Have you ever had an important decision to make, one that had weighed heavily on you, yet you lacked the wisdom needed to make the proper choice? I believe we have all fallen into this category at one point or another. We can try to rely on ourselves for the answer to our problems and that does not always go well. Maybe we can turn to others for advice when we need to make difficult decisions. However, when our decisions rise above the mundane of what to wear, or what to eat, or what mechanic to use, when they will affect the rest of our lives, where do you go for wisdom? Does the advice of friends, family, or mentors give you the wisdom you need to make wise choices that will have positive, lasting effects? It is possible to make choices this way, especially when those individuals are godly men and women that are following the Lord. Yet, I am about to suggest to you a better way to gain the wisdom needed for success in this life. You do not have to take my word for it, but maybe you would listen to a king.
Solomon was Israel’s third king. He took over the kingdom from his father David and he felt unqualified to lead God’s people. God came to Solomon in a dream and told him to ask what he wanted done for him. God did not limit Solomon; He told the young king to ask for whatever he wanted. Remember, Solomon had a problem. The kingdom had been passed on to him and he felt inadequate to lead God’s chosen people. Solomon expressed his desire to be able to lead the people with understanding and discernment. God gave him what he asked for and so much more. Because Solomon humbly asked for something that would bless the entire population, God granted Solomon not only unprecedented wisdom, but unprecedented wealth as well.
I am not suggesting that God will make you wealthy like Solomon. I mention Solomon’s wealth because we are given perspective on wisdom from the richest man to ever live. This wisdom can be found in the books of wisdom such as Psalms, Proverbs, and Ecclesiastes. When Solomon needed wisdom, he turned to God. And we are the benefactors of that wisdom when we read God’s Word.
So, what did Solomon have to say about wisdom?
“Get wisdom! Get understanding!” (Proverbs 4:5, NKJV). He exclaimed it! This was a topic he was passionate about. Again, in Proverbs 4:7 Solomon says, “Wisdom is the principal thing; Therefore get wisdom. And in all your getting, get understanding” (NKJV). How do we get wisdom? Proverbs 9:10 tells us, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom…” (NKJV). So, what does that mean? It means exactly what we are told in the closing of the book of Ecclesiastes, chapter 12, verse 13, “Fear God and keep His commandments, For this is man’s all (NKJV).
What does that mean for you and me? It means that we need to read His Word with reverence and do what it says. That is it. It is extremely simple. It is not always easy. We need to commit ourselves to reading His Word and spending time in prayer. Simple, isn’t it?
Remember how I mentioned that Solomon was the richest man to ever live? I want to share his perspective on wisdom for that reason. A man that possessed anything he wanted, lived in palaces, had the best of what the world had to offer also said this about wisdom; “How much better to get wisdom than gold! And to get understanding is to be chosen rather than silver” (Proverbs 16:16, NKJV). I know that we all need money to survive in this world, but gaining money is not the biblical definition of success.
“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal” (Matthew 6:19-20, NKJV).
I hope you will join me again next time when we go further into what the Bible tells us about wisdom.