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  • Writer's pictureHigher Expectations Church

Solomon: A Tragic Irony

PROVERBS 13:20 - Walk with the wise and be wise, but as for the companion of fools, he will suffer harm

In literature a tragic irony is a story where a character’s own words or actions bring about a tragic ending that the reader sees, but the character does not. One of the greatest tragic ironies is actually found in the Bible in the life of Solomon…yes Solomon, who had more God given wisdom than any man alive. If he had only applied this particular Proverb to his own life, he would have prevented a tragic ending for himself, his family and a nation of millions.

1 Kings 3 opens with Solomon as king of the people of Israel. We are told in verse 3 that he loved the Lord and was “walking in the statues of David his father…”. God appeared to Solomon in a dream and made an amazing offer: “Ask for whatever you want me to give you.” Solomon, being in right relationship with the Lord, humbly asks for wisdom to rule God’s people. God not only gives Solomon extraordinary wisdom but things he didn’t ask for…riches, honor and fame. Solomon was known all over the world and throughout history for his wisdom and wealth. We even benefit from his God given wisdom to this day. All was good…for a while.

Fast forward to 1 Kings 11. Solomon’s “companions” negatively influenced his life. We are told that Solomon “loved many foreign women”. The word “loved” is the same word that is used in 1 Kings 3:3. His “love” had transferred from the Lord to women (1000 wives and concubines). He “clung” to these women from heathen nations with whom the Lord commanded His people not to intermarry. The Lord even explained why they were not to marry with people from these surrounding nations: “…for surely they will turn away your heart after their gods.” This is exactly what happened to Solomon. And here is where the tragedy begins. Enemies rose up against him, a civil war starts and splits the nation, and the lives of millions are adversely affected for centuries. He walked with “fools” who did not know God and suffered harm…in spite of writing this Proverb himself.

What passions are driving you today? What are you “clinging” to that goes against the character, commands and wisdom of God? What “gods of this world” are you pursuing? Lust, anger, selfishness, unforgiveness, self-righteousness, greed, pride, the need for control, the need to be right, the need to have the last word, the need for approval, the need to advance, the need to be rich?

Surround yourself with godly people who can pour His wisdom into your life. Don’t let your passions create a tragic irony in your life. The grace of God allows you to write another chapter that brings honor to Him and benefits to you and your children. Proverbs 14:26 states that in the fear of the Lord (referential respect, worshiping Him and regard for Him as awesome) you will have confidence and your children will have a place of refuge.


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