WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
FEBRUARY 18, 2023
TOPIC: THE FOOLISH ACTION OF THE WISEST KING!
BY T. O. BANSO
“King Solomon, however, loved many foreign women besides Pharaoh’s daughter — Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Sidonians and Hittites. They were from nations about which the Lord had told the Israelites, ‘You must not intermarry with them, because they will surely turn your hearts after their gods’” (1 Kings 11:1-2 New International Version).
No matter how wise you are, you can never be as wise as God or wiser than Him. Romans 11:33 says, “Oh, what a wonderful God we have! How great are his wisdom and knowledge and riches! How impossible it is for us to understand his decisions and his methods!”(The Living Bible). God’s wisdom is great and greater than anyone’s wisdom.
If God has blessed you with His wisdom, don’t feel you know it all. David said, “Lord, I am not proud and haughty. I don’t think myself better than others. I don’t pretend to ‘know it all’” (Psalm 131:1 The Living Bible). He also said in Psalm 139:4, “Even before there is a word on my tongue, behold, O Lord, Thou dost know it all” (New American Standard Bible). God knows it all! Know that you have received out of the fullness of His wisdom and don’t act independently of Him. You should rather be subject to Him.
To be blessed with wisdom by God, and yet act contrary to His word is foolishness. Sometimes someone regarded as wise could manifest folly! “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and depart from evil” (Proverbs 3:5-7 New King James Version).
Solomon, the wisest king that ever lived was blessed with wisdom by God but he acted contrary to His Word as regards marriage. Anyone who claims to be wise but disobeys God’s Word only shows his foolishness. The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom (Psalm 111:10a; Proverbs 9:10a). And if a man fears God, he will obey Him.
God said concerning Solomon in 1 Kings 3:12: “Behold, I have done according to your words; see, I have given you a wise and understanding heart, so that there has not been anyone like you before you, nor shall any like you arise after you” (New King James Version).
1 Kings 4:29-31 tells us further how wise Solomon was: “And God gave Solomon wisdom and exceedingly great understanding, and largeness of heart like the sand on the seashore. Thus Solomon’s wisdom excelled the wisdom of all the men of the East and all the wisdom of Egypt. For he was wiser than all men-than Ethan the Ezrahite, and Heman, Chalcol, and Darda, the sons of Mahol; and his fame was in all the surrounding nations” (New King James Version).
However, despite Solomon’s exceptional wisdom, the Bible says, “King Solomon, however, loved many foreign women besides Pharaoh’s daughter — Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Sidonians and Hittites. They were from nations about which the Lord had told the Israelites, ‘You must not intermarry with them, because they will surely turn your hearts after their gods’” (1 Kings 11:1-2 New International Version).
Solomon’s disobedience to God is not expected of the wisest king. If God had instructed the Israelites not to marry foreigners, men and women, it didn’t show wisdom on the part of Solomon to marry them in whatever guise, including diplomatic relations. In Deuteronomy 17:17, one of the things God said whoever would be a king in Israel must not do was multiply wives for himself, lest his heart should turn away. But 1 Kings 11:3a says that Solomon had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines. What was the wisdom in that? Solomon disobeyed God.
Solomon persisted in error by multiplying foreign wives. Whatever God has forbidden must not be tolerated under any circumstance. You may violate God’s words to be politically or socially correct but it remains a sin, which may lead to more sins. When someone loves what God hates or practises what He forbids, it shows foolishness, not wisdom.
1 Kings 4:34 says men of all nations, from all the kings of the earth who had heard of Solomon’s wisdom, came to hear his wisdom but he didn’t act wisely in the aspect of marrying foreign wives. He ruled His people with wisdom but erred in his personal life as regards marriage. 2 Chronicles 8:11 says, “Then Solomon brought the daughter of Pharaoh up from the City of David into the house (palace) he had built for her, for he said, ‘My wife shall not live in the house of David king of Israel, because the places where the ark of the Lord has entered are holy’” (Amplified Bible).
This is proof that Solomon knew that his wife was unacceptable to God. Solomon’s action in 2 Chronicles 8:11 shows that he knew that what he did was wrong yet he continued marrying more foreign wives. The result of this in his life shows that God was right in forbidding marriage to foreigners. The Bible says Solomon’s wives turned away his heart, as God had said they would (1 Kings 11:3b).
God knows the end from the beginning. He knew the effect of marrying foreigners and forbade the Israelites to do so before they got to the Land of Canaan. He knew what would happen to their relationships with Him because of this. “When the Lord your God brings you into the land you are entering to possess and drives out before you many nations — the Hittites, Girgashites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites, seven nations larger and stronger than you — and when the Lord your God has delivered them over to you and you have defeated them, then you must destroy them totally. Make no treaty with them, and show them no mercy. Do not intermarry with them. Do not give your daughters to their sons or take their daughters for your sons, for they will turn your sons away from following me to serve other gods, and the Lord’s anger will burn against you and will quickly destroy you” (Deuteronomy 7:1-4 New International Version).
Despite Solomon’s wisdom, he chose to do contrary to what God said. As a wise person, Solomon should have known better. He should have obeyed God. Foreign wives (or husbands) would bring foreign gods into your life. One compromise would lead to further compromises. Foreign gods will eventually turn your heart from the living God. It may not happen immediately.
1 Kings 11:4 says about Solomon, “For it was so, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned his heart after other gods; and his heart was not loyal to the LORD his God, as was the heart of his father David” (1 Kings 11:4 New King James Version). Take note that Solomon’s heart was turned after other gods when he was old. In other words, the repercussion of his disobedience became manifest only after years.
See more of the result of what I considered as Solomon’s foolish action: “For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites. Solomon did evil in the sight of the LORD, and did not fully follow the LORD, as did his father David. Then Solomon built a high place for Chemosh the abomination of Moab, on the hill that is east of Jerusalem, and for Molech the abomination of the people of Ammon. And he did likewise for all his foreign wives, who burned incense and sacrificed to their gods. So the LORD became angry with Solomon, because his heart had turned from the LORD God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice, and had commanded him concerning this thing, that he should not go after other gods; but he did not keep what the LORD had commanded” (1 Kings 11:5-10 New King James Version).
2 Corinthians 6:14 says, “Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness?” (New King James Version). A Christian must be very careful whom he/she marries, for one’s spouse has a great influence on his/her life, positive or negative. Nobody should marry without paying serious attention to the faith of the person he/she wants to marry: his/her relationship with God.
The Christian must consider what is eternal above what is temporary like beauty, a good job, material possession, and so on. If one’s spouse worships a foreign god or is a sinner, he/she may influence the spouse or mislead him/her eventually. People, who violate God’s Word in this regard, thinking that they can cope with an unbeliever spouse, often regret it later. They will discover that what they say doesn’t matter now will matter so much in future.
Don’t let marriage turn your heart from God, as it happened to Solomon. You need a spouse who will help you to walk closely with God, not one who will discourage or mislead you. Proverbs 27:17 says as iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another. The New Living Translation puts it thus: “As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.”
However, concerning Christians who were married to unbelievers, with either of the spouses converted, Paul wrote, “To the rest I say this (I, not the Lord): If any brother has a wife who is not a believer and she is willing to live with him, he must not divorce her. And if a woman has a husband who is not a believer and he is willing to live with her, she must not divorce him. For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife has been sanctified through her believing husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy” (1 Corinthians 7:12-14 New International Version).
By Solomon’s foolish action, he laid the foundation for the breakup of the kingdom, for the Lord said to him that because of what he had done not keeping His covenant and statutes, which He had commanded him, He would tear the kingdom away from him and give it to his servant. He said He would not do it in his days, for the sake of his father, David, but would tear it out of the hand of his son (1 Kings 11:11-12). The kingdom was eventually divided during the reign of Rehoboam, Solomon’s son, who was given one out of the twelve tribes for the sake of David His servant and Jerusalem that He had chosen (verse 13).
Obey the Word of God. Don’t be wise in your eyes. “Do you see a man wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him” (Proverbs 26:12 New Kind James Version). Isaiah 5:21 says, “Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight” (New Kind James Version). Don’t act foolishly, thinking that you are wise.
Samuel said to Saul in 1 Samuel 13:13, “You have done foolishly. You have not kept the commandment of the LORD your God, which He commanded you. For now the LORD would have established your kingdom over Israel forever” (New King James Version). Note the phrase: You have done foolishly. That was when Saul offered a burnt offering to the LORD instead of waiting for Samuel, who was the right person to offer it.
Also, the Bible says David’s heart condemned him after he had numbered the people. He told the LORD that he had sinned greatly in what he had done and prayed to Him to take away his iniquity, for he had done very foolishly (2 Samuel 24:10; 1 Chronicles 21:8). Here, David didn’t say that he had done foolishly but very foolishly.
Don’t reject God’s wisdom either in marriage or any other area of your life. Anyone who does so is not wise. “The way of the [arrogant] fool [who rejects God’s wisdom] is right in his own eyes, but a wise and prudent man is he who listens to counsel” (Proverbs 12:15 Amplified Bible). Be truly wise, not a fool. “The wise fear the Lord and shun evil, but a fool is hotheaded and yet feels secure” (Proverbs 14:16 New International Version).
No matter how wise you are, your wisdom is not superior to the Word of God. The Holy Spirit does not lead contrary to the Word of God. Therefore, acting contrary to the Word of God is foolishness. If you think you’re wise and can override the Word of God, you will suffer the consequences.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and God raised Him on the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like a palm tree and grow like a cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Father, deliver me from acting foolishly but in obedience to Your Word. I shall not be wise in my eyes in Jesus’ name. I shall not love what God hates or do what He forbids. Holy Spirit, help me not to reject God’s wisdom but embrace it. I shall not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers in Jesus’ name.
(For over 900 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President of Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
Phone No: +2348155744752, +2348033113523
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