Bruce Collins, Evangelist

The personal website of Bruce Collins

Meditation for the week of July 13, 2008

1 Corinthians 1:26
For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called.

Intelligence can certainly be a curse when it comes to knowing God and pleasing Him. Solomon was the wisest man on earth apart from the Lord Himself and yet he made some very foolish decisions. He set the stage for the nation of Israel’s descent into the worship of foreign gods.

God said that Solomon “was wiser than all men (1Kings 4:31).” The Queen of Sheba came and tested him with hard questions. She came to this conclusion, “Indeed the half was not told me. Your wisdom and prosperity exceed the fame of which I heard (1 Kings 10:7).”

God used him to build the temple that David his father had wanted to build. God appeared to him twice and the second time He told him, “Now if you walk before Me as your father David walked, in integrity of heart and in uprightness, to do according to all that I have commanded you, and if you keep My statutes and My judgments, then I will establish the throne of your kingdom over Israel forever (1 Kings 9:4-5). Yet Solomon was not faithful to God and late in his life began to worship the gods of the foreign wives that he had married. What was this intelligent King thinking? We aren’t really told what went through his mind as he began worshiping other gods, but he certainly wasn’t showing a great deal of intelligence or wisdom when he did it.

Paul seems to be an exception to the rule that intelligence tends to cause us to walk by sight and not by faith. That is, our natural inclination is to walk by what makes sense and not by what God tells us especially when what He tells us doesn’t make sense. If we are going to walk by faith and not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7), not everything in life is going to make logical sense. It didn’t make logical sense for Abraham to offer his son on an altar, but he was willing to do it. It didn’t make logical sense that our Savior would die for us instead of having us die for Him. Circumstances of life don’t always make sense. Job didn’t know why he was suffering. Joseph didn’t know why he was in prison. Sarah didn’t know why she was childless. But all these things make sense now even though they didn’t make sense then.

I do not believe that we have to quit thinking to believe God. I am convinced that a good logical person will understand that if the Bible is true, nothing else matters. If it is not true, nothing matters. There is no other religion or philosophy that gets its teaching from one who is eternal and who knows what eternity is all about. Therefore, there is certainly nothing to lose and everything to gain by believing that God is the author of the Bible and that He has revealed Himself and His will to us through it. But that doesn’t mean that we will understand every aspect of creation or that we will understand all of the suffering that is in the world. I will never be able to understand why I was born in the lap of luxury in the Unites States while others were born into adversity in third world countries. But even though we can’t understand or explain some of these things, we can believe that God wants devoted hearts to worship him when things make sense; and, even more so, when things do not make sense.

I suspect that when Solomon in all his wisdom began experimenting with the worship of other gods that he liked some aspects of that worship. He likely felt he was being generous and compassionate when he allowed his wives to worship their gods instead of His God. But ultimately, he seems to have concluded that those gods were real gods that deserved worship. In 1 Kings 11:5, he went after gods which God said are not gods (2 Kings 19:18). How could he be called intelligent and wise when he did that?

I guess I would rather be considered unintelligent and end up in heaven than intelligent and end up in hell. I would be rather be considered unintelligent and worship God faithfully according to his will than intelligent and to lose my desire to do what the Lord says even when I think He could have done things better if He had just done them differently.

The really wise person will trust the Lord and will do what He says.

Bruce Collins

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