The world has many ideas about what makes life worth living. Fame, money, power, intellect – these are considered the keys to meaning in life. Solomon was better qualified than anyone in history to try each of these things first hand. Today, we’ll look at his resume.
(Ecc 1:16) I communed with mine own heart, saying, Lo, I am come to great estate, and have gotten more wisdom than all they that have been before me in Jerusalem: yea, my heart had great experience of wisdom and knowledge. (17) And I gave my heart to know wisdom, and to know madness and folly: I perceived that this also is vexation of spirit.
(Ecc 2:9) So I was great, and increased more than all that were before me in Jerusalem: also my wisdom remained with me.
(1Ki 3:11-13) And God said unto him, Because thou hast asked this thing, and hast not asked for thyself long life; neither hast asked riches for thyself, nor hast asked the life of thine enemies; but hast asked for thyself understanding to discern judgment; (12) Behold, I have done according to thy words: lo, I have given thee a wise and an understanding heart; so that there was none like thee before thee, neither after thee shall any arise like unto thee. (13) And I have also given thee that which thou hast not asked, both riches, and honour: so that there shall not be any among the kings like unto thee all thy days.
Solomon was unique in history. As you’ve read today, he had come to great estate. He was the wisest man on Earth. He was a powerful ruler. Consider these items from his resume in 1 Kings 4, 10 and 11:
- King over all Israel (1Ki 4:1)
- Lived in an unparalled time of peace (1Ki 4:24-25)
- God-given wisdom, understanding and a big heart (1Ki 4:29-32)
- He was world-famous and popular for his wisdom (1Ki 4:34, 10:24)
- His lifestyle impressed great people (1Ki 10:6-7)
- He reigned in splendor (1Ki 10:18-21)
- He had 700 wives and 300 concubines (1Ki 11:3)
His great estate was an answer to prayer. Well, sort of. Solomon’s wisdom was an answer to prayer. The rest was God’s bonus gift to Solomon for choosing wisely. So, Solomon was better qualified than any person in history to put every philosophy of life to the test.
In His goodness to us, God allowed one man to explore our dreams and fantasies. He recorded his experiences to save us the pain and suffering of a life wasted running down dead end roads. Tomorrow, we’ll look at the theology of Ecclesiastes.