Think Deep

It might seem strange, but one of my favorite Bible characters, and one to whom I think I could relate most naturally and readily, if I were ever to have a chance to meet him and have a conversation with him, and someone who I might even consider a personal “hero,” is Solomon. “Why Solomon?” someone might ask. And I’d be eager to try to answer that question.

To me, perhaps even more impressive even than his great and world-famous wisdom, was Solomon’s absolutely fearless willingness to pursue knowledge and wisdom wherever he thought it could be found, in any and every arena and area of life and the farthest reaches of the known universe. I call this quality and activity “Solomonic exploration”. I believe that Solomon’s natural and relentless curiosity was something that God had put within him, and which, therefore, in and of itself, was not wrong or harmful in any way. Every man has his limits and boundaries that, for whatever reason, he cannot or should not cross or violate, for the sake of the well-being of his soul and his walk with the Lord. Perhaps, it would be accurate to say that in Solomon’s case, these boundaries were much wider than for many or most men.

Solomon liked to “test” himself with various types of experiences and searches; he was perhaps the original “seeker,” an intrepid intronaut who wanted to “turn over every rock,” both within and outside himself, to see what lay underneath, out of plain sight. His reach always exceeded his grasp, and his ambitions were probably too large for one lifetime. For example, Solomon writes in Ecclesiastes 2:1: “I said in my heart, ‘Come now, I will test you with mirth; therefore enjoy pleasure’”. The end of this search was not sin leading to death, but simply and profoundly, “vanity” — emptiness, meaninglessness, disillusion, basically, a giant letdown. It was like following the rainbow to its end, and finding there not a pot of gold, but evaporating dew and mist.

Solomon’s explorations and pursuits led, on the one hand, to a grand and glorious accumulation of wisdom and understanding, but, on the other hand, to a stunning and sober realization that, in the end, nothing and no one satisfies except for God alone, and one’s eternal relationship and fellowship with Him. In Ecclesiastes 12:13-14, Solomon writes: “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter:

Fear God and keep His commandments,
For this is man’s all.
For God will bring every work into judgment,
Including every secret thing,
Whether good or evil.” (NKJV)
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