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Wisdom, Folly, Vanity & A Love Story – Who is That Smart Fool in Love?

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    Timothea Galoner

    Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Solomon, are three works in the Bible that Solomon either authored or had a very strong hand in the authorship.  Consider this:  You are the wisest man on earth that God has ever created.  One would think that was enough, right?  Then tell me this: Why did God promise him wisdom, wealth, power, and length of days and, while He delivered on the wisdom, wealth, and power, the length of days was never to be a part of Solomon’s legacy?  BECAUSE A WISE MAN WHO TURNS FROM GOD RECEIVES A FOOL’S CURSE.  He had it all but walked away from the promise by marrying concubines from foreign nations and worshiping false idols.  So while Proverbs is a study in wisdom and foolishness, written by Solomon for the most part, he walked away (with open eyes) from the wisdom into the foolishness he wrote about.  Having “everything” means nothing if you are six feet under.  In Ecclesiastes,  by his own admission, Solomon tells us that that there are ten vanities: human wisdom, human labor, human purpose, envy, greed, fame, wealth, coveting, frivolity, and recognition.  He lived them all and came to the conclusion that “Everything is meaningless,” says the Teacher, “completely meaningless!” What do people get for all their hard work under the sun? (Ecc 1:1-3) Well, thanks, Solomon, that is just peachy!  Appreciate all your wisdom, brother, but now I’m depressed. . . That is how I would feel if I did not understand that “under the sun” is the key here.  We must be “under the Son,” which denotes the contrast of the natural to the spiritual.  We must move from “under the sun” to “above with the Son.”  The temptation is to degrade Solomon for treating the precious treasures God gave him with prideful derision, mocking the Gift-Giver by his disobedience and ingratitude – right?  Then we would become the fools.  Just as those who resent Adam and Eve for sinning in the garden, we would open ourselves to judgement because who is to say that we would not have done the exact same thing?  Besides, Solomon makes up for it in the Song of Solomon with a beautiful, romantic love poem.  This gives us a stunning picture of the union between Christ and His redeemed people and is also reflective of a strong marriage union.  I can attest that with almost 35 years of marriage under my belt, that we have gone through the stages he lays out:  Initial love (so sweet), faltering love (so hard), growing love (so volatile!), transforming love (so beautiful), and mature love (so satisfying!!).  As in the love poem of Solomon, God is jealous over us and wants us all to himself.  The Apostle Paul and Solomon would agree, “And the greatest of these is love.” (1 Cor 13:13b).  Thanks, Solomon, you helped me to see how much God loves me!

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