It's not What you know but Who you know that counts.

Bible Reading: 1 Kings 11:1-40

It is so disappointing that Solomon, the wisest man the world has ever known, could be enticed to worship other gods and turn his heart away from the Lord. It makes it seem rather hopeless for an ordinary person like me to maintain a firm faith. If his vast wisdom didn't keep him from being stupid, is there any hope for me?

Solomon started out with a sincere heart, building his house on the Lord's principles and desiring to know God's wisdom and follow his ways. He wrote the proverbial psalm, "Unless the Lord builds the house, its builders labor in vain" (Ps. 127:1). He started his reign in complete dependence on the Lord for wisdom and direction, feeling utterly inadequate for the enormous task before him. God was pleased with Solomon's request for discernment and blessed him with wisdom, wealth and power. But as Solomon's riches and reputation increased, he stopped turning to the Lord for help and, instead, came to rely on his own wisdom and strength. Instead of following after God, he followed after his lustful desires, trying to fill the empty void he had found in earthly gain. Ignoring God's command not to marry foreign women, he pursued "love" and political power through compromising his faith. Then, when he "grew old, his wives turned his heart after other gods, and his heart was not fully devoted to the Lord his God" (11:4).

Solomon's failure demonstrates the simple truth that it's not WHAT you know but WHO you know that counts. It's not my knowledge of God, but my friendship with God, that will keep me on a straight path and give me hope.

Solomon's father, David, passionately sought to know the living God. When his own perspective didn't fall in line with his understanding of a compassionate and gracious God, he wrestled with his feelings of doubt and fear until he gained insight from God. Solomon grew content to see life through his own eyes, while David persistently struggled to see life through God's eyes. Solomon trusted in himself, while David trusted in the Lord. Solomon turned off the straight path of God's wisdom to follow "paths that go nowhere," to wander "in a maze of detours and dead ends" (Pr. 2:15 Msg; cf. Ecclesiastes). He followed his own earthly wisdom and delighted in things that he knew were evil and perverse in God's eyes. David consistently chose the path of truth, praying, "Search me, O God, and know my heart; test my thoughts. Point out anything you find in me that makes you sad, and lead me along the path of everlasting life" (Ps. 139:23-24 LB).

Let us follow David's example and mirror his walk, humbly inviting God's inspection, insight, instruction, and intimacy. Let us learn from Solomon's example and avoid his course, echoing the words of this prayer: "Give me neither poverty nor riches! Give me just enough to satisfy my needs! For if I grow rich, I may become content without God. And if I am too poor, I may steal and thus insult God's holy name" (Pr. 30:8-9 LB).

Lord, I want to know you more. Help me to wrestle with my human perspective until I see life and death through your eyes. Fill my life with things that turn my heart upward and cause me to trust in you. Purge from my life things that turn my heart away from you and cause me to rely on my own understanding. Help me to run from evil and run to you. Let me hear your voice in everything I do, everywhere I go, so that you may keep me on a straight path ... to you.