Walter Isaacson’s highly anticipated authorized biography of Steve Jobs will hit bookstore shelves tomorrow, and I am sure it will contain tantalizing details of the life of one of the great icons of American culture. Jobs’ intellect and creativity were rewarded with virtually all that this world can offer, and Jobs, like Solomon before him, found it all lacking.

“Being the richest man in the cemetery doesn’t matter to me … Going to bed at night saying we’ve done something wonderful… that’s what matters to me.”  Jobs, The Innovation Secrets of Steve Jobs (2011)

“I have seen everything that is done under the sun, and behold, all is vanity and a striving after wind.” Solomon (Ecc. 1:14)

“I was worth about over a million dollars when I was twenty-three and over ten million dollars when “I was twenty-four, and over a hundred million dollars when I was twenty-five and it wasn’t that important because I never did it for the money.” Jobs, in a PBS Documentary Triumph of the Nerds (1996)

“Do not toil to acquire wealth; be discerning enough to desist.” Solomon (Prov. 23:4)

Phil Ryken, the President of Wheaton College and former Pastor of Philadelphia’s historic Tenth Presbyterian Church, has penned a less anticipated, yet more significant, biography of Solomon entitled King Solomon: The Temptations of Money, Sex and Power. Ryken’s rich, gospel-saturated study of the life of Solomon from 1 Kings 1-11 is a compelling look at the rise and fall of Solomon’s kingdom and how it points us to the greater Kingdom of Christ. Ryken takes his readers on an up-close-and-personal tour of the greatness that was Solomon’s kingdom – his legendary wisdom, his peaceful reign, the bounty of his table, his opulent temple and his extravagant home. Despite Solomon’s love for and devotion to the Lord, the seeds of his downfall were sown early in his greater allegiance to money, sex and power.

Ryken shows how we are all prone to believe the false promises offered by these idols and how the gospel of Jesus Christ initiates us into a better kingdom than either Solomon or Jobs enjoyed.

[Disclosure of Material Connection: Crossway sent me a free review copy of this book. I was not asked to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”]

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