By Russ Ramsey
C.S. Lewis said, “Aim at Heaven and you will get Earth ‘thrown in’: aim at Earth and you will get neither.”
That’s what happened when Solomon asked the Lord for wisdom (2Chronicles 1:11–12).
Here we find one of the Lord’s first lessons in wisdom for King David’s son: don’t ask for the things that will compel others to fear or fawn over you. Ask for the wisdom to know how to navigate complicated relationships and situations in such a way that everyone benefits and the Lord is honored. Turns out, that is often the way to prosperity, too.
That said, Solomon becomes a riddle for us, doesn’t he? The Lord gives him wisdom greater than the world has known, but then he amasses hundreds of wives and concubines, lets his power and desirability go to his head, and ends up a shell of the man he had the potential to become. What do we make of this?
One conclusion we can draw is that how we measure up against other people, nations, or social positions is, in the end, a theater of the absurd. For all his wealth and wisdom, Solomon’s vanity took him down. The wisdom and wealth of man will always pale in comparison to the wisdom and sufficiency of Christ.
Take comfort in this. In our world of billionaires, influencers, and culture-shapers, nothing amounts to anything—except for the nearness and grace of God. We weren’t made to cling to this world or rise to the top of some social standard that presumes to measure importance. We were meant to love the Lord our God with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength and love our neighbor as we love ourselves.
In Christ, we are full heirs to the kingdom of God forever. May we imitate Solomon in asking the Lord for wisdom, but may we rest in knowing that even in the places where we’re fools, the righteousness of Christ is sufficient to present us before our Creator, holy and blameless.