Many elements make up a blessed life, but none is as powerful or important as wisdom.
Wisdom is knowledge compounded by grace. It’s seeing things through the lens of God’s vision.
When it comes to wisdom, Solomon is the person to study. According to 1 Kings 4:29-34: “God gave Solomon wisdom and exceedingly great understanding, and largeness of heart like the sand of the seashore…. For he was wiser than all men…. And men of all nations … came to hear the wisdom of Solomon.”
Solomon’s wisdom didn’t depend on his IQ but on a combination of elements that enriched his life and can enrich ours. The story of Solomon prods us to grow in this virtue of wisdom ourselves. How do we become wiser?
Recognize the grace of wisdom
First, we must acknowledge that wisdom comes from God and is given by grace. First Kings 4:29 says, “God gave Solomon wisdom.”
When David committed adultery with Bathsheba and arranged her husband’s death, the baby resulting from that union died. When we hear the linked names of “David and Bathsheba,” we’re reminded of one of the most scandalous stories of the Old Testament. Yet a few verses later we turn the corner and bump into God’s overcoming grace. He gave David and Bathsheba a God-loved son, Solomon, who would become the wisest man on earth.
Sometimes we bemoan our background and think less of ourselves than God does. We let our parents, our past or our problems make us feel foolish and useless. But with God’s grace always right around the corner, the experiences of life can enhance our wisdom. Wisdom and grace go together. Luke 2:40 says Jesus was “filled with wisdom; and the grace of God was upon Him.”
Jesus Christ – being God – is the embodiment of wisdom. He possesses perfect knowledge and therefore has no need to learn. There isn’t a scrap of information, a byte of data or a spark of genius that He hasn’t known from eternity past. He compasses and surpasses all facts; He comprehends and transcends all reality; and in Him are the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. [Robert J. Morgan, All to Jesus (Nashville: B&H Publishers, 2012), entry for Day 4.]
By grace He shares His insights with those who fear Him, for the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom (Proverbs 9:10). He teaches His children how to think and live.
Request prayers for wisdom
Second, Solomon was wise because someone prayed for him. When we think of the sagacity of Solomon, we often think of his special petition for understanding in 1 Kings 3:9. But before Solomon ever prayed for wisdom, his father David asked the Lord to bestow wisdom on his son. In 1 Chronicles 22:11-12, David offered him this blessing: “May the Lord give you wisdom and understanding … that you may keep the law of the Lord your God.”
How blessed we are when others are pleading with God for our wisdom! And as you intercede for others, ask the Heavenly Father to grant them daily wisdom for their daily walk.
Pray for wisdom yourself
In keeping with Solomon’s example, we should then pray for wisdom ourselves. In 1 Kings 3, the Lord famously asked Solomon to request anything he wanted. What if God invited you to ask for anything you wanted in life? Solomon asked for wisdom, and James 1 says we can do the same. The Lord makes us the same offer He gave to Solomon. James 1:5 says: “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.”
Meditate on scripture
The next step in growing wiser is meditating on scripture. As we advance from Bible study to Bible meditation, the Word of God begins to settle into our brain and becomes part of our thinking. Take the book of Proverbs, for example. Most of it came from Solomon’s pen, providing meaningful maxims we can memorize and mull over.
We’re on our way to thinking more wisely as we fear the Lord and receive His grace, learn that others are praying for us, ask God for wisdom in all circumstances, and let God’s Word mold our minds.
As Solomon said long ago, “Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom. And in all your getting, get understanding” (Proverbs 4:7).
(EDITOR’S NOTE – David Jeremiah is pastor of Shadow Mountain Community Church in El Cajon, Calif., and founder and host of “Turning Point for God.” For more information on Turning Point, visit www.DavidJeremiah.org. This column has been approved by Turning Point for redistribution in Baptist state newspapers; for other reprint requests, contact Myrna Davis at [email protected].)