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Skydivers get licenses from the United States Parachute Association. After 20 jumps, they get an A license. After 50, they get a B license; after 100, they get a C license; and after 200 jumps, they get an elite D license. In a 1993 fatality summary, the association found that 60% of fatal jumps came from elite jumpers — those with D licenses. It seems like the best jumpers got overconfident and fell to their deaths. King Solomon had a similar experience. When he started out, he relied on God for wisdom and guidance. No body could match his skill in kingdom administration, or his knowledge in many disciplines. But, like many leaders today, success went to his head. He thought he could ignore God and get away with it. The LORD spoke to him three times; once to commend him for his humility and promise him wisdom; a second time to urge him to follow the LORD with integrity and godliness. Still, he married 700 wives and had 300 concubines. They turned his heart away from God to idol worship. As a result, God declared he would split the kingdom after his death. God did that. He preserved the kingly line for the sake of his father David and the coming Messiah. But as B.M. Nottage often said, Pride of grace, pride of race, and pride of face, can lead many good people to fall. God delights in those who serve Him humbly and recognize his supreme authority in their life.

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