It is not by chance that Solomon became the iconic embodiment of kingship, statecraft, and wisdom. It is not by chance that his demeanor, strategies, and writings have been admired and explored for centuries, as their legitimacy and effectiveness have lasted in the test of time, as relevant as they were even for us today, in the 21st century.
Solomon, first as a man of faith and then a king and an intellectual, devoted his life to fulfill the task to lead his people under God and the Deuteronomic law. This devotion and commitment to take his kingdom onto prosperity and justice have driven him to act for the better of his people by taking on the heavy responsibility that made him the symbol of intelligence, witts, and sensibility he’s so famously known for.
A traveler in the realm of knowledge and development
It wasn’t a stroll in the park, Solomon’s life. Although admired and abundant, Solomon faced many downfalls and hardships, but his reign stood fierce. It wasn’t merely because he was touched by God. The truth is, that Solomon walked “the road less traveled” when he was gifted by the Lord. He didn’t ask for wealth or fame, he asked God to bless him with an understanding mind and a discerning heart, so he could distinguish between good and evil, and govern his people wisely. This altruistic decision presents a man that embarked on the greatest role of his life with humility and a desire to expand his mind. Solomon chose to make an intelligent investment and for that, no one has ever exceeded him as a legend, not as a king nor as a man.
“And God gave Solomon wisdom and understanding beyond measure, and breadth of mind like the sand on the seashore, so that Solomon’s wisdom surpassed the wisdom of all the people of the east and all the wisdom of Egypt. For he was wiser than all other men…and his fame was in all the surrounding nations. He also spoke 3,000 proverbs, and his songs were 1,005. He spoke of trees, from the cedar that is in Lebanon to the hyssop that grows out of the wall. He spoke also of beasts, and of birds, and of reptiles, and of fish. And people of all nations came to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and from all the kings of the earth, who had heard of his wisdom.” Kings 4:29-34
Adapting a creative mind rather than a reactive mind
What does Solomon’s path teach us? how is his sagacity relevant to our lives today?
From when we are young we’re taught that our intellect is developed by widening our horizons, by experiencing situations we should learn from and improve our life accordingly. It’s not all about memorizing facts that make us more intelligent, but it is also affected by the way we create ideas of our own, while exploring new solutions to cope with setbacks that cross our way.
Take Solomon for example (how can we not). His sagacity and the experiences he took on have spread upon a wide array of aspects in life, such as spirituality, natural sciences, theology, politics, statesmanship, parenting, passion, love…all were accumulated as tools and skills that made him much more resourceful and creative. He opened his mind and heart to absorb as much as possible to enhance the way he lived, and the way he led his kingdom. He was a polymath and a renaissance man. As a writer, musician, and poet, he passed on his knowledge and kept discovering more with insatiable curiosity and imagination. He applied his wisdom in every domain of his life: he had to defend his throne from those who questioned his kingship. He prompted diplomatic relations and positioned the people of Israel as an international influencer. He reigned with judicial justice and was able to continue shaping his mind along the journey, and maintain an agile yet calculated approach toward each situation he operated.
Remember the story of the encounter between Solomon and the queen of Sheba?
In those days, Solomon’s kingdom was known as a pillar of scholarship, and a center of international and commercial opportunities. As he had been known for his ability to mitigate between internal affairs and foreign affairs, Solomon succeeded in gaining the fierce queen’s trust and sympathy, and that wasn’t a common ability. See, the queen of Sheba had traveled the world in search of wisdom and was skeptical that someone could present to her a true source of wisdom while demonstrating a sharp mind and quick solutions to all the riddles she fired toward him. Their encounter showed a brilliant interaction of different cultures. Solomon’s honest pursuit for scholarship and education was manifested as he reached the highest level of living, all through his investment in his mind and spirit, creating the world he wished for himself.
Open your mind to open your path
If there’s anything we can learn from the road Solomon chose to take is that we can all be rulers of our own lives, leading ourselves to give wind to our aspirations and follow our free will. If we only invest ourselves in reaching the edges of our ability to acquire and process knowledge, stretch our intelligence, strengthen our skills, and spike our imagination, then we could create the abundant life we seek for ourselves.