By Dustin Allman
Pastor, The Fort Church, Kingsport.
Focal Passage: I Kings 3:4-15
A father and son went fishing one day. After a couple hours in the boat, the boy asked his father, “Dad, how does this boat float?” The father thought for a moment, then replied, “Don’t rightly know, son.”
A few minutes later the son asked, “How do fish breathe underwater?” The father replied, “Don’t rightly know, son.”
Later that afternoon, the boy asked, “Why is the sky blue?” Again, the father replied. “Don’t rightly know, son.”
Worried he was annoying his father, he asks, “Dad, do you mind all these questions?” “Of course not, son. If you don’t ask questions, you’ll never learn anything!”
We learn by asking questions. Yet simply having knowledge of something doesn’t equate to wisdom. Scripture outlines wisdom as applying what you know as a result of pursuing God, the source of wisdom. Solomon needed wisdom outside of his own ability to practically lead God’s people.
Solomon displays humble dependence. In I Kings 3, God invites the young king Solomon to ask for anything! This was surely a test. In verses 5-15, five times the word “ask” and five times the word “give” is used. God invites us to ask for wisdom and God loves to give it.
Solomon didn’t ask for riches or mighty armies. Seeing the enormous responsibility before him and the multitudes of people, he asked for wisdom! Solomon showed wisdom by recognizing he lacked wisdom! Solomon declares “I’m just a kid!” He doesn’t know how to go out or come in (vv. 7-8).
The job is over his head! If I told my six year old son that he should try out for the NFL next season, he would feel inadequate! Solomon is admitting inadequacy!
God is pleased to bless requests that honor Him. Verse 10 says the Lord was pleased that Solomon asked for wisdom. James 1:5 reminds us, “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God who gives generously…” Don’t determine significance by what is physically accumulated, but by submission to God.
You can be filled with Bible knowledge and never apply it. You can be emotionally moved during a worship service and continue a rebellious life. Wisdom isn’t measured by our knowledge or level of emotion.
Proverbs 9:10 says, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom.” This is a holy fear that reveres God, submits to God, and worships God. This is wisdom worth pursuing. Paul prays that the churches would grow in wisdom! (Colossians 1:9, Ephesians 1:17).
Seeking wisdom is a sign of maturity. If a Christian is not growing in wisdom, they are not growing in maturity. We think, “Well, I’m no king. I don’t need wisdom like that!”
But whatever you do in this life in Jesus’ name is important. Don’t underestimate small things. The easiest way to turn away from wisdom is to stop seeing our need for Christ. When we fail to recognize our need for forgiveness, we turn away from wisdom. To go through life not realizing our need for a Savior is unwise. B&R