If Solomon was the wisest man in the whole world, why did he sin by following after other gods (1 Kings 1-10)? What does it mean to follow after other gods? Was Solomon a believer? How can a believer worship other gods? Does wisdom assure you will not sin? What does wisdom do then? What is the fear of the Lord and what benefit is wisdom if the wisest man in all the earth failed? Or did he fail?
Even being the wisest man in the whole world does not guarantee he would not sin. Nothing can guarantee you will not sin. Wisdom is the fear of the Lord and direction for the way of righteousness and Godliness. However, nothing guarantees wisdom will be used. I think of it as just a tool in the toolbox and it is up to each individual whether it is picked up and used. Solomon stopped worshiping God alone and started worshiping foreign gods (1 Kings 11:4-10). If he was using his wisdom and following Yahweh fully, he would not have gone after other gods and idols and built high places for them.
Was Solomon a believer? How can a believer worship other gods?
I do think Solomon was a believer because of the way he searches for meaning in Ecclesiastes and concludes that the meaning for life is to fear God and keep his commandments (Ecclesiastes 12:13). However, he obviously went wayward when he started worshiping other gods. Nevertheless, like any other believer, he is not perfect. I know I go wayward at times also. I may not be worshiping other gods, but I can easily idolize the wrong things and turn things into gods. I do not think that makes me a nonbeliever. I think it is just evidence I am a sinner. I believe this applies the same way to Solomon.
Or did he fail?
Yes, he did fail. He broke the law in Deuteronomy 17:14-20 by amassing horses and wives. Moreover, the nail in the coffin was his heart going after other gods. As a result, God tears the kingdom away from him (1 Kings 11:9-13). If that is not failure, I do not know what is.
What do you think? Leave me a reply below.