Summary: Having an education and intelligence is good, as is common sense, but we need godly wisdom to get through the challenges of life, and this is only obtainable by faith and trust in Almighty God.
Mark 6: 2b.
If God gave you a wish, what would you wish for?
Money? Good health? To be young again?
In the Old Testament, God rarely appeared to people,
but once He appeared to King Solomon, recorded in 1st Kings 3:4-15.
I have often wondered how I would have responded if I had heard, like Solomon,
the voice of God saying to me:
"Ask for whatever you want Me to give to you?" (I Kings 3 verse 5).
If God had said this me when I was in the RAF, I might have said ‘To be a pilot’.
If God had said this to me when I was a teacher,
I would probably have asked to become a Head.
If God gave me a wish today, I would say for this church to get 50 new members,
have heating that always works,
and a pitched roof covering the hall and the main sanctuary, that doesn’t leak.
I know, that’s 3 wishes! (so if God gave me one wish, I’d have to wish for 3 wishes.)
Anyway, how do you think you would have replied if God had asked you that question?
In the account in 1st Kings, Solomon could have asked for riches,
and most people of his time, and even our times,
would have considered that sensible;
pay off the mortgage, and all the bills, and set up our children or relatives;
but instead Solomon asked for 2 things: (like me, he cheated)
1. the ability to fulfil his God given duties,
to be a fair and just governor of people who he acknowledged
were not just the inhabitants of Israel,
but God’s people, that God had entrusted to his rule;
and 2. the ability to distinguish between right and wrong.
Solomon didn’t really cheat, turning one wish into two,
he just wanted the things of God more than riches and honour for himself.
What was most important for him at that time was to be able to walk in God’s ways.
Because Jesus walked in God’s ways, and more so than Solomon or any human being,
Mark 6: 2 records people saying of him ‘What’s this wisdom that has been given to him’
Most of the Proverbs contained in the OT are attributed to Solomon,
the wise son of David,
the king of Israel at the time of its greatest wealth, size and power.
Proverb 1 verse 7 says: ‘The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge,
but fools despise wisdom’,
preferring power or status or money to the exercise of common sense.
These words of Solomon echo the words of his father, David, in Psalm 14 verse 1:
‘The fool says in his heart, “There is no God”.’
There are a lot of clever people around today, like Richard Dorkins,
who are proud to proclaim their atheism.
If they are right then there is no meaning to life:
‘eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow we die’,
but if he is wrong, then those who gamble on atheism
will have all eternity to rue their mistake in rejecting God’s love.
The wisdom that the Bible talks about, the wisdom that Jesus so obviously possessed,
was based on His 100% trust in God,
which is different to the wisdom the world outside this church talks about.
Outside the church wisdom takes the form of wise sayings, such as:
We could learn a lot from crayons; some are sharp, some are blunt,
some are bright and some are dull, and all are different colours;
but they all have to learn to live in the same box.
It’s nice to be important, but it’s more important to be nice.
My mind works like lightning...one brilliant flash and it is gone!
You are not fully dressed until you wear a smile.
We all love a good loser – as long as it isn’t us.
A smile happens in a flash, but the memory of it often lasts for ever.
The best thing about air travel is that it lets you pass motorists at a safe distance.
The average shopping trolley holds one child and a week’s wages.
A man cannot live by chocolate alone, but a woman can!
People who say they sleep like a baby usually don’t have one.
The secret of dealing successfully with a child is not to be its parent.
I wondered WHY Solomon made such a good and wise choice
in response to God’s question: “"What can I give you? Ask for whatever you want."
I can think of three reasons:
The first reason must have been his father’s influence,
the good influence of David his father,
the shepherd boy who had killed Goliath and gone on with God’s help to become king.
We read in 1 Kings 2:1-3 of David giving Solomon a solemn charge