“Ask anything of me and I will give it to you.”

Can you imagine what your response would be if you heard these words from the God of all creation? When children are asked that question they usually answer with a smile followed by a long list of toys and electronic gadgets. Most adults usually have the same response, except our list consists of larger, more expensive items.

There is one man in Scripture that God put to the test with this statement. In 1 Kings 3, the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream by night. He told him, “Ask what I shall give thee.” Solomon’s reply is a great one, “I am but a little child: I know not how to go out or come in” (1 Kings 3:7). He had been placed in a position of extreme responsibility. He was king of Israel, a great nation who “could not be numbered or counted for multitude.” He knew that he would need extraordinary and divine guidance in order to do the job well. All he asked from God was that he be given an understanding heart in order to judge the people, and be able to discern between good and bad. In other words, he needed wisdom.

This answer pleased the Lord so much that God not only gave him wisdom, but gave him riches and honor unlike any that came before or after him (1 Kings 3:12-13). Along with those gifts, God also told Solomon, “… if you wilt walk in my ways, to keep my statutes and my commandments … then I will lengthen thy days.” He received an assurance from God of riches, honor, power, and a long life. What more could anyone possibly want or need?

At first, Solomon reigned with so much wisdom that people from all the earth would come to him for advice (1 Kings 4:34). Under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit he wrote 3,000 proverbs and over 1,000 songs. God also gave him the wisdom to build a glorious Temple where the Lord could dwell among His people. After the Temple was completed, the Lord spoke to Solomon again with a blessing and a warning (I Kings 9:1-7). If Solomon continued to walk in integrity of heart and uprightness, and keep all the statutes and ordinances as God commanded, then the throne of the kingdom would be upon Israel forever. However, if he were to turn from following God and serve other gods, Israel would be torn from their land, their Temple would become an object of ridicule and the name of Israel would become a proverb and a byword among all people. It would seem that a man that had been given so much wisdom from on high would heed this warning, but Solomon did not always make the wisest of choices in his personal life.

He had a weakness for women which resulted in a total of 700 wives and 300 concubines. Many of these women came from foreign nations and worshipped false gods. Solomon allowed his heart to be turned away from the Lord. He went from being a man that loved the Lord and walked in the statutes of his father, David (1 Kings 3:3) to doing evil in the sight of the Lord (1 Kings 11:3). He actually went as far as to build special “high places” of worship for his wives to burn incense and sacrifice to their gods (1 Kings 11:7-8). Even though this angered the Lord, He showed great patience to Solomon. He actually appeared unto the king two different times and commanded him to turn away from the other gods, but Solomon would not. This ultimately brought down the kingdom. Israel ended up being a divided nation and eventually became just like they had been in the past; slaves in a foreign land.

The word wisdom simply means having good sense and using it in our minds, words, and actions. Proverbs 2:6 tells us that it is the Lord that gives us wisdom, and out of his mouth comes knowledge and understanding. It is foolishness to receive wisdom from God and not put it into practice. That’s a good description of Solomon in his later years. He became foolish.
Psalm 111:10 says, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” Notice, it is only the beginning. Gaining wisdom is an ongoing process. It is something that we are never to stop striving to attain. Proverbs 2 tells us that we have to diligently seek it out as if we are looking for hidden treasure. According to Proverbs 2:7, “The Lord layeth up sound wisdom for the righteous.” The words “layeth up” means it is hidden. God does not make it difficult for us to find, though. He guards and keeps it safe and those that are righteous just have to look for it. We can find wisdom by digging in and searching God’s Word. It is the Scriptures that are able to make us wise unto salvation (2 Tim. 3:15). The more we dig, the more treasure we find.

Seeking wisdom from the Lord is what helps us through the difficult times. It is what guides us when making major decisions in life, and it allows us to seek His will and find His blessings in every situation.

To be continued …

Next Issue: We will look at four “little” things in God’s Word that are exceedingly wise.