1. Calvin Coleridge, “Wisdom is common sense, in an uncommon degree.”
2. Solomon certainly had that kind of wisdom to an almost unbelievable degree.
3. Introduction to the Book of Proverbs.
Proverbs 1:1 (NKJV)
1 The proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel:
I. First, the Manner of the writing.
Proverbs – “The word means “to represent; something in the place of many words. It has the idea of comparison or similarity…Put simply, Proverbs is a book of godly advice.”
“The Hebrew word translated “Proverbs “mishlai” is derived from the root word mashal, which means “to rule” as in Gen. 1:18 and 3:16. Mishlai therefore are words and saying that are supposed to rule and govern life. The book of Proverbs then is not simple a collection of bits of human wisdom. It contains God’s rules.” [Phillips]
“The root can have the idea of “likeness.” The related Niphal verb means “to be like, be like, be comparable with” e.g., “he is like the beast that perish” (Psa.49:12). The noun can mean an object lesson based on or using a comparison or analogy. It may be a short pithy statement (Ezk. 16:44), object lesson drawn from experience (Psa. 78:2-6), saying or by-word (Deut. 28:37) or an oracle of future blessing (Ezk. 21:1-5). Here it means an object lesson, setting out courses of action. It helps one choose the course of action to follow or avoid.” [NET]
Proverbs 1:1 (NCV)
1 These are the wise words of Solomon son of David, king of Israel.
Proverbs 1:1 (MSG)
1 These are the wise sayings of Solomon, David's son, Israel's king—
Proverbs 1:1 (AMP)
1 THE PROVERBS (truths obscurely expressed, maxims, and parables) of Solomon son of David, king of Israel:
II. Finally, the Man who wrote the book.
A. The Spiritual influences that Prepared Solomon.
This section is gleamed from Bible teacher David Jeremiah…
1. God Prophesied blessings upon him before he was born (I Chron. 22:9-10)
2. God Pronounced blessing upon him at his birth (2 Sam.12:24-25)
3. God Pointed him out as Israel’s next king (1 Chron. 29:1)
4. David Prayed for God’s blessing to be upon him (I Chron. 29:19)
5. God Poured out a blessing upon Solomon when he became King (I Chron. 29:25)
6. David Prepared him for the challenges he would face (I Chron. 28:9-10/I Ki. 3:12).
B. The Scriptural experience that Endowed Solomon. 1 Ki. 3:1-28
Intro: Spurgeon defined wisdom “as the right use of knowledge” but where does such knowledge come from? As Solomon discovers, from God alone.”
I. For starters, the Privation [lack] of wisdom. I Ki.3:1-4
A. Foreign Woman. 3:1 (I Ki. 11:1-4)
A Sunday school teacher was discussing King Solomon and all his faults with the class. One student objected, “Maybe were being to hard on him?” Another student replied, “That’s ok, anybody with that many wives is use to it!”
B. False Worship. 2-4 (I Ki. 11:5-8)
Solomon was still a sinner, both before and after receiving wisdom, just like all of us!
Martin Luther’s companion in the reformation Melanchthon once received a letter from Luther, who was working on the translation of the N.T. He writes:
“I sit here at ease, hardening and unfeeling – alas! Praying little, grieving little for the Church of God, burning rather in the fierce fires of my untamed flesh. It comes to this: I should be afire in the spirit; in reality I am afire in the flesh, with lust, laziness, idleness, and sleepiness…It is perhaps because you have all ceased praying for me that God has turned away from me. For the last eight days I have written nothing, nor prayed, nor studied, partly from self-indulgence…I really cannot stand it any longer. Prayer for me, I beg you, for in my seclusion here I am submerged in sins.”
II. Furthermore, the Petition for wisdom. 3:5-15
A. The opportunity was Derived from God. V. 5 (Jn. 14:14)
B. He Decided to respond. 6-9 (Ja. 4:2)
We must ask! E. Stanly Jones, “In prayer you align yourselves to the purpose and power of God and He is able to do things through you that He wouldn’t do otherwise…God has left certain things open to prayer – thing which will never be done except as we respond in prayer.”
Ron Dunn, “The important thing is to pray. How important? Only this: There are some things, God will do if we ask Him too, and things that He will not do, if we do not ask Him. We carelessly say, “Well, whatever happens is God’s will. If God wants me to have this, I will get it. That is only partially true. The words of Jesus, “If you ask, I will do,” carry the implication that if we do not ask, Jesus will not act.” Ja. 1:5
Abraham Lincoln, “I have been driven many times to my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had nowhere else to go. My wisdom, and that of all the resources about me, seemed insufficient for the day.”
C. It Delighted God. 3:10-12 (Prov. 15:8)
“Think of all the things that bring delight to God’s heart and imagine our prayers being included! Here comes His upright one’s, who have been redeemed by the blood of the Lamb, and whose names, have been written down in glory – there is an Abraham praying for Sodom; a Moses interceding for Israel; a Daniel on his knees reminding God of a prophecy needing to be fulfilled. There is Paul, with his prayer list…And God is delighted! The question is, when was the last time, you brought delight to the heart of God?” [John Phillips]
D. He was Deluged with God’s blessings. 13 (Eph. 3:20)
Deluge. Noun. 1. A great flood. A heavy downpour. 2. Something that overwhelms us as if by a great flood: a deluge of fan mail. 3. Deluge. Bible. In the OT, the great flood that occurred in the time of Noah.
Verb. Deluged, deluging, deluges. 1. To overrun with water, inundate. 2. To overwhelm with a large number or amount.” [American Heritage Dictionary]
Reminds me of a teenager girl who prayed for a husband, she recorded in her diary:
“Dear God, I pray all unafraid, as girls are wont to be
I do not want a handsome man, But make him, Lord like Thee.
I do not need one big and strong, nor yet so very tall.
Nor need he be some genius, or wealthy, Lord not at all.
But let his head be high, dear God, and let his eye be clear,
His shoulders straight, what’re his fate, whatever his earthly sphere.
And let his face have character, a ruggedness of soul
And let his whole life show, dear God, a singleness of goal
And when he comes, as he will come
With quiet eyes aglow, I’ll know, dead Lord,
That he’s the man, I prayed for long ago.”
The girl who wrote that was Ruth long before she met Billy Graham…
E. God Demanded obedience. 14-15 (I Jn. 3:22)
Bounds, “If you have an earnest desire to pray well, you must learn how to obey well. If you have a desire to learn to pray, then you must have an earnest desire to learn how to do God’s will.
Nowhere does He approve of sin or excuse disobedience. To excuse sinning by the plea
that obedience is not possible to unregenerate men is to discount the character of the new birth and to place men where effective prayer is not possible. He who prays well must obey.”
III. Finally, the Proclamation of this wisdom. 3:16-28
A. The Problem. 16-22
B. The Proposal. 23-25
C. The Protest. 26
D. The Pronouncement. 27-28
God still is in the business of giving His children supernatural, unexplainable wisdom.
David Brainerd was a man of wisdom because he was a man who had a steady prayer life. S.D. Gordon wrote about David:
“In the depth of those forest, alone, unable t speak the language of the Indians, he spent whole days literally in prayer. He knew that he could not reach those savages; especially not knowing the language!
If he wanted to communicate with them, he must find somebody who could interpret his thoughts to them. He knew that should he accomplish anything, he must draw upon the power of God.
The result was he found someone who could interpret his words; unfortunately the man was fond of the bottle. Once when he preached, this interpreter was so drunk that he could hardly stand up! Yet, Scores were converted to Christ!”
That’s wisdom! Realizing one’s total inability and depending upon God’s sufficiency.
Johnny Palmer Jr.