Wisdom

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In 1 Kings chapter 3, we have the only account in the Bible of God giving someone a blank check, as it were. In this chapter, we read how King Solomon is given God’s blank check. Solomon had been worshiping that day at Gibeon, and at night God appeared to him in a dream and said: “Ask! What shall I give you?”

Can you imagine an opportunity like this where God invited you to ask for anything you wanted? 1 Kings 3: 6-9 records the answer: “And Solomon said: ‘You have shown great mercy to Your servant David, my father, because he walked before You in truth, in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart with You; You have continued this great kindness for him, and You have given him a son to sit on his throne, as it is this day. Now, O Lord my God, You have made Your servant king instead of my father David, but I am a little child; I do not know how to go out or come in. And Your servant is in the midst of Your people whom You have chosen, a great people, too numerous to be numbered or counted. Therefore, give to Your servant an understanding heart to judge Your people, that I may discern between good and evil. For who is able to judge this great people of Yours?’”

What would you have asked for if God had given you this opportunity? Maybe riches or powerful friends, what about a new car or house? I don’t know if I would be able to say anything at all because of numerous options and because of the awe of being in the presence of God.  Solomon could have asked for anything, but he asked for wisdom to judge God’s people. If this were made into a movie, the audience would probably be underwhelmed, but God is pleased. Let’s read how God replied in 1 Kings 3:10-14: “The speech pleased the Lord, that Solomon had asked this thing. Then God said to him: ‘Because you have asked this thing, and have not asked long life for yourself, nor have asked riches for yourself, nor have asked the life of your enemies, but have asked for yourself understanding to discern justice, behold, I have done according to your words; see, I have given you a wise and understanding heart, so that there has not been anyone like you before you, nor shall any like you arise after you. And I have also given you what you have not asked: both riches and honor, so that there shall not be anyone like you among the kings all your days.  So, if you walk in My ways, to keep My statutes and My commandments, as your father David walked, then I will lengthen your days.’”

Did you catch what God said? God promises to bless Solomon and make him the wisest man in history, but he also gets riches, he gets honor, and God says there will be no other king like him all his days. Solomon makes the right request of God because wisdom is more valuable than all other things. Solomon will tell us this in Proverbs 3:13-14: “Happy is the man who finds wisdom, and the man who gains understanding; for her proceeds are better than the profits of silver, and her gain than fine gold.”

Why is wisdom so valuable? To answer that, you have to know what wisdom is. Wisdom is seeing how a particular course of action will turn out. It is thinking about the consequences of your actions before you do them. Wisdom is not just having knowledge, but properly using the knowledge you have.  Unfortunately, God is not going to come to us tonight and give us wisdom as he did Solomon, so how do we get wisdom?

 The Bible tells us in Proverbs 2:6, “For the Lord gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding.” The source of wisdom is not found in man but in God. Thankfully, God wants us to have wisdom and offers it to us according to James 1:5: “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.” Ultimately, wisdom is understanding who God is and how we should respect and obey Him – “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” (Proverbs 9:10)

Are you walking in wisdom today; are you following God’s Word? If not, then I would implore you to make the necessary changes and begin to walk in wisdom.

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