Summary: What role does wisdom play in the everyday life of a believer, and what exactly is wisdom?
As I was writing the sermon this week, a memory came to the forefront of my mind. It had been hidden somewhere in my psyche for many years, but I believe that the Holy Spirit brought it to my attention for Gods purposes. I did a little research to confirm my foggy memory and indeed it was true. I was recalling a television show that I watched when I was in elementary school. It was set at a summer camp, Salute something was the title. It slowly came to me, the show was called Salute your Shorts on Nickelodeon. It was a summer camp for young teens and the title came from them running someone’s shorts up the flagpole and instructing passerby’s to salute.
I believe I was 9 years old at the time and the specific episode that was coming to my mind revolved around a frog jumping contest. Two young ladies who resided in the same cabin encountered a conflict. Without knowing the prize for the competition, one girl gave her champion jumping frog to the other since she wasn’t very interested in participating. But, when she found out the prize was a night in town, she wanted her frog back. Unable to resolve the situation they of course went to the stereotypical smart kid. Everyone called him sponge and he was skinny, wore glasses, and had a bad haircut. He assessed the situation and came to the conclusion that they should both hold the frog, one by the front legs and the other by the back legs. When he gave the word, they should begin to pull and whoever ended up with the frog would be the winner. Just as they were to start pulling one of the girls refused in fear of hurting the frog and surrendered it to the other. But as the victor began to celebrate, Sponge awarded the frog back to the first girl, because as the true owner, she had preferred to see it alive and belonging to another than in two pieces.
At the time I was awestruck by the twist and didn’t know that the storyline had been influenced by none other than the Bible. King Solomon is recorded as being given the opportunity to ask God for anything he desired. Instead of wealth or long life, he asked God for wisdom and discernment in ruling the people. And the Lord was very pleased with Solomon’s request. The bible then records a story of two prostitutes who lived in the same home. They both became pregnant and gave birth within days of each other. During the night one of the mothers rolled on top of her child and it died. Realizing this she switched the dead child with the other mothers live baby. In the morning the other mother woke to find a dead child in her bed. But after close examination concluded that it was not her child.
The two women came before the king and began to argue about who the rightful mother of the living child was. They each claimed the child was theirs. In response the King ordered that a sword be brought to him. Then he ordered that the child be cut in two and half given to each woman. The real mother of the child was filled with compassion and asked for the child to be given to the other woman without being harmed, meanwhile the other was content that the child be killed and neither woman have him. This was sufficient for the king. He gave the baby to the first woman recognizing that she was the true mother.
As I read that story for the first time, I remembered the TV show I had seen years before. I was impressed with the great wisdom that God had given to Solomon. So impressed I believe that I prayed for God to grant me wisdom like he did to Solomon.
Last week Pastor Mark talked about the heart of Jesus and that we should follow the example Jesus set out for us to make his house a house of prayer. Well I believe Jesus set an example for us to follow when it comes to wisdom as well.
According to the gospels, Jesus grew in wisdom and in stature and in favor with men. Can we admit this morning that we might need to grow in wisdom as well? Men, if we had more wisdom maybe we would listen to our wives and do what they ask the first time. Ladies, if you had more wisdom you would realize that the end of a basketball game isn’t the best time to start a conversation. Teens, you need wisdom just to survive middle and high school. Senior adults, you need wisdom to pass along to the younger generation and wisdom to know how to best do that.