The Wisest Person the World Has Ever Known
In the weeks and months ahead, I’ll be sharing wisdom on a number of topics from a variety of sources.
I believe the best place to start is, arguably, with the wisest person to ever walk the face of the earth, short of Jesus Christ. His name is King Solomon who ruled the nation of Israel for forty years, from 970-930 B.C.
Biblical scholars believe Solomon was about twenty years old when his father, Kind David, died and Solomon was named King of Israel. After Solomon’s accession to the throne, he went to Gibeon, the most important high place at that time to offer sacrifices to God.
“At Gibeon the LORD appeared to Solomon during the night in a dream, and God said, ‘Ask for whatever you want me to give you’.” (1Kings 3:5)
Solomon answered, “Now, O LORD my God, you have made your servant king in place of my father David. But I am only a little child (He was young and inexperienced, but he was humble enough to admit it) and do not know how to carry out my duties.” (1Kings 3:7)
Solomon continued, “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 wonder how each of us would have answered God under the same circumstances, or more realistically, if our boss asked that same question?
Whether we are parents, grandparents, business owners or in any kind of leadership role, especially as politicians, oh that we would all ask for the same thing Solomon asked for. The wisdom to “distinguish between right and wrong” with those we have power and authority over. And, a “discerning heart” with the courage and boldness to do what is right, regardless of personal cost!
“The LORD was pleased that Solomon had asked for this. So God said to him, ‘Since you have asked for this and not for long life or wealth for yourself, nor have asked for the death of your enemies but for discernment in administering justice, I will do what you have asked. I will give you a wise and discerning heart, so that there will never have been anyone like you, nor will there ever be (my emphasis added). Moreover, I will give you what you have not asked for – both riches and honor – so that in your lifetime you will have no equal among kings. And if you walk in my ways and obey my statutes and commands as David your father did, I will give you a long life’.” (1Kings 3:10-14)
How’s that for a blessing far beyond one’s wildest imagination and expectations, just for answering in a way that pleased God! There’s no telling what blessings might be in store for us when we choose to walk and talk in a way that pleases God!
“God gave Solomon wisdom and very great insight, and a breadth of understanding as measureless as the sand on the seashore. Solomon’s wisdom was greater than the wisdom of all the men of the East, and greater than all the wisdom of Egypt. He was wiser than any other man…” (1Kings 4:29-31)
“He spoke three thousand proverbs and his songs numbered a thousand and five.” (1Kings 4:32)
“Men of all nations came to listen to Solomon’s wisdom, sent by all the kings of the world, who had heard of his wisdom.” (1Kings 4:34)
We see in this Biblical account of King Solomon, “all the kings of the world” wanted to hear what he had to say. With that in mind, we’d certainly be foolish not to explore more deeply some of the wisdom he left us to consider, meditate on and apply to our own lives!
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See you next week for a deeper dive into the wisdom of King Solomon!