Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show by good conduct that his works are done in the meekness of wisdom. 14 But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth. 15 This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic. 16 For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there. 17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. 18 Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.
Adam and Eve ate from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil expecting to become Wise like God. Instead they gained knowledge but this knowledge blinds us as we attempt to lean on our own understanding instead of seeking Godly Wisdom. It is dangerous to have knowledge of something without having the necessary wisdom to go with it, to use it correctly. We all have the knowledge of Good and Evil but we do not know how to properly use it because we are not God… our wisdom and understanding is worldly and we are applying this knowledge with worldly wisdom.
Wisdom can be used for Good or evil. For instance you can be wise in how to be deceitful and making yourself rich, and using the wealth for power and influence, such as in the “The Parable of the Unjust Steward” as told by Jesus, and the world will even commend you for it. But in the end it is in vain because if God is absent then your wisdom is worldly and you will answer for it sooner or later, you might even perish along with the earth. So what we do with our wisdom matters.
Just like Adam, Solomon wanted for nothing in this world. He was able to amass great wealth, and he began to seek the world for something he did not yet have – but the thing that he did not have was a relationship with God… over a period of time he increasingly lacked a heart for God. This is what has happened to our world due to the fall when Adam ate from the forbidden fruit. In Deuteronomy 17:17 God warned Israel through Moses that their King shall not “multiply wives for himself, lest his heart turn away; nor shall he greatly multiply silver and gold for himself.” But this is exactly what Solomon did, it might be the reason Solomon drifted from God, his heart turned away towards his many wives, to keep them happy.
Solomon was the wisest ruler on earth, but if I have to live under any biblical earthly ruler I would rather live under the leadership of King David instead of Solomon. King David trusted in God for wisdom, and as mentioned above there is a difference between worldly mans wisdom and Godly wisdom. Whenever King David needed wisdom he went to God for it to make up for what he lacked, and so the Kingdom was ruled by God. Righteousness was imputed upon King David. Would you not want to live under a ruler who seeks God in all things? If King David had the gift of wisdom it might have become a hindrance because King David might not have sought God in making decisions. Solomon had the gift of wisdom and yet King David was in fact a far wiser ruler than Solomon because he had what is necessary – a heart for God, a relationship.
In comparison, Solomon who at the beginning sought God, petitioned God for understanding and became the wisest King that ever lived. Notice however, the request itself was only for ‘understanding.’ Solomon received both understanding and wisdom but did not ask for wisdom. I believe it was not only the request of Solomon God answered, but the prayer of King David found in 1 Chronicles 22:12. King David said to Solomon “Only may the Lord give you wisdom and understanding, and give you charge concerning Israel, that you may keep the law of the Lord your God.” Perhaps God granted wisdom to Solomon on behalf of King David. However for much of his life Solomon failed to seek God whilst using the wisdom he had been granted; his heart did not remain for God alone. Solomon still retained the gift of wisdom, but God was often absent in his use of it and therefore the Kingdom was ruled by a worldly King, a self seeking King. By not seeking God first Solomon ruled with head knowledge and a lot of worldly wisdom, therefore we see the Kingdom led astray – into sin.
I believe before the end, Solomon repented when he wrote something about pursuing the world. However sadly the damage was done – I mean the kingdom had been led astray already, just as the world fell in Adams time.
Ultimately though with all this said, let us not look to earthly rulers, and look to God, we should all chose to live under Jesus our King. Our God reigns and our God saves…. He has a plan.
(All scripture is taken from the NKJV)