READ: 1 Kings 10-12, Psalm 102, Matthew 13, 1 Timothy 1
For being the wisest man to ever live, Solomon sure was stupid. He did not heed God’s warning about marrying those of disparate faiths (1Kings 11:2), instead “clinging to them in love.” And “when Solomon was old his wives turned his heart after other gods” (v. 4). The common pitfalls of all men in every age are Love, Sex, and Power, or as they are also known: The Gold, The Girls, and The Glory.
There is something beautiful about Isaac being a one-woman man all his life. Polygamy (even among the Patriarchs) brought nothing but trouble. Solomon (with 1,000 women to please and be pleased by) made himself vulnerable over and again until even his unprecedented wisdom was breached. I am sure, in his intelligence, he had very forceful reasons for the accommodations he made. After all who can argue with Solomon? But he was still stupid. Too many girls, too much gold, too much self-glory – they combined to make the wisest into a fool.
Rather than living for girls, gold, and glory, which destroy us in the end, we are called to live for glory, grace, and gospel, which combine to give life. Glory, the weight of the presence of Jesus, as a motivation for life and mission is life-giving and life-spreading. Instead of a lust for flesh, we have a raging passion that God be exalted, worshiped by every tongue everywhere. The fire still rages in our breast, but not to please our body and make much of woman or man – we live to make much of God! Grace keeps us humble. Conscious that God has given us what we don’t deserve, we are able to hold to possessions and authority very lightly, anxious to give them away. Gospel points everything to Jesus. We are not the gospel, and what we do is not the gospel. The gospel is what God has done, is doing, and will do in Christ. Gospel keeps us Christo-centric, and when Christ is the focus of our affections and attentions, we are not wooed by gold, girls, or self-glory. Christ is so much brighter, purer, higher.
Wealth, education, and social status do not protect us from folly. Our world lauds those who make money, earn fame, and capture beautiful spouses. God’s word reminds us that anything outside of the glory of God, the grace of the cross, and the gospel of Jesus Christ is folly. Girls, gold, and self-glory kill you. God’s glory, God’s grace, and God’s gospel bring you life and make you wise.