Summary: The importance of wise living
SERIES: BE SATISFIED
Two young engineers applied for a single position at a computer company. They both had the same qualifications. In order to determine which individual to hire, the applicants were asked to take a test by the department manager. Upon completion of the test, both men missed only one of the questions. The manager went to the first applicant and said, “Thank you for your interest, but we’ve decided to give the job to the other applicant.”
“And why would you be doing that? We both got 9 questions correct,” asked the rejected applicant. “We have based our decision not on the correct answers, but on the question you missed,” said the department manager.
“And just how would one incorrect answer be better than the other?” the rejected applicant inquired. “Simple,” said the department manager. “Your fellow applicant put down on question #5, ‘I don’t know.’ You
put down, ‘Neither do I.’”
If we want to learn something about wisdom, you would think the person to learn from would be Solomon. At David’s death, when Solomon was to become king of Israel. At that time, 1 Kings 3:5 records – At Gibeon the LORD appeared to Solomon during the night in a dream, and God said, “Ask for whatever you want me to give you.”
Hear what Solomon said: 1 Kings 3:6-9 – Solomon answered, “You have shown great kindness to your servant, my father David, because he was faithful to you
and righteous and upright in heart. You have continued this great kindness to him and have given him a son to sit on his throne this very day. Now, O LORD my God, you have made your servant king in place of my father
David. But I am only a little child and do not know how to carry out my duties. Your servant is here among the
people you have chosen, a great people, too numerous to count or number. So give your servant a discerning
heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong. For who is able to govern this great people of yours?”
What was it that Solomon said that he wanted more than anything? Wisdom. 1 Kings 3:10 tells us that God was very pleased with Solomon for choosing wisdom. And because Solomon asked for wisdom, listen to what God said to him: 1 King 3:11-14 – So God said to him, “Since you have asked for this and not for long life or
wealth for yourself, nor have asked for the death of your enemies but for discernment in administering justice, I will do what you have asked. I will give you a wise and discerning heart, so that there will never have been anyone like you, nor will there ever be. Moreover, I will give you what you have not asked for—both riches
and honor—so that in your lifetime you will have no equal among kings. And if you walk in my ways and obey
my statutes and commands as David your father did, I will give you a long life.”
J.I. Packer says, “Wisdom is the power to see and the inclination to choose the best and highest goal, together with the surest means of attaining it.” Solomon would write in Prov. 4:5-7 – Get wisdom, get understanding; do not forget my words or swerve from them. Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you; love her, and she will watch over you. Wisdom is supreme, therefore get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding.
A PIVOTAL THOUGHT ABOUT WISDOM
Eccl. 7:10 – Do not say, “Why were the old days better than these?” For it is not wise to ask such questions. Solomon’s admonition here is: It is not wise to always wish for the “good old days.”
Ezra records that when the Jews returned to the Promised Land after the Babylonian Captivity that the temple had to be rebuilt. He says that when the foundation was laid for the second temple, the old men cried “for the good old days” and the young men sang songs of rejoicing because the work had begun.
It’s been said that “the good old days” are the combination of a bad memory and a good imagination. Were the “good old days” really the “good old days”? Ours memories tend to leave out the bad parts of the “good old days.”
In the 1930’s, there was major crime and the Depression. In the 1940’s, we were embroiled in World War II. In the 1950’s, there was the Korean War, the Red Scare, and fear of nuclear war. Remember all the people who built bomb shelters? In the 1960’s, there was the assassinations of John F. Kennedy, his brother Robert, and Martin Luther King, Jr. There was also the Vietnam conflict, the hippie movement, and civil unrest along with the fear of nuclear war. In the 1970’s, there was still the Vietnam conflict and civil unrest along with a major recession. We tend to forget all those little things, don’t we?