Hear, O sons, a father’s instruction,
and be attentive, that you may gain insight,
for I give you good precepts;
do not forsake my teaching.
When I was a son with my father,
tender, the only one in the sight of my mother,
he taught me and said to me,
“Let your heart hold fast my words;
keep my commandments, and live.
Get wisdom; get insight;
do not forget, and do not turn away from the words of my mouth.
Do not forsake her, and she will keep you;
love her, and she will guard you.
The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom,
and whatever you get, get insight.
Prize her highly, and she will exalt you;
she will honor you if you embrace her.
She will place on your head a graceful garland;
she will bestow on you a beautiful crown.” –Proverbs 4:1-9
If you rushed through those verses, please go back and read them carefully. In 1 Kings 3, Solomon has an incredible dream and encounter with God. Essentially, God shows up and asks him what he wants–no preconditions, no limitations. Have you ever wondered at Solomon’s response? Here’s what he said,
“…give Your servant an understanding heart to judge Your people to discern between good and evil. For who is able to judge this great people of Yours?” –1 Kings 3:9
Maybe it was a fluke or a lucky guess. Or maybe we can infer from these verses in Proverbs that David had prepared Solomon his whole life for that encounter with God.
Solomon says he was a tender or young child when his father admonished him on the high value of wisdom. It definitely seem to leave an impression on him (however many times David said it). This one encounter with God and Solomon’s answer set him up to be one of the wisest and most prosperous kings who ever lived. Perhaps this was God’s test for Solomon.
When presented with a blank check, what would he choose?
I mean, it would be understandable to ask for wealth to build infrastructure and increase prosperity for everyone. A king does need security from foreign invaders and enemies and it’s helpful not to face dissent from within. How about an extension of power and borders. All those things make sense from an earthly king perspective.
But David had trained him differently. If you honor wisdom, you’ll be exalted. You’ll have a crown that surpasses natural power and influence. I believe this is what God has called His people to in this hour.
Uncommon sense. Unparalleled wisdom.
We can keep grabbing for power in legislative bodies and political structures, asking God to give us these things. We can ask for wealth to do what God’s called the Church to do. We can ask for the expansion of borders. True kings know to look elsewhere.
You need humility to ask for wisdom, and it’s hard when power, wealth, influence, etc. looks like a shortcut to what God promised.
In reality, wisdom from the Father trumps all these concerns. It’s not natural and earthly-focused. It’s divinely inspired and focused on bringing the reign of heaven to earth. It looks to do well by people and not simply try to overtake the systems of men.
The beauty of grace is, Solomon was prepared to make the right decision.
Are you? If God handed you a blank check, what would you cash it in on? What are your thoughts on this?
Another in a series of posts where I go through Proverbs a verse or two at a time and share the whispers of the Holy Spirit to my heart (click here for more verse by verse posts).