The Wisdom of Solomon
This is part of the ChristianWriters.com blog chain, with the June theme of “Pursuit”. Please check out the list to the right for other blogs during the month.
Sharon and I were checking out the furniture before the auction. As we walked through the aisles, she noticed a beautiful oak chest-of-drawers. She called me over to see it and let me know she loved it. Of course, since she loved it, I did too – so, we decided to bid on it and determined what our maximum bid could be.
About an hour into the auction, they took the chest to the front of the room. Sharon squeezed my arm and whispered, “There it is!”
The bidding started and we let a couple of rounds go by before we jumped in. The bids were lower and slower than we expected and were still much below our planned price. I made a bid that was countered by a slightly higher one. We looked at each other, and since we were still well within our limit, I raised the bid.
We waited excitedly as the seconds ticked by with no other response – then, really got excited when we heard “sold”. The chest was ours for half the cost we thought it would be!
We relaxed and settled back triumphantly to watch more of the auction. The helpers at the front picked up a chest and walked away with it. Then, two others picked up “our” chest and moved it to the center. The auctioneer started with “now, we have this beautiful oak chest – what am I bid?”
I stood up and started to shout, “Wait, we just bought that one!”, but quickly deduced the mistake was ours. We had not been paying attention through most of the auction, and now realized “our” oak chest had been in the waiting area where the items coming up next were set.
We hadn’t even noticed the chest that really was now ours. I had to go walk through the aisles of sold stuff and search for our number. I found a plain pine chest of drawers – probably worth what we paid for it, but we had no desire to take it home. We left it there on consignment to be sold at the next auction.
The results of the waylaid process were:
- The pine chest sold at the next auction, but when they took the seller’s fee out, we lost money.
- The oak chest sold for about twice what we said we could afford to pay for it, so our plan wasn’t realistic from the beginning.
- We learned the lesson that we need to be sure what we’re bidding on before we jump in.
Our pursuit of the chest had gone astray, and it was obvious a pursuit of wisdom would have served us better.
“Wisdom is the principal thing; Therefore, get wisdom…” Proverbs 4:7 NKJV
We spend much of our lives pursuing knowledge – through school, workshops, reading, and training at work or elsewhere. That’s not a bad thing, because knowledge is necessary for what we need and want to do.
The Bible has several passages that emphasize the importance of knowledge. But, as critical as it is, knowledge isn’t an end in itself. As the verse above states, we should take knowledge and move beyond it to wisdom – wisdom is to be our principal pursuit.
It takes wisdom to understand that we need knowledge, and to determine what knowledge we need. It takes wisdom to understand how to use knowledge. A great example of that is Ephesians 4:15 where Paul encourages us to speak the truth in love. Speaking the truth is knowledge. Speaking it in love is wisdom.
It is wise to understand that having more wisdom would be helpful. (As I get older, I am getting wiser, if only because I can see how much more wisdom I need). Like King Solomon, who showed that God had already given him some wisdom – he had enough to know he needed to ask for more.
Where does wisdom come from? God does use situations (like auctions) to help us learn wisdom. But, the principal place for us to pursue wisdom is in God’s Word, for it is wisdom. Getting wisdom, as stated in the Proverbs verse above, is learning, understanding and obeying God’s Word.
The auction experience did make Sharon and me wiser (at a cost of money and embarrassment). But, a better way to pursue wisdom isn’t through experience. King David wrote in Psalm 119:98-100, that God, through His commandments, had made him wiser than his enemies. Meditating on God’s testimonies and obeying God’s precepts gave him more understanding than his teachers or his elders.
Then in that same passage, we are given instructions on how we should be guided, not just in our pursuit of wisdom, but in all our pursuits here on earth:
“Your Word is a lamp to my feet, and a light to my path” Psalms 119:105
Pursue wisdom by the light of God’s Word.