We seek after a lot of things in this life, things like wealth, health, popularity, and success. Although those things are not bad in an of themselves, unless they become your existence for living, there is something that is greater to seek after than all of those combined.
Proverbs 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.
The wisdom in our story today was much more than just earthly wisdom even though that was also attained in the visit by the Queen. The wisdom that was sought was wisdom from God and about God. When we talk about wisdom we are talking about not just being smarter or wiser than everyone else we are talking about having wisdom of knowing God. Earthly wisdom with all of its advantages, Solomon tells us, is worthless at the end of our lives. (Ecclesiastes 2:21)
Solomon being the wisest man who ever lived knew that if he was going to be a king than wisdom is what he needed to run the kingdom God had put him in charge of. God offered him anything he wanted and yet Solomon only asked for wisdom but it was with wisdom that he attained so much more.(2 Chronicles 1:11-12)
Wisdom is what we all need. Solomon who wrote the book of Proverbs has guided many people to be wise. George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, Henry Ford, and Thomas Edison were all readers of the book of Proverbs in their youth. If you study successful people who did not read the book of Proverbs and you study what made them successful all the principles they talk about are listed in the book of proverbs.
Do you want to be a successful business person? Then Solomon can help you with that.
Do you want to be successful in your marriage? Then Solomon can help you with that.
Do you want to live a long prosperous life? Then Solomon can help you with that.
Here is a list of everything you will find in the book of Proverbs written by Solomon.
Knowledge, Discretion, Good Judgement, preservation and protection, Success, Better Health, Longer Life, Honor, Financial Abundance, Favor of those in Authority, Promotions, Financial independence, Confidence, Strength of Character, Courage, Extraordinary Achievement, Personal fulfillment, Great Relationships, Meaningful life, Love of others, understanding and True wisdom.
Searching for wisdom is not easy especially in this day in age where there are so many voices trying to be heard. So many false prophets and liars who are trying to get us to buy into their way of life or the wisdom of the world. (1 Corinthians 3:19) So lets look at our story today and see why we need to have wisdom.
People that have wisdom:
Read 1 Kings 10:1-3
1) Will be sought out by others
1 Peter 3:15 but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect,
The Queen had questions that she needed answered and she had heard that Solomon was the one who could answer them. The Bible tells us that we should always be ready to give answers to those who ask because we will never know when those around us will grow weary of the world we live in and seek out the truth about life. As the world continues to offer its hallow solutions for life I believe more and more people will be searching for the truth.
There was no boundary that kept the Queen from finding the truth because he crossed the Arabian desert which many at the time believed was the end of the earth.
Jeremiah 29:13 says that you will seek me and find me when you seek me with all of your heart. God will always answer the person who truly wants to know the truth of who He is. Jesus mentions this Queen when he is rebuking the religious leaders for not believing.
Matthew 12:42 The queen of the South will rise up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and behold, something greater than Solomon is here.
She traveled through dangerous territory and really put herself in a vulnerable position to not be as protected as she normally would be. She more than likely had a small army with her but the trip really did expose her to danger she would not experience in her kingdom.
She came seeking the truth and was willing to pay any amount to receive it. Spices, Gold and precious stones she brought to King Solomon so she could buy wisdom. I believe she became a follower of God because of the influence of Solomon and it says that later she went to the temple with him. Colossians 4:5 says we are to make the most of every opportunity with outsiders with wisdom because we never know the eternal impact we will make on others.
Read 1 Kings 10:4-9
2) Have a good reputation
Proverbs 22:1 A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, and favor is better than silver or gold.
Word about Solomon’s life was spread all the way across the Arabian Desert to where this Queen lived. The stories she heard about his life did not even come close to what she experienced when she visited. She noticed his worship and it left her breathless.
I love that while she was with Solomon, he went and offered sacrifices to God. This Queen went to worship with Solomon and in verse 9 discovers and praises God for Solomon. Solomon did not change his routine because such an important person was in town but he lived his life in front of her and her entourage just like he would if they were not there.
She points out that he executes righteousness and justice and she notices all the magnificent structures and gold. Don’t miss that the thing that impressed another person who had money, power and success is the character of Solomon. Your life will always speak louder than what you say. “Well Done is better than Well Said”
The wise live their lives in such a way that their reputations speaks volumes about who they really are. She noticed that all those who were around him were happy because of the way he lived his life. We can fool many people but those who live with us are the ones who really know us.
Those who live wisely benefit those who are closest to them. If you think about the poor decisions that people make it is those closest to them that get hurt by their poor decision making. The child who rebels hurts his family. The boss who makes poor decisions which hurts his employees. The husband who cheats on his wife are all examples of how unwise decisions impact those closest to us. When we live with wisdom then we will have a positive impact on those who we love and who are closest to us.
Read 1 Kings 10:23
3) Continue to grow in wisdom
Wisdom is not a place you reach but a continual process to be sought after.
Ephesians 5:15-17 Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.
The majority of Americans waste their time on mindless activities. People would vote for an American Idol, Dancing with the Stars but not educate themselves about who is running for president. As Christians we cannot get in the trap of the rest of the world where we are involving our lives in mindless activities that have no significance for eternity. Paul clearly says that we are to know the will of the Lord and that will only come as we seek to continually gain wisdom from God.
Matthew 10:16 Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.
Serpents symbolized wisdom by having good judgment, perceived as being smart and cautious. Doves represented pure, innocent and harmless. It will take a lot of wisdom in these days in order for us to live our lives, train our children and function in a society that is becoming anti- God. One of the main ways you can become wise is by spending time in Gods word but there are also others ways to gain wisdom.
A) By choosing who you hang around
Proverbs 13:20 whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm. (See Also proverbs 14:7)
B) By learning from others
Proverbs 19:20 Listen to advice and accept instruction, that you may gain wisdom in the future
C) By asking God
James 1:5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.
Did you ask God about your situation? Part of asking God is spending time in His word and looking for wisdom. Reading proverbs every day is one way to set you up to gain wisdom. We read a lot of books by a lot of people and yet Solomon was the smartest man who ever lived and we ignore his writings.
We all need wisdom from God in this life, what one specific thing are you going to pray for wisdom for?