Hello everybody and welcome in to episode #357 of the Bible 2021 podcast. We are reading Proverbs 3 today and our focus is on How Did Solomon, The Wisest Man Ever, Fail and Fall Away? How Can We Avoid His Fate? We are a daily 10ish minute podcast, where we will dig in to the truth of the Word of God by reading one Bible chapter a day and discussing it. Welcome to new listeners in. Our goal is to encourage DAILY Bible reading, so you can jump in at any time and join with us. We want to invite as many people as possible to join us in daily Bible reading, so help spread the word and share the podcast! Don’t forget about our web-page, Bible2021.com – contact page, show notes, transcript and more– Click here for our Bible 2021 reading plan\
There is a remarkable amount of wisdom in Proverbs 3. I know, I know – that is not earthshatteringly surprising statement, right? But, I mean that, even for Proverbs, there is a remarkable amount of wisdom in this chapter – some of the most well known Bible verses are here, and they are well known for good reason – they are timeless truths, loaded with wisdom – that have persisted as such for thousands of years. I’m talking about verses like:
Proverbs 3:5-6 5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
and do not rely on your own understanding;
6 in all your ways know him,
and he will make your paths straight.
Proverbs 3:7 Don’t be wise in your own eyes;
Proverbs 3:11-12 Do not despise the Lord’s instruction, my son,
and do not loathe his discipline;
12 for the Lord disciplines the one he loves,
just as a father disciplines the son in whom he delights.
Proverbs 3:19 The Lord founded the earth by wisdom
and established the heavens by understanding.
Proverbs 3:34 [God] mocks those who mock
but gives grace to the humble.
Tiny bomblets of wisdom and truth in small but powerful word-packages. Verses like this show why it is profitable to read and absorb the Proverbs. BUT, since this is our last day of the year to read the Proverbs together, we have to raise a very important question. How could Solomon the wise – so blessed by God in every way – fall and fail at the end of his life? How could the wisest man up until his day have his heart turned away from God??
Because, my friends, knowing is NOT half the battle, and it never has been. Knowing Wisdom and Walking in Wisdom are Two Different Things. When I was a kid, one of my favorite cartoons was Gi Joe, and all of them ended with a PSA, and all of those PSA’s ended with: “Knowing is Half The Battle.” I watched a ton of these recently. My wisdom went up like two points. They are so much better than some of the Disney channel dreck they are teaching kids today. Lessons like: DON’T Lie, Stealing Isn’t Right, “When people disagree, sometimes they need somebody who’s not involved to settle things.” Stop and think before you act, What to do when you are lost, how to tread water, Stop at railroad crossings, And – shout out to to my wife, the planner/scheduler- anything worth doing is worth planning. (Hey Great tree house! I built it in two days, I didn’t even bother to use plans. Guess what happens next?!)
One of the best: A kid answers the phone, and a stranger is on the other end:
Caller: Is your mom there?
Kid: No! I’m home alone
Caller: You won a prize! What’s your address?
Kid: 42 Oak Street
Cut to outside – GI Joe Roadblock (Mr. T in a military uniform and no hair) is walking up – Kid runs outside and says, “Hey Roadblock! A stranger is bringing me a prize!”
Roadblock: A Stranger, huh? (car pulls up, looks at Roadblock and speeds away immediately) All he wanted to bring you was TROUBLE! Remember: NEVER tell anyone you’re home alone and NEVER give anyone your address!
Kid: I’ll tell them mom can’t come to the phone! NOW I KNOW!
Roadblock: And Knowing is Half The Battle!
I gotta tell you – I LOVED GI JOE growing up. But THEY LIED TO US KIDS. KNOWING IS NOWHERE CLOSE TO HALF THE BATTLE. Let me present exhibit A to my argument: Solomon:
1 Kings 4: 29 God gave Solomon wisdom, very great insight, and understanding as vast as the sand on the seashore. 30 Solomon’s wisdom was greater than the wisdom of all the people of the East, greater than all the wisdom of Egypt. 31 He was wiser than anyone—wiser than Ethan the Ezrahite, and Heman, Calcol, and Darda, sons of Mahol. His reputation extended to all the surrounding nations.
Solomon KNEW the dangers of following women into the worship of other Gods, and HE WARNED ABOUT IT IN PROVERBS 7:21: She seduces him with her persistent pleading; she lures with her flattering talk. 22 He follows her impulsively like an ox going to the slaughter, like a deer bounding toward a trap 23 until an arrow pierces its liver, like a bird darting into a snare— he doesn’t know it will cost him his life. 24 Now, sons, listen to me,and pay attention to the words from my mouth.25 Don’t let your heart turn aside to her ways;don’t stray onto her paths. 26 For she has brought many down to death;
AND YET, LOOK WHAT HE DID IN HIS LATTER YEARS:
1 Kings 11: 11 King Solomon loved many foreign women in addition to Pharaoh’s daughter: Moabite, Ammonite, Edomite, Sidonian, and Hittite women 2 from the nations about which the Lord had told the Israelites, “You must not intermarry with them, and they must not intermarry with you, because they will turn your heart away to follow their gods.” To these women Solomon was deeply attached in love. 3 He had seven hundred wives who were princesses and three hundred who were concubines, and they turned his heart away….4 When Solomon was old, his wives turned his heart away to follow other gods. He was not wholeheartedly devoted to the Lord his God, as his father David had been…. 6 Solomon did what was evil in the Lord’s sight, and unlike his father David, he did not remain loyal to the Lord…. 9 The Lord was angry with Solomon, because his heart had turned away from the Lord, the God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice. 10 He had commanded him about this, so that he would not follow other gods, but Solomon did not do what the Lord had commanded.11 Then the Lord said to Solomon, “Since you have done this and did not keep my covenant and my statutes, which I commanded you, I will tear the kingdom away from you and give it to your servant.
So, Solomon the wise utterly failed at the end of his life. Was he still saved? We have no idea – I hope so…but we don’t know. His life, however, shows us the truth of 1 Corinthians 10:12:
“Let him who thinks he stands take heed that he does not fall” (1 Cor 10:12)
IT IS NOT ENOUGH TO KNOW WISDOM – WE MUST LEARN, LIVE AND WALK WISDOM.
All of Solomon’s riches, all of his lineage, his wisdom, his advisors, everything he had, and yet he lacked what we have, in Christ. What is that? A new heart and a new covenant.
Ezekiel 36: 25 I will also sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean. I will cleanse you from all your impurities and all your idols. 26 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will remove your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. 27 I will place my Spirit within you and cause you to follow my statutes and carefully observe my ordinances. 28 You will live in the land that I gave your ancestors; you will be my people, and I will be your God. 29 I will save you from all your uncleanness.
Bible Memory passage for the month of December: Revelation 5:12, “They said with a loud voice: Worthy is the Lamb who was slaughtered to receive power and riches and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and blessing!”
The Bible 2021 Podcast Is a ministry of Valley Baptist Church A Church in North Salinas, California.
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