needed: the wisdom of Solomon, and then some

The Queen of the South will rise at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for she came from the ends of the earth to listen to Solomon’s wisdom, and now something greater than Solomon is here.

Matthew 12

The mission of Our Daily Bread Ministries “is to make the life-changing wisdom of the Bible understandable and accessible to all.” The Bible, God’s written word taps into the wisdom of the Word himself, Jesus. We need all of scripture, but we need it in terms of this final wisdom, a wisdom greater even than that of Solomon.

Wisdom is simply knowing what is fitting, what is good, or best to do at a particular time. The classic Solomon story depicting his God-given wisdom is that of the two prostitutes, one whose baby had died. Both wanted the baby that remained alive, so Solomon stated that he would cut the baby in two and give each half to both. The one who wasn’t the true mother agreed to that, while the true mother pleaded with Solomon not to, telling him that the other woman could have him. Solomon then pronounced judgment that the woman who was concerned for the life of the child was the mother, and that the baby should be given to her (1 Kings 3).

We sometimes find situations in our own lives which require so much more wisdom than we possess. We are told in scripture that in the midst of trials, we should ask God for wisdom, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and if we don’t doubt in the sense of being double-minded, in other words, if we really want this wisdom, and trust God to give it to us, then we will receive it (James 1).

We need to pray for those in governing positions, that God would grant them wisdom. That thought is very much in keeping with the prayer Solomon prayed (see again, 1 Kings 3). But given the rhetoric of some Christians concerning some elected officials, as well as those running for election, and on either side, I am wondering if we actually pray for wisdom for such, as we ought to. And even if we are faithful to do so for the officials we more or less support. We are told to pray for those in such positions of power and responsibility (1 Timothy 2).

There is no doubt that wisdom is a major theme in Scripture. And God’s final Word in Jesus, who is wisdom to God for us (1 Corinthians 1), is key. We need to both rest in that Wisdom, and wrestle in this life to receive it as need be, to make difficult decisions which sometimes face us. God is faithful, and in Jesus will see us through.

Does that mean that we’ll always make the best decisions, since we are trying to trust in God’s provision for us for wisdom in and through Jesus? I don’t think so. But even in the midst of some mistakes we inevitably will make in this life, or perhaps simply decisions which are not the very best since we do possess incomplete knowledge, the Lord will give us the wisdom we need to see us through. We need to trust God for that.

Where the rubber meets the road, after having prayed, we need to make the best decision we can, and when it has been made and carried out, then we have to leave the matter in God’s hands and go on. One thing I should have mentioned in all of this is the importance of gathering counsel from others. Proverbs tells us that there’s safety in a multitude of counselors. This is surely especially true for elected officials, but in our information gathering, it is good to receive counsel from a trusted friend who is knowledgeable in an area in which we’re not.

All of this to say once again that we need to keep adding on little by little the life-changing wisdom we find in scripture, fulfilled and made complete in Jesus. We need to keep working at it day after day. While asking God when we’re stumped for the special wisdom we need to make a decision, and to make it through a particular trial. All of this in and through Jesus.

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