Wisdom; May 10, 2021

1 Kings 3:9 “So give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong. For who is able to govern this great people of yours?”

I think that Solomon’s point of greatest wisdom was right here, in knowing that he wasn’t wise enough. That’s a point at which a lot of high IQ people fail miserably! Actually, we see that displayed every day when people like Bill Gates, who is undeniably gifted in computer technology, make pronouncements about things that are entirely outside of their area of expertise, all the while making a mess of their personal lives. Actually, Solomon did much the same, applying the wisdom God gave him to governing the nation, but failing to keep his head on straight when it came to women, not only building the Temple of the Lord but also building pagan shrines to please his multiple foreign wives. I have always considered Solomon to be one of the most tragic figures in the Bible because of his enormous potential and his ultimate downfall. He did such a poor job raising his children that his son Rehoboam lost over half the kingdom out of sheer stupidity! No human being has wisdom and knowledge that cover all the bases, so the point of greatest wisdom is to recognize that and seek God, who alone is omniscient. God has allowed mankind to discover many things about the universe, but it is a historical fact that there have been many times that “all the great minds” were agreed on something that turned out to be completely wrong. That’s why it’s so absurd now that people today who are trying to control the populace so frequently use the phrase, “the science is settled.” The science is never “settled!” That’s the very nature of genuine scientific inquiry. We have to act on the best data we have, but recently there has been a lot of ignoring data for political reasons. That’s the very opposite of wisdom, and those who are genuinely wise will discern that fact.

As I am frequently reminded, I have often been caught in the trap of intellectual pride. By its very definition, that is not wise! I need to be like Solomon was at the point of this story, not as he became in later years. The book of Ecclesiastes is understandably depressing to me because it shows the mental traps Solomon ran into, as he trusted his intellect more than he trusted the One who had given it to him. I don’t want to be like that! I am constantly faced with choices and decisions that are difficult because I don’t know the future. I need to depend on the One who does! There’s a beautiful and very true song that goes, “I don’t know about tomorrow… but I know Who holds the future.” That needs to be the foundation of my life, walking in obedience to the God who loved me enough to send His Son to die for me. I have learned that is true wisdom.

Father, thank You for this reminder. Thank You for Your truly amazing grace toward me. Help me use the mind and everything else You have given me as You intend, never presuming but always seeking Your guidance, Your heart, so that Your will may be done through me for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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