Towards the end of Solomon’s life, he concluded that life will only have meaning if we live fearing the Lord and keeping His commandments. He further added that, “…this applies to every person.” But do you know that God required this from Israel from the very start of their nation’s inception? Deuteronomy 10:12 says, “Now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require from you, but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all His ways and love Him…” He told them that these were the conditions they had to keep in order to POSSESS the Promised Land and be able to live there in peace. If this is so, then this means that Solomon prospered not because he was wise but because he kept the statutes of the Lord – in the beginning.
Unfortunately, something happened along the way. As Solomon gained more wisdom, he used this to test God’s laws, both the spiritual and natural. And as a result, the kingdom of Israel later divided in two and his descendants had to pay the penalties of his foolishness.
I realized that we do not need wisdom to fear and obey the Lord. What we need is faith or the ability to trust that whatever God tells us to do will always be good for us. It is not important for us to understand why we should do it. What is important is that we obey it. Sadly though, some people choose to look at God’s laws as detrimental for them. Like for example, when the Lord tells us to be nice to others even when they are not nice to us (Matthew 7:12), some would reason out, “Lugi naman tayo nyan. Why does God want us to always be the one to adjust and suffer? Why can’t He require our enemies to change instead?” While we can challenge the Golden Rule with our ‘wisdom’, we can also, by faith, just choose to believe that this law will benefit us. You see, when we are nice to those who are not nice to us, we show maturity, gain favor from others and receive blessings from God. However, this does not mean that we should allow people to abuse us, because the Bible also says, we should be “shrewd as a serpent but innocent as a dove”.
God asks us to fear Him and obey His commandments because He wants us to POSSESS the land He sets before us and to live there in peace. He also wants us to be His model and ambassador so the world will see that our wisdom is “the Lord” and that only His ways can make people fruitful. Isn’t God amazing?