From the CEO

The Man Who Knew Too Much

Solomon, the quintessential sage, left us a three-volume legacy that provides a peek into his soul and his psyche. Written during three distinct stages of his life, each volume reflects the disposition and desires of the author at the time of their writing. Song of Songs, in all its allegorical glory, shows us a feral, young Hebrew whose mind is on . . . well, shall we say, mounds of wheat, clusters of grapes, and the best wine. Forty years later, Solomon, as the robust ruler of Israel, the just judge, the mentor of young men, presented us with Proverbs—astute musings of a middle-aged monarch who, during the dawn of his reign, when asked by God what he wanted, chose wisdom and knowledge and was blessed with superior intelligence (II Chronicles 1:10).

But was Solomon too smart for his own good? For wisdom and knowledge begot schemes and projects, producing amazing wealth and acclaim, resulting in unequaled power and prominence. Self-assured and probably preoccupied with his own press, he lived life as if his prudence would protect him from problematic behavior. It did not. He allowed his kingdom to become infested with foreign women and their foreign gods. His brilliance tarnished. In the end, Solomon’s edifice of intellect came tumbling down around his heirs.

Ecclesiastes, Solomon’s final work, written in his dark years, is a depressing diary of a man who knew too much, had too much, and longed for too little. In Chapter 2 he writes, “The wise man has eyes in his head but the fool walks in darkness; but then I came to realize that the same fate overtakes them both. Then I thought in my heart, the fate of the fool will overtake me also. What then do I gain by being wise?”

Though he declared wisdom supreme ‘til the end, I wonder, if Solomon could have gone back to the beginning and chosen again, would his selection have been the same? Maybe he would have requested contentment. Then, rich or poor, he would have been at peace to pursue God’s purposes. Maybe patience would have been his pick, quelling his quest for quick accumulation. Perhaps love, for love conquers all, even enemies. The victorious Christian life doesn’t necessarily go to the smartest. More often than not, those in possession of the simple virtues are the most fulfilled in their faith.

What is your heart’s desire of God? Choose wisely. Choose with the end in mind.