Today’s Text of Encouragement:
“Our heart shall rejoice in Him, because we have trusted in His holy name.”
King James Version
“My position has come to this: Am I living near my Saviour; then I am as happy as the day is long, and as light-hearted as a child. It may be that I have plenty of annoyances, but they don’t trouble me when His presence is with me.”
John Kenneth MacKenzie
Today’s Study Text:
“That you may do wisely.”
1 Kings 2:3
“Words of Blessing: A Word to the Wise”
“The reverent fear and worship of the Lord is the beginning of Wisdom and skill (the preceding and the first essential, the prerequisite and the alphabet); a good understanding, wisdom, and meaning have all those who do the will of the Lord. Their praise of Him endures forever.”
How would I define the word “wisdom”?
In my everyday life, what do I believe it means to be filled with “wisdom” from God?
“But to man He said, ‘Behold, the reverential and worshipful fear of the Lord – that is Wisdom.’”
“The greatest wisdom on this earth is holiness.”
William S. Plumer
“In Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream by night. And God said, ‘Ask what I shall give you.” Solomon said, ‘You have shown to Your servant David my father great mercy and loving-kindness, according as he walked before You in faithfulness, righteousness and uprightness of heart with you; and you have kept for him this great kindness and steadfast love, that You have given him a son to sit on his throne this day. Now, O Lord my God, You have made Your servant king instead of David my father, and I am but a lad (in wisdom and experience); I know not how to go out (begin) or come in (finish). Your servant is in the midst of Your people whom You have chosen, a great people who cannot be counted for multitude. So give Your servant an understanding mind and a hearing heart to judge Your people, that I may discern between good and bad. For who is able to judge and rule this Your great people?’”
1 Kings 3:5-9
Over the past several days, we have explored the four essential elements which David, at the end of his life, told his son Solomon, who would replace him on the throne of Israel, were the most vital qualities present in the life of an individual whose entire purpose was to serve God.
David let Solomon know that he must heed God’s way; he should walk in God’s path; he should keep God’s statutes, commandments, precepts, and testimonies; and finally, he should obey God’s word. These were the essentials.
However, after laying out to Solomon what he should do in return, David told Solomon that God would do certain things for Solomon. Please don’t make a mistake by thinking this was some kind of “tit-for-tat” game God was involved in. To the contrary, as David had repeatedly witnessed in his own life when he followed and obeyed God’s will and way – immense blessings were the natural result. Wonderful things happened in David’s life when he listened to God and attentively followed Him. God’s promises were certain, and joy, peace and love were the result.
David wanted Solomon to understand this fact. Thus he not only told Solomon what the essential elements were of a God-filled life, but then he laid out, very specifically, what marvelous gifts would be bestowed upon Solomon. We find in 1 Kings 2: 3, 4, 33 there are five clearly defined blessings God said would come to Solomon.
1. “You will do wisely. In other words, ‘You be given the gift of wisdom.’”
2. “You will prosper in all that you do.”
3. “You will know wherever to turn. You’ll know the steps you should take.”
4. “Your family will be blessed and continue on the throne of Israel.”
5. “You and your family will have peace forever.”
I don’t know about you but this list of blessed gifts from God sounds absolutely tremendous to me. Wisdom, prosperity, direction, family blessings and peace! WOW!
And just so we don’t mistakenly think that these promises were meant only for David’s household, they weren’t. These blessings are meant for you and me, too, when we incorporate God’s essentials into our lives.
At first, when I read over this list, I wondered to myself, “Why was wisdom listed first?” but as I began to study the Bible and look at what the word “wisdom” really means, I found my answer.
To be wise doesn’t just mean I’m smart – like “book” smart. It doesn’t mean I get straight “A’s” on all my tests in school or that I’m the fastest at learning some new theory or complicated computer program. This wisdom the Bible speaks of is, defined in the Hebrew as “teachable good-sense” which means I am not arrogant, thinking I know it all. I love the way one of my favorite old-time pastor’s, Charles Haddon Spurgeon, defines wisdom: “Wisdom is the right use of knowledge. To know is not to be wise…There is no fool so great as a knowing fool. But to know how to use knowledge is to have wisdom.” Then Pastor Spurgeon makes this insightful observation, “The doorstep to the temple of wisdom is a knowledge of our own ignorance.”
As I thought about this statement, I began to reflect on what it was that the young Solomon, during the time he was in Gibeon, asked God to give him and it was this: “Here’s what I want: Give me a God-listening heart so I can lead Your people well, discerning the difference between good and evil. For who on their own is capable of leading Your glorious people?” (1 Kings 3: 8,9, The Message Bible).
These were not the words of some conceited young man who was all puffed-up by the knowledge that he was king. These were the words of a humble, servant-king who recognized his need for heavenly wisdom. This was David’s son who had learned, from his own earthly father’s mistakes, that the way to the throne of Israel was a way led by God. Solomon understood that for him to have the knowledge that would lead him to make wise decisions, heavenly decisions, he must have a teachable spirit, a discerning heart, and an understanding mind – open to his heavenly Father’s will.
And there’s one last thing I find so important in this interaction between David and Solomon. After laying out for his son the essential elements of a God-filled life and then sharing with his son how God would bless him, one might think that with the way Solomon chose to live his life later on that it was as if David’s advice went in one ear and out the other to Solomon. But I want to point out that in Proverbs 1:7,8 (Amplified Bible), it was Solomon who left these words for us: “The reverent and worshipful fear of the Lord is the beginning and the principal and choice part of knowledge, (its starting point and its essence); but fools despise skillful and godly Wisdom, instruction, and discipline. My son, hear the instruction of your father; reject not nor forsake the teaching of your mother.”
For all the times, you as a parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle, friend, or loved one take time to share God’s love with the young people in your lives, never forget that the words you may think are not taken to heart, may be remembered as they were with Solomon, even when the way he walked was not wise. Never forget God’s promise when we follow His way: “I will give you wisdom.”
“The kind of wisdom that God waits to give to those who ask Him is a wisdom that will bind us to Himself.”
J. I. Packer
“Christ is the key that opens all the hidden treasures of God’s wisdom and knowledge.”
“O God, give me strength and wisdom to live this day as I aught. Give me:
Wisdom to know when to speak, and when to keep silent;
Wisdom to know when to act, and when to refrain from action;
Wisdom to know when to speak my mind, and when to hold my peace,
Through Jesus Christ my Lord. Amen.”
Dorothy Valcárcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
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