Monday, April 16, 2012

Wisdom - Part II

In Wisdom - Part 1, I shared how reading one Bible chapter to quiet my mind led me to recognize the process necessary for gaining "supernatural-level" wisdom.   In today's post, I'll share how God responded when one ill-prepared young man humbly asked for wisdom, and why his experience should get us over-the-top excited!

As a brief review...

In 1 Kings chapter 2,  Solomon succeeded his father, David, as king of Israel. Though we don't know exactly how old he was when he assumed the throne, we believe that he was as young as 12, but no older than his late 20's.  In either case, he was very wet behind the ears, and not at all psychologically or intellectually prepared to run a kingdom. This concerned him greatly, and in a dream one night, he had a conversation with God...

That night, the Lord appeared to (Solomon) in a dream and asked him, 'What would you like me to give you?"Solomon answered, "...O LORD God, you have let me succeed my father as king, even though I am very young and don't know how to rule...So give me the wisdom I need to rule your people with justice and to know the difference between good and evil. Otherwise, how would I ever be able to rule this great people of yours?" 1 Kings 3:5,7,9 GNT (vs. 6 and 8 omitted here, solely for brevity)
In this first part of the exchange, Solomon set a great example for us to follow.

When we seek wisdom, we should..

Admit our weaknesses
Humbly admit that we lack maturity, experience, or skill.

Ask for wisdom
Acknowledge that our ability to discern between right and wrong needs to constantly evolve, as guided by Him.

Recognize that we need His form of wisdom to succeed 
Submit to the fact that supernatural-level success-- the type of achievement that, per human logic, surpasses our present ability to fulfill our assignment-- can not happen without Him.

After hearing Solomon's request for wisdom, God was very pleased.  This was God's response...
"Because you have asked for the wisdom to rule justly, instead of long life for yourself or riches or the death of your enemies, I will do what you have asked.  I will give you more wisdom and understanding than anyone has ever had before or will ever have again.  I will also give you what you have not asked for: all your life you will have wealth and honor, more than that of any other king.  And if you obey me and keep my laws and commands, as your father David did, I will give you a long life" 1 Kings 3:10-14
Did you catch that, folks?

Because God was pleased with the nature of Solomon's request, He...
Gave Solomon what he asked for- wisdom
Gave Solomon additional rewards-- more wisdom and understanding than anyone else, more wealth and honor than any other king, and if he kept God's laws and commands, the added bonus of a long life.

In Solomon's lifetime, kings all over the world heard of his wisdom and sent people to listen to him.  He became the author behind the biblical books of Proverbs, Songs of Solomon, and Ecclesiastes.  He built a majestic temple, that included floors and doors covered in gold.  All of his drinking cups were made of gold.  His achievements were so great, that other heads of state, like the Queen of Sheba, couldn't help but acknowledge that God was behind it.  (Peruse 1 Kings chapters 3 - 10 to see some of these and other examples).

Now... stay with me here.

Unless God has designated for you to be the next monarch of a yet-to-exist kingdom, the reward for your request for wisdom won't likely look exactly like Solomon's.  So put your blueprints for a castle aside, and think for a minute...

Solomon's rewards were applicable to his assignment.  Per God, he was to be a mighty king, greater and more powerful than any other earthly ruler before or after him.  What kind of a powerful king drinks out of clay goblets, lives in a renovated palace, and operates his kingdom with a dull brain? How would that have glorified God?

Since God has a purpose for you to achieve, He will equip you with the wisdom, resources, and materials necessary to achieve that purpose.  You just need to humbly and sincerely ask Him for that wisdom.  

As for additional rewards?  Well... what you get, how much you get, and how long you get it, is up to Him.  But isn't it exciting to know that He's even into giving out bonuses?  (I love bonuses!)

We may not all be destined to land on the Forbes list of billionaires, but God's desire IS for all of us to thrive, flourish, and succeed.  

So ask God for wisdom.  Seek out your God-given purpose, and ask Him to help you fulfill it.  When given an assignment, make "Papa" proud, as you pursue it.  Let others see God in the quality of your achievements, like the Queen of Sheba saw God in Solomon's achievements.

Keep your eyes on Him, and don't get lost in your rewards!  

Starting in 1 Kings chapter 11, Solomon got lost in his rewards.  And because He no longer continued to keep God's laws and commands, which were a condition of his rewards, his descendants suffered loss.

That is NOT the legacy that I want to leave behind for my children.  And I'm guessing it's not what you want to leave behind for your children either.
I hope that you were as blessed by reading Wisdom - Part 1, and Wisdom - Part II, as I was blessed in writing them.  Enjoy the rest of your day...


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Unknown said...

this is such an on time word Karen. thank you for allowing the Holy Spirit to use you to deliver this timely word... just for me.
I love you girlie ;)

Karen said...

I love you, too girlie! To God be the glory...

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