God appeared to Solomon that night in a dream and said, “Solomon, ask for anything you want, and I will give it to you.”
Lord God, you were always loyal to my father David, and now you have made me king of Israel. I am supposed to rule these people, but there are as many of them as there are specks of dust on the ground. So, keep the promise you made to my father and make me wise. Give me the knowledge I’ll need to be the king of this great nation of yours.
Solomon, you could have asked me to make you rich or famous or to let you live a long time. Or you could have asked for your enemies to be destroyed. Instead, you asked for wisdom and knowledge to rule my people. So, I will make you wise and intelligent. But I will also make you richer and more famous than any king before or after you.
Solomon then left Gibeon and returned to Jerusalem, the capital city of Israel. (Contemporary English Version)
Maybe it’s just me but I don’t often hear the word “wisdom” used in normal conversation.
I certainly don’t hear wisdom mentioned in talking about politicians, corporate executives, or even church leaders. “Oh, the Congressman is so wise!” “Isn’t that CEO a wonderfully sage person?” “My Pastor is full of wisdom!” You might even be laughing at this point because those kinds of statements just aren’t part of our daily interactions with others.
We are more likely to say that somebody is full of something else other than wisdom. Yet, all the aforementioned statements could be said about King Solomon. The guy was wise, in fact, the wisest person that ever lived.
Wisdom is the ability to put truth into practice. It is to see everything and everyone from God’s perspective. Wisdom is to have a solid base of knowledge, along with the skill set to use it for godly and constructive purposes.
Solomon had a load of it. The really important thing to note from today’s Old Testament lesson is how Solomon obtained such wisdom. It came from God. Solomon asked for it, and he got it.
Anyone who needs wisdom should ask God, whose very nature is to give to everyone without a second thought, without keeping score. Wisdom will certainly be given to those who ask. (James 1:5, CEB)
Maybe the reason why so many people today are not characterized as wise is because they rely on their own ingenuity and hard work. Asking for wisdom may not even on their mind. Their radical independence prevents them from obtaining the wisdom needed.
In a world of dire straits, where significant problems often overshadow effective solutions, wisdom is needed more than ever. So, like Solomon of old, ask for wisdom and knowledge from God.
We all are in some position of governing or overseeing others, whether it is being a parent, a faith community leader, or in charge of something at work. Everyone needs wisdom.
Just ask. Be free to seek. Go ahead and knock on the door. Jesus said:
“Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.” (Matthew 7:7-8, NLT)
For all people everywhere, and in every circumstance, ask God for the ability to know the truth and put it into practice. Wisdom isn’t optional; it’s absolutely necessary to living a good life.
Get wisdom, get understanding;
do not forget my words or turn away from them.
Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you;
love her, and she will watch over you.
The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom.
Though it cost all you have, get understanding. (Proverbs 4:5-7, NIV)
Wise God, you know all things and how everything works. Give me wisdom and knowledge so that your purposes and plans might be accomplished in and through me for every situation to the glory of Jesus Christ in the power of your Holy Spirit. Amen.