2000-05-02 - Wisdom is From God

I Kings 3:9 So give Thy servant an understanding heart to judge Thy people to discern between good and evil. For who is able to judge this great people of Thine?

It was reported in a local Chicago newspaper that a janitor at the 12 story Marriott Hotel in Bristol, England was recently fired for taking four days to clean an elevator. When asked why it took so long, before his dismissal, he said, "There are twelve of them, one on each floor, and sometimes some of them are not there." He apparently thought that each floor had a different elevator and cleaned the same elevator 12 times.

The above verse is a prayer to God, by Solomon, as he takes over the leadership of Israel from his father, King David. In his prayer he doesn't ask for things, or for power, or that his enemies be destroyed. Rather, he asks for wisdom. The reply from God is a follows. I will just summarize the next few verses:

God reply was that because Solomon asked for discernment and not all these other things, that He would give him as he asked, because He was pleased with Solomon's request. God promised to make Solomon so wise that there would be no one like him after him, nor had there been any one like him before. Then God makes another promise to Solomon, "I have given you what you have not asked, both riches and honor …"

There is certainly at least two things to learn here. First, that wisdom is a gift from God. In addition this passage goes on to say that riches and honor are also gifts from God. Second, this should challenge our thinking, priorities, and practices.

In the New Testament wisdom is said to be given by; Christ (Luke 21:15), the Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:8), and God (Ephesians 1:17). So let us make sure that we understand that no Philosophy class, no amount of study, although worthwhile, can give wisdom. These studies can increase knowledge, but knowledge is not wisdom. Wisdom is an ability to discern. In one sense it is the ability to apply knowledge appropriately. Wisdom is a gift from God.

In addition, this should challenge us in our thinking. If it was wise to seek wisdom from God in Solomon's day, could it be any different today? Doubtful. Proverbs 3:13 says, "How blessed is the man who finds wisdom, and the man who gains understanding." Seeking wisdom from God will result in blessing to us. Who has enough blessing already? I am blessed, to be sure, but if God would be pleased to send some more my way, who am I to argue with that? I can make room for a little blessing from God. Any of us could. And that is the point, we ought to seek it. In prayer as Solomon did and in the study of God's word, which is often called, "The Book of Wisdom." May the Lord make us diligent in pursuing these things.

"Wisdom is not the growth of human genius. It must be sought from above." John Calvin

"Wisdom outweighs any wealth." Sophocles

Soli Deo Gloria,