I was sitting in the waiting room of my doctor and reading some of the magazines. I admit it was difficult to find any that were interesting enough to read, but I did find a survey of college students. The interviewer asked the students, “What is your main purpose for attending college?“
Now, you might expect some profound thoughts and great profundity stated on the value of higher education, but no, the most common answer was, “Happiness.” That was it. Oh, some said things like, “money,” or “success.” But it does give us a hint at what is plaguing our society. Rarely will you hear someone say, “I desire most of all, wisdom!” But that is what Solomon asked for, wasn’t it?
Now put yourself in his place. What is the one thing you would ask of Elohim if you absolutely knew that it would not be refused? A few million dollars? A new house? (A new spouse? Oops. sorry for letting your secret out). But interestingly, when Solomon was given such a choice, his answer really excited Yahweh! David had died, and as a young lad, Solomon became King over Israel. While he was at a place called Gibeon the Lord appeared to him in a dream. “Elohim said, ‘What can I give you?’” (I Kings 3:5) Cool! This is better than any genie in a bottle – this is the God who made heaven and earth telling him that he could have any request without putting conditions on it.
Solomon didn’t even seem to give a great deal of thought. He just said, “Give me a heart that listens so that I can judge your people and tell the difference between good and evil. After all, who can judge this great people of yours?” (I Kings 3:9) Essentially, Solomon was asking for wisdom to be a good king. Then the Scriptures simply say; “Adonay was pleased that Solomon asked for this” (I Kings 3:10). I should suppose so! In fact, Solomon later wrote,
Do not forget.
Do not turn away from the words that I have spoken.
Do not abandon wisdom, and it will watch over you.
Love wisdom, and it will protect you.
The beginning of wisdom is to acquire wisdom.
Acquire understanding with all that you have (Proverbs 4:5-7)
So the only thing Solomon asked for was wisdom? That’s right, because, in fact, what he learned was that wisdom was the key to the other things — and even more! Wisdom certainly brought the wealth, happiness, and success, but it also brought the understanding, the protection, and honor.
So how do we get all those things? Wisdom! How do we obtain wisdom? In the nature of our God, and in His Word! Our God never changes. He remains the same today as He was yesterday. He will be the same tomorrow as He always has been. So our first clue to getting wisdom rests in understanding Yahweh’s nature and ways. When we find Him and discover His ways, we uncover wisdom!
In II Chronicles we have more detail on what happened:
In Yahweh’s presence Solomon went to the bronze altar in front of the tent of meeting and sacrificed 1,000 burnt offerings on it (II Chronicles 1:6)
I say intriguing because right after Solomon made that impressive celebration, it says,
That night Elohim appeared to Solomon. He said, “What can I give you?” (II Chronicles 1:7)
I remember when I was teaching this years ago, someone asked me, “How come God doesn’t appear to me? If He is the same yesterday and today and tomorrow, He should do the same things.”
I paused a moment and it suddenly came to me! “Well, when was the last time you offered Him the sacrifice of thanksgiving or praise? When was the last time you offered yourself as a living sacrifice, wanting only Him and not something from Him?”
Solomon had never offered his sacrifice to Yahweh to get something in return. That offer for him to ask for anything came after the sacrifice was given! It was the Elohim’s reaction to Solomon’s sacrifice that He was moved to make the offer! Solomon’s motive for making the sacrifice was simply to love Him. He was so blessed by what Yahweh had done in his life that he joyfully exclaimed, “I am just going praise You, Lord, for who You are!”
I’ll tell you what when your worship and praise comes from your heart simply because . . . and with no ulterior motives, He will come and speak to you, In His presence you will experience wisdom. After Solomon worshiped and praised his God, Yahweh asked Solomon, “Ask me for anything, and I will give it to you!”
So, it seems obvious that the first key to receiving wisdom is our sincere and heartfelt, all-consuming, praise and worship!
This is what the Psalmist discovered:
You are holy, enthroned on the praises of Israel (Psalm 22:3)
He inhabits our praises, and when He shows up, wisdom appears! And Solomon very astutely asked for what only Yahweh could give!
But then we should recognize one more thing: if we desire wisdom, we need to ask for wisdom! But this is true for anything. John stated that we don’t have, because we don’t ask! (I John 4:2). Oh, but when you say something like that, people complain. So John added, “When you pray for things, you don’t get them because you want them for the wrong reason — for your own pleasure” (I John 4:3).
So if we want to receive, we must ask. But what keeps us from asking? Well, for some, it pride. For others, it is ignorance or selfish desires. What we need to continually ask ourselves is, “What is keeping me from asking for wisdom?” Once you figure it out, why don’t you write it down somewhere, then repent of it. This is an important point. No, not the writing it down, but the repenting of the barrier you have built. Just remember that when Solomon asked for wisdom, Yahweh didn’t just give him the wisdom, He gave Solomon the riches, wealth, and honor! But if you think about it, the Lord simply gave Solomon wisdom, and as a result of the wisdom he received, all of the other things came!
While you are asking for wisdom, why not ask the Lord for His wisdom in a specific situation or circumstance you are troubled with. Or, how about that relationship issue that has been tearing you up? Go ahead:
Father, grant me Your wisdom for:
The bottom line is don’t start seeking the riches, recognition, or even health. Simply seek after His wisdom! Not only will you receive the wisdom because she comes with two hands. In one hand are riches and honor. In the other hand is the length of days.
What is the dominant hand for most of us? That’s right, the right hand. Now, within Scripture, which hand refers to honor? Correct again, the right hand. Do you remember that Jesus sits on the “right hand” of Yahweh? This is because He is honored! (Boy, you’re good at answering these questions!).
However, do you know what is in the right hand of wisdom? It is long life! We need to order our priorities correctly. Health is certainly more important that all the riches in the world! How many people today would sell all they possessed to have an extra year of life?
Health, then riches and honor, all come to those who first seek wisdom! Allow your Father’s wisdom to be your heart’s desire. Make the pursuit of Yahweh and His wisdom the principal quest of your life.
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