(Better late than never… My apologies, I fell asleep after work last night when I should have been writing.)
Solomon, the Word tells us, loved God, and the Message translation says he “continued in the God-honoring ways of David his father.” King Solomon went to Gibeon to offer sacrifices at the most prominent place of worship at that time (before the temple had been built), and there offered a thousand burnt offerings.
A thousand. Now that’s an impressive number — expensive, extravagant, and time consuming, when you consider all that went into the ritual. If each sacrifice took an hour to offer, for example, working around the clock it would have taken 42 days. Perhaps there were multiple sacrifices being prepared and offered at a time, but still, any way you look at it, Solomon spent a lot of time, money and effort in this endeavor.
I never really thought before about how much expense and time went into Solomon’s offering, but God recognized that effort and offered Solomon an unlimited reward. Whatever you want from me, just ask, He said.
We all know the story — Solomon asked for wisdom, and God was so pleased by this response (instead of wealth or glory or the destruction of his enemies) that He granted Solomon all that he didn’t ask for, in addition to the wisdom he did. All that, as the saying goes, and a bag of chips.
Wisdom, clearly, is what God wants us to pursue. So what is wisdom?
The Amplified Bible says Solomon asked for “an understanding mind and a hearing heart” — the wording in the Message translation is a “God-listening heart”.
Solomon gives his advice on wisdom in Proverbs 1, and verse 7 gives us step one:
7 Start with God—the first step in learning is bowing down to God;
only fools thumb their noses at such wisdom and learning. (MSG)
In society as a whole, as well as in the church today, so many of us try to be wise and knowledgeable while completely missing the foundation of wisdom: the fear of the Lord. Without that foundation, our knowledge is useless, and our attempts to be wise are nothing but arrogance.
The Spirit of God is crying out to our generation this morning, imploring us to seek true wisdom. Will we hear His voice?
20-21 Lady Wisdom goes out in the street and shouts.
At the town center she makes her speech.
In the middle of the traffic she takes her stand.
At the busiest corner she calls out:
22-24 “Simpletons! How long will you wallow in ignorance?
Cynics! How long will you feed your cynicism?
Idiots! How long will you refuse to learn?
About face! I can revise your life.
Look, I’m ready to pour out my spirit on you;
I’m ready to tell you all I know.
As it is, I’ve called, but you’ve turned a deaf ear;
I’ve reached out to you, but you’ve ignored me.
25-28 “Since you laugh at my counsel
and make a joke of my advice,
How can I take you seriously?
I’ll turn the tables and joke about your troubles!
What if the roof falls in,
and your whole life goes to pieces?
What if catastrophe strikes and there’s nothing
to show for your life but rubble and ashes?
You’ll need me then. You’ll call for me, but don’t expect
No matter how hard you look, you won’t find me.
29-33 “Because you hated Knowledge
and had nothing to do with the Fear-of-God,
Because you wouldn’t take my advice
and brushed aside all my offers to train you,
Well, you’ve made your bed—now lie in it;
you wanted your own way—now, how do you like it?
Don’t you see what happens, you simpletons, you idiots?
Carelessness kills; complacency is murder.
First pay attention to me, and then relax.
Now you can take it easy—you’re in good hands.” (Proverbs 1: 20-33, MSG)