As we saw in the last Proverbs post, the wise must never stop growing in wisdom. Solomon himself needed to hear this point over and over again, but he forgot.
Have you ever wondered how the wisest person who ever lived could end up such a wretched fool? Solomon married 1000 women and turned away from the Lord to worship their gods (1 Kings 11:3-4). If he was so wise, how could he do such a foolish thing? After the Lord gave him such wisdom, how is it possible that he could fail in the end?
These questions troubled me for years until I finally heard a good answer in a lecture by Bruce Waltke. Solomon himself forgot this most crucial principle of wisdom: it is a path, not a destination. “Cease to hear instruction, my son, and you will stray from the words of knowledge” (Proverbs 19:27, ESV). You can’t ever let off the gas or set the cruise control You must actively pursue wisdom every moment of every day. Don’t grow weary or lose heart.
But even more importantly, Solomon was not the primary one God had in mind when he made those promises of Sonship and Kingdom in 2 Samuel 7:12-16. Jesus was. Remember the opening line to Mark’s Gospel? “The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God” (Mark 1:1, ESV). Remember last year’s Christmas cantata? “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign forever and ever” (Revelation 11:15, quoted in Handel’s Messiah).
This is Good News for us, because if for one moment our standing before God depended on our own wisdom, we would be dead. We wouldn’t last. But if instead, all we must do is trust in Jesus, and his wisdom and righteousness replace our failure and make us right before God, then we have hope! You see, what really makes someone wise is that he knows he’s got further to go in order to be wise. When measured against the wisdom of Jesus, he will always lack and therefore need more. So he turns to Jesus, rests on him, and hopes in him.
We’ve bet the house on this one horse, and if Jesus loses the race, then we lose everything.
Such reckless abandon is mandatory for any who want to be wise. Is there any hint of such abandon on your background check?
 See also Waltke, The Book of Proverbs Chapters 1-15, p.36.