Summary: The wise father shares the value of wisdom with his children, as well as the vanity of the world and its promises.
The Value of Wisdom: Let's Make A Deal
There abounds stories about people getting to make wishes, or even 3 wish. The old story of finding an ancient bottle on the beach, rubbing it, and a Genie coming out to grant the finder three wishes is a classic. Can you imagine being granted three wishes? I cant. I can't even imagine being granted one wish.
1 Kings 3:3-14 Solomon loved the LORD, walking in the statutes of David his father, only he sacrificed and made offerings at the high places. 4 And the king went to Gibeon to sacrifice there, for that was the great high place. Solomon used to offer a thousand burnt offerings on that altar.
5 At Gibeon the LORD appeared to Solomon in a dream by night, and God said, "Ask what I shall give you."
6 And Solomon said, "You have shown great and steadfast love to your servant David my father, because he walked before you in faithfulness, in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart toward you. And you have kept for him this great and steadfast love and have given him a son to sit on his throne this day. 7 And now, O LORD my God, you have made your servant king in place of David my father, although I am but a little child. I do not know how to go out or come in. 8 And your servant is in the midst of your people whom you have chosen, a great people, too many to be numbered or counted for multitude. 9 Give your servant therefore an understanding mind to govern your people, that I may discern between good and evil, for who is able to govern this your great people?"
10 It pleased the Lord that Solomon had asked this. 11 And God said to him, "Because you have asked this, and have not asked for yourself long life or riches or the life of your enemies, but have asked for yourself understanding to discern what is right, 12 behold, I now do according to your word. Behold, I give you a wise and discerning mind, so that none like you has been before you and none like you shall arise after you. 13 I give you also what you have not asked, both riches and honor, so that no other king shall compare with you, all your days. 14 And if you will walk in my ways, keeping my statutes and my commandments, as your father David walked, then I will lengthen your days."
Illus. When I was a boy, my dad asked me if I could have one wish be granted, what would it be? We played that game as a family, and every time my brother or one of my sisters thought of a better wish than I though about, I would change my wish. Then my dad unplugged all the fun by coming up with what we determined to be the greatest wish ever. He said, "I wish that every wish that I wish would come true."
The unending wish! One wish that grants all other wishes! That would be it.
Through the years, I have contemplated how tragic that would have been. For instance, my fifth grade teacher would have exploded in front of all of us students. The school bully would have come upon a tragic end to teach all other bullies.
...and I would have been a murderer. A rich, greedy, spoiled murderer, but I would have, in my anger, wished some people to death.
No wonder James warned us, "You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions." James 4:2-3. Somehow, without the Apostle James meeting me, he knew of the wickedness that lived in my heart.
Solomon, the author of this great book of Proverbs, was given the opportunity to make one wish by God. What is the most valuable thing in the world? What would God consider the most valuable?
Consider God for a moment. What is the value of gold to God? zilch. Money? Fame? Popularity? Oil wells? All of those are nothing to God. Everything you can mention that we value, He could create with the puff of His breath.
What does God say the most valuable thing in the universe is? Wisdom.
We will do a quick survey of Proverbs 2 and pick out what makes wisdom so priceless. Just realize there is far more here in this chapter than we will cover.
Pro 2:1-5 My son, if you receive my words and treasure up my commandments with you, 2 making your ear attentive to wisdom and inclining your heart to understanding; 3 yes, if you call out for insight and raise your voice for understanding, 4 if you seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures, 5 then you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God.