Solomon's Sequel

Read: Ecclesiastes 1:1

The words of the Teacher, son of David, king in Jerusalem. Ecclesiastes 1:1

Nowhere in this book did the author give his name, but the descriptions he gave of himself and his experiences would indicate that the writer was King Solomon. Solomon began his reign as a humble servant of the Lord, seeking God's wisdom and help (1 Kings 3:5-15). As he grew older, his heart turned away from Jehovah to the false gods of the many wives he had taken from foreign lands (11:1ff). These marriages were motivated primarily by politics, not love, as Solomon sought alliances with the nations around Israel.

No amount of money or authority could stop the silent but sure ripening of divine judgment. The famous Scottish preacher Alexander Whyte said that "the secret worm ... was gnawing all the time in the royal staff upon which Solomon leaned." The king's latter years were miserable because God removed His hand of blessing (1 Kings 11) and maintained Solomon's throne only because of His promise to his father, David (vv. 9-13; 2 Sam. 7:1-17).

Ecclesiastes appears to be the kind of book a person would write near the close of life, reflecting on life's experiences and the lessons learned. Solomon probably wrote Proverbs and the Song of Songs (Song of Solomon in the KJV) during the years he faithfully walked with God; and near the end of his life, he wrote Ecclesiastes. There is no record that King Solomon repented and turned to the Lord, but his message in Ecclesiastes suggests that he did.

Applying God's Truth:

1. What is the most foolish thing you've done out of love for someone?
2. If the wisest man who ever lived could not remain faithful to God, do you think it's realistic to expect that you can? Explain.
3. Based on Solomon's experiences, what would you say might be more important than wisdom in regard to continual spiritual growth?

Devotions for Contentment and Wisdom ©2005 by Dr. Warren Wiersbe. Used by permission of David C Cook. May not be further reproduced. All rights reserved.

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