Solomon’s Folly

In the book of Ecclesiastes, mostly attributed to Solomon, David’s son, and King, we find quite a bit of meandering, complaining, and just plain depression and despair.  This is interesting as it is written by the world’s richest and wisest man of all time.

While much has been written about Solomon’s decline in later life, not much has been written about his state of mind at the time of his writing Ecclesiastes.  Most scholars believe his decline was attributed to his many pagan wives who drew his heart away from God and into idol worship, and there is certainly some truth in that.  But, is that all we can say about this man?

What if the truth was deeper than that?  A careful study of Ecclesiastes shows that although the writer is deeply disturbed, it is still the writings of a very intelligent and wise man.  One who has seen and studied every aspect of life.  One who has studied human behavior.  One who has explored every crevice of human existence, and in the end has found it ‘all vanity’.

Wise? Yes.  Maybe too wise.  Now let’s be clear – God did not give Solomon wisdom to destroy him, but to help him.  The problem doesn’t appear to be in solely the wisdom Solomon was given, but that without God wisdom can be very bad, indeed.

History has clearly shown that men and women who were given great wisdom also carried great burdens.  Many became depressed, and even suicidal.  Some went mad.  Why is this?  Well, we don’t know for sure, but my opinion has to do with using what wisdom God has given us for His purpose, and not our own.  When we are given wisdom and we venture away from God we are headed for great danger.

Why would we be in danger?  Because life doesn’t always make sense.  And wisdom alone cannot explain the inequities and injustices of what we see and experience in life.  Wisdom alone is not very useful without a relationship with God.  Wisdom causes one to ponder, to reason, to sort out answers to life’s unanswerable questions.  This quest can be detrimental to one’s physical and mental health, which we can clearly see in Ecclesiastes.

Wisdom with God can be a great gift, not only to the person, but to others.  Wisdom alone, is like playing with fire.

One Response to “Solomon’s Folly”

  1. Barbara L. McGuire Says:

    I loved this blog and this is one of my favorite books of the Bible! I read and reread it constantly! I have often wondered with all of his wisdom how he ended up like he did. I think this blog answers my question! Much to ponder here! Blessings….

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