All sorts of fun discussions came out of our topic on sin. Whereas John Frohnmayer admitted that he “thought about sin quite a bit,” or something to that effect, my friend Jerry
questions … Well, I’m not sure I’ve got it right, so I’ll let him tell you.
One thing I admire about Jerry is that he is always probing, questioning, analyzing. Those are good traits. Regarding my last posting (Part II), he wrote, “… back to Solomon and his noted wisdom. As I understand, he had 700 hundred or so wives and 300 hundred or so concubines. That may be a huge check mark in the “lust” column. Also, he used slaves to build buildings in his kingdom. That may be a negative check mark in the “Love thy neighbor as thyself.” He was renowned for his wisdom in many areas, but was he wise in those two instances?”
Jerry, regarding your point about Solomon and his 1,000 women—um, what is your point? Maybe we should give him a medal, you think? Can you imagine 700 wives reminding you to “put the seat down”?
Back to Wisdom. It’s defined as knowledge, insight, learning, what is true. Wisdom is not morality. We can criticize another person for not being wise re their personal choices but that’s not really what wisdom is all about.
We run amiss if we say that important people in the Bible were to be icons, free from lust, exploitation of others, etc. That would have been nice, but for his purposes, God didn’t call on perfect people. He used what he had—typical garden variety sinners, much like you and me.
However, Jerry’s question brought out a significant issue that supports the veracity of the Bible. Although Solomon’s wisdom exceeded that of any other mortal, he allowed himself to become corrupted. Okay … he sinned greatly, including violations of the big sins. He violated God’s direction not to marry foreign women (I Kings 11), and they turned his heart away from pure worship of God. That didn’t keep Solomon from giving us the Proverbs, Song of Solomon and Ecclesiastes (all inspired by God) before he bottomed out.
If the Bible had been like books of other major religions, it would have painted its patriarchs as paragons of virtue, bravery, leadership, etc. Instead, it shows them as they were: Abraham—lied to save his skin, left his wife to fend for herself; Isaac—defied God; Jacob—cheat, manipulator, materialistic; David—adulterer, arranged the murder of a friend, failed to train his sons; Amos, a lowly shepherd; Jonah, hated his enemies so much that he fled from God to avoid helping them; John Mark, deserted his friends at a time of great need; Peter—brash and impulsive, denied his Lord; and, all the disciples fled when Jesus needed them the most.
What strikes me is that I would have fit right in with that crowd. I’ve blown it plenty of times. You don’t believe me? Ask my kids. Ask my wife!
The point of all this is that God used humans with all their frailties and foibles to record and proclaim his word. (He still does, BTW.) Nevertheless, Scripture was inspired, or God-breathed.
So Jerry was correct, Solomon had several negative check marks against his name. The marvel is what God can do with any man or woman.
What’s God doing in your life? What does he plan to do with you? Have you talked about it–with him?