“A metaphorical thought about Solomon and his wisdom, inspired by Ecclesiastes 2:3 and 9
I searched with my heart how to cheer my body with wine—my heart still guiding me with wisdom—and how to lay hold on folly, till I might see what was good for the children of man to do under heaven during the few days of their life.Ecclesiastes 2:3 (English Standard Version)
So I became great and surpassed all who were before me in Jerusalem. Also my wisdom remained with me.Ecclesiastes 2:9 (ESV)
“Even though Solomon had strayed from God, and was no longer in His favor, God didn’t punish him by removing His gift of wisdom – instead, He punished him by leaving him with it. Without God’s Holy Spirit to help him interpret and learn from and use the wisdom, it became a curse, making him too self-aware.
“It’s like the wisdom God gave him was an endless supply of coal, and God’s interpretation was the time and extreme pressure which turned each piece into a diamond. In his later years, Solomon strayed from fellowship with God, there was no more diamond-making, but the coal just kept coming. Solomon would be trying to have a good time – enjoying a glass of wine – when plop! a lump of coal would land in it. All the splendid palaces his money could buy, and they all seemed to him cluttered up with coal everywhere.
“(I may find this silly later on, but tonight, at almost midnight, it seems like a wonderful analogy)”
November 6, 1996
2 thoughts on “from Rachel: On the Wisdom of Solomon”
Actually, there are times when I wonder if God’s gift of wisdom wasn’t a curse rather than a blessing in the first place. He didn’t receive the gift until several years into his reign, by which time he’d already married the daughter of the Egyptian Pharaoh – thus breaking the law about marrying outsiders. And, given how that action would have repercussions later on for the kingdom of Israel, what better way for God to say, “Boy, you messed up!” than to give him exactly what he asked for?