The blog is going up later and later these days. What can I say? It's summer! But alas, I'm here and ready to rattle on about today's Trailblazer.
I have to pause at this point and tell you that while I'm about a week behind in my read-the-Bible-through reading plan, I am thoroughly enjoying my reading time these days. I'm trying to read two entries a day right now so I can catch up, and I can say with all truthfulness that it's just not a struggle right now at all. I'm the first to admit that sometimes I do fall behind because the reading seems to be a drudgery. (I sure hope I don't get struck down by lightening for saying that; it's just the honest truth!) But other times I absolutely delight in reading the daily passages from the Old Testament, New Testament, Psalms, and Proverbs.
Today I read about Solomon. I just said goodbye to his father David yesterday (learned so much from him this time around!) and Solomon has just settled securely onto his throne after taking out a few disloyal trouble makers.
While you're probably aware that Solomon didn't end that well, he did lead a life worth noting. He took the throne at a relatively young age evidently and, as noted earlier, had to deal with a little bit of confusion and disloyalty at the beginning of his reign. But he eventually managed to build the Temple in which God would reign and, boy, did he do a splendid job. It must have been a spectacular masterpiece, unequaled since then.
But I won't be building any temples any time soon and you probably won't either (except the ones the Holy Spirit now resides in of course! that would be me and you, our very bodies!), so I won't dwell on that today. Instead, let's talk about the other thing people from all over the world came to Jerusalem for besides the temple - the wisdom of Solomon.
I found it interesting as I read today to discover that Solomon didn't just ask God for wisdom, as I'd always thought he did. He actually asked for a specific kind of wisdom.
"So give Thy servant an understanding heart
to judge Thy people
to discern between good and evil.
For who is able to judge this great people of Thine?"
1 Kings 3:9
And God said to him, "Because you
have asked this thing and have not asked
for yourself long life,
nor have asked riches for yourself,
nor have you asked for the life of your enemies,
but have asked for yourself
discernment to understand justice,
behold, I have done according to your words.
Behold, I have given you a wise
and discerning heart,
so that there has been no one like you
before you, nor shall one like you
arise after you.
1 Kings 3:11-12
Solomon wanted to be wise and discerning for a reason: so he could carry out the job God had given him with integrity and godly success. He wanted to use his wisdom to honor God and rule His people justly.
Silly me, I thought Solomon just wanted to be wise! But what he really wanted was to please God, to serve Him well, and to treat others fairly. I have a feeling his motivation for asking for wisdom was every bit as important to our holy God as the request itself.
Boy howdy! I need wisdom too. I need to practice discernment with our finances, in relationships, in the choices I make. I need to know how to "judge" my children fairly, how to discipline them wisely, and how to help them discern what are the best decisions for them. I need wisdom as a wife - so I'll know when to speak and when to hold my tongue, so I'll discern when my husband is tired and a little needy, and so I can wisely protect our relationship from anything or anyone that might threaten it. And I need wisdom so I can minister to others without enabling them, so I can speak a timely word, so I can read and study the Bible accurately, and so I can apply it to my life correctly.
Desiring wisdom for wisdom's sake is no more noble than desiring great riches or power or fame or safety or protection. But when we desire wisdom so that we can live holy and honorable lives for our God, I believe He'll grant it every time. James 1:5 tells us that if we lack wisdom we can ask God for it and He will give it to us generously without criticism or reproach. But that doesn't mean God is in the business of loading us down with wise and pithy sayings, cramming our heads with knowledge, and giving us supernatural discernment just so we can show off or walk around with our noses in the air. That kind of wise guy (and I know a few of them, mind you) turns me off and I bet he turns God off too! But wisdom desired for pure and holy living is both winsome to others and pleasing to God. That's why the Bible says that people came from all over to hear the wisdom of Solomon:
When all Israel heard of the judgment which
the king had handed down,
they feared the king;
for they saw that the wisdom of God
was in him to administer justice.
1 Kings 3:28
So the question today is, am I a "wise guy" (or gal) or do I have the wisdom of God given to me so I can "do justice" or what is right? No one likes a wise guy, but we all love folks who consistently do the right thing.
Here's wishing you the wisdom of Solomon! Not so you can walk around with your head in the clouds, but so you can live well here on earth!
Labels: Trailblazer Tuesday