wise person can live like a fool if he ignores the wisdom God gives him. The time to live wisely is RIGHT NOW. Do not wait. Do not think that you can ignore God’s Word and get away with it.
Song: Be Prudent!
Be prudent and watching to see the evil way;
Be prudent and watching then wisely turn away.
Don’t be fooled by Satan, Don’t be overtaken,
Quickly flee temptation and do what’s right today.