Seek a Discerning Heart
You can have what Solomon was given by the Lord. He wrote it down in the books of Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Songs.
Solomon Asked for Wisdom
When King David made Solomon king and died, King Solomon finished the task of building the temple. Sometime later, God came to him in a dream. God appeared to Solomon and said to him, “Ask for whatever you want me to give you.” (2 Chronicles 1:7, NIV)
This is a startling question indeed! David chose Solomon to be king because he had proved faithful in the tasks he had been given. Nathan anointed him king over Israel. Solomon had some challenges solidifying his power. So he had become aware of his own shortcomings. “I am only a little child and don’t know how to carry out my duties.” (1 Kings 3:7, NIV) Humility in front of God almighty shows a little wisdom in and of itself.
So Solomon answered God, “Give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong.” (1 Kings 3:9, NIV)
God loved this reply. “The Lord was pleased that Solomon had asked for this. So God said to him, 'Since you have asked for this and not for long life or wealth, nor have you asked for the death of your enemies but for discernment in administering justice, I will do what you have asked. I will give you a wise and discerning heart, so that there will never have been anyone like you, nor will there ever be.'” (1 Kings 3:10-14 NIV)
The Book of Proverbs
Read a Proverb every day. This is less than a chapter a day. Read it slow. Rewrite it in your own words.
The purpose is to put these proverbs into practice. Read it in different versions. I really like Proverbs in The Message Bible. Here are two of my favorite translations of Proverbs 1:7:
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.
Start with God—the first step in learning is bowing down to God; only fools thumb their noses at such wisdom and learning.
The Proverbs are straightforward and sometimes startling! My words for myself on this Proverb are “Bob, you are a fool if you don’t read, understand, and apply these Proverbs.”
Because you hated Knowledge
and had nothing to do with the Fear-of-God,
Because you wouldn’t take my advice
and brushed aside all my offers to train you,
Well, you’ve made your bed—now lie in it;
you wanted your own way—now, how do you like it?
Don’t you see what happens, you simpletons, you idiots?
Carelessness kills; complacency is murder.
First pay attention to me, and then relax.
Now you can take it easy—you’re in good hands.
In today's world, we tiptoe around people's feelings. No one wants to claim they are right, so everyone does what is right in their own eyes. How is that working for us?
God gives out Wisdom free,
is plainspoken in Knowledge and Understanding.
He’s a rich mine of Common Sense for those who live well,
a personal bodyguard to the candid and sincere.
He keeps his eye on all who live honestly,
and pays special attention to his loyally committed ones.
If that does not motivate you, I don’t know what will.
There are 31 chapters in the book of Proverbs. Wisdom is the soundness of an action or decision with regard to the application of experience, knowledge, and good judgment. It is right there in Proverbs.
I pray you drink this book in often for the rest of your life. I am working on the same task!