For Those Who Desire Wisdom
September 3-4, 2022
2 Chronicles 1:1-13
We come now to that place where David has given his last and final speech that we were looking at last week. David brought a speech of such significance, and then he spoke a word of wisdom to his son, Solomon, and then David breathed his last and went to his Father's as the Scripture says, Solomon is now the king of Israel.
Solomon, you might know, was the son of David born to Bathsheba. Now, this is the same Bathsheba with whom he had that adulterous relationship and then later married. Solomon is a son of that marriage, and I tell you, it is an amazing declaration of the grace of God. Not only in forgiveness of David, but then to allow a son from this relationship to be the great king over Israel, it's an amazing declaration of the heart of God.
Now, David gave to his son the name Solomon, and it means peaceable. Now, you even see the word Shalom there, which is Hebrew for peace. He gave him this name, but interestingly, God says, I also give him a name. I give him the name Jedidiah, which means loved of God. It's such a beautiful expression again of the grace and kindness and the forgiveness of the Lord to have such a relationship to him.
Now, Solomon is famous for several things. He is the one who will build this amazing, glorious temple that David had envisioned. David had envisioned it to be like one of the wonders of the world. He prepared everything, and the architects and the craftsmen and the cedars and the gold that on and on, David had it all prepared. Solomon will build that. Solomon is also famous for wisdom. The wisdom of Solomon is famous.
In fact, if you could describe Solomon with one word, most would say, well, the wisdom of Solomon, that's the one word that would describe him. That's an interesting question. Can you describe a person with one word? If people knew you really well, what would that one word be that they would use to describe you? Wouldn't it be wonderful if people could describe you and that word was a name that reflected the honor and the character of the Lord?
Wouldn't it be wonderful if they thought of you and said, ah, now here's a person of grace or faithfulness. See, these are the things that honor God when your name and your character is like Him. Proverbs 22:1, "A good name is to be more desired than great wealth." Now, how did Solomon get wisdom? Great question. Answer is wisdom comes from God.
I. We Need the Wisdom that Comes from God
The story, as we're going to read it, as it unfolds, Solomon, sometime after he's anointed king of Israel, he goes to Gibeon. That's the place where the tent of meeting dwells, and he offers the sacrifices of the Lord and God meets him in a dream. God meets him there and says to Solomon, ask whatever you wish. What an amazing thing. What is it that you would have me to do for you?
Solomon did not ask for wealth, or honor, or riches, or long life. What did he ask for? Wisdom. I'm asking for wisdom to be able to judge the people of Israel, to discern between good and evil in the judging of the people of Israel. Now, wisdom is the right thing to desire. I think if we were to do a show of hands, many people-- Well, let's do it. Show of hands. How many people say, "I want more wisdom"?
In fact, I want God's wisdom. I want great wisdom. Show of hands. See, it's the right desire. In fact, in the pursuing of wisdom, what many people do in their daily devotions is to read a proverb. Much of which is written by Solomon, and many of course see that it contains a lot of wisdom. What they want, wisdom. They will read a proverb every day as part of their devotionals and, of course, there are 31 chapters of Proverbs.
It works out quite nicely. If it's the 5th, you read Proverbs 5, it's the 10th you read Proverbs 10. Why? Why do people do that? Of course, they read other places as well, but they want that. Why? Because they want wisdom. Wisdom is of great value. If you're going through trouble and difficulty, you need wisdom. If you're making a tremendously important decision that will determine the course of your life, you need wisdom. It's a right thing to desire.
Let's read the story of it and then look at the principles that God would have for us in His word. 2 Chronicles 1:1. "Now Solomon the son of David established himself securely over his kingdom, and the Lord his God was with him and exalted him greatly. Now Solomon spoke to all Israel, to the commanders of thousands and hundreds and to the judges and to every leader in all Israel, the heads of the fathers' households. Then Solomon and all the assembly with him went to the high place, which was at Gibeon, for God's tent of meeting was there, this which Moses, the servant of the Lord, had made in the wilderness."
They still have it after all of these years, that tent of meeting which Moses made and said, anyone who wants to meet God can go to this place. They still have it, but he makes a note here that David had brought up the ark of God that once dwelled there, but he brought it up from Kiriath-jearim to the place that he had prepared for it, where he pitched a tent in Jerusalem. "Now," verse 5, "the bronze altar, Bezalel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, had made, was there before the tabernacle of the Lord, and Solomon and the assembly sought it out.
Solomon went there before the Lord to the bronze altar, which was at the tent of meeting and he offered a thousand burnt offerings on it." Now, this is like a magnanimous statement of honor to the Lord. He's so thankful for the privilege and honor of being the anointed king. A magnanimous statement to the Lord of a thousand burnt offerings or a thousand offerings. "In that night, God appeared to Solomon and said, "Ask what I shall give you." Here it is. What is it that you would have me to do? What shall I give you?
"Solomon said to God, 'You have dealt with my father David with great loving kindness, and you've made me king in his place. Now, O Lord God, your promise to my father David is fulfilled for you have made me king over a people as numerous as the dust of the earth. Give me now wisdom and knowledge, that I may go out and come in before this people, for who can rule this great people of Yours?'" I need wisdom to do it.
"God said to Solomon, 'Because you have this in your mind," in other words, because you asked this, "and you did not ask for riches, or wealth or honor, or the life of those who hate you, nor did you even ask for a long life, but you have asked for yourself wisdom and knowledge that you may rule my people over whom I have made you king, so wisdom and knowledge have been granted to you. And I will give to you," in other words, what you didn't ask for, "I will give you riches and wealth and honor such as none of the kings who were before you has possessed, nor those who will come after you.' So Solomon went to the high place, which was at Gibeon from the tent of meeting to Jerusalem and he reigned over Israel.
Now, we're going to look more about that, of course, in the weeks to come. Then at the Wednesday verse by verse service, we'll look at the verses around this as well, but I want us to take hold of some great principles out of these verses starting with this. We need wisdom, but we need the wisdom that comes from God, because there's a difference. The so-called wisdom of the world is distinctly different than the wisdom that comes from God.
For example, we read in 1 Kings that one of the first things that Solomon does when he became king was to form a marriage alliance with Pharaoh, king of Egypt, and took Pharaoh's daughter to become his wife. Now, this was very common in the day for kings and rulers to form alliances with other kings and rulers through marriage alliances, very common, and it was considered the politically savvy thing to do.
I submit that is also an example of the wisdom that comes from man, because this is not what God wanted him to do. May have been politically savvy, but it was spiritually disastrous, as we will read in the story the result of it, because wisdom, and this is an important thing to recognize, wisdom is the ability to see into a circumstance, to see into a situation, to be able to understand what is happening and also to understand what the outcome will be. To be able to see the outcome of the thing is a tremendous aspect of wisdom. For this will not end well. The outcome of this will not be good.
A. The world’s wisdom is foolishness to God
See, there's a vast difference between this so-called wisdom of the world and the wisdom that comes from God. So much so that the world's wisdom, God says, is foolishness to God. God makes a comparison, that's foolishness. Solomon is doing the thing that many did is considered wise, to build alliances, but God has said in His word, do not do this because of the outcome. It will draw the king's heart away from God. If the heart of the king is drawn away from God, not only will it be disastrous for that king, it will be disastrous for the nation and those who follow after. The outcome of the thing.
See, many, when they're considering the course of life or what they're about to do, or the decisions they're about to make, they do not consider the outcome of the thing. Many oftentimes when they do consider the outcome, their outcomes are too short. They're only thinking in the moment or maybe the next few days or the next few weeks, but God thinks of not only the entirety of your life, He thinks of eternity in view. Now, we know of Solomon's life, that this was just the beginning of forming these alliances and taking on other wives from other nations.
He took many, and ultimately, it led to great trouble in his life. We can read in 1 Kings 11:1-2, "Now King Solomon loved many foreign women along with the daughter of Pharaoh: Moabite, Ammonite, Edomite, Sidonian, and Hittite women, from the nations concerning which the Lord had said to the sons of Israel, 'You shall not associate with them, nor shall they associate with you,'" because the outcome, "'for they will surely turn your heart away after their gods.'" It says, "Solomon held fast to these in love." He collected foreign women like some people collect foreign cars because he had many of them.
I submit that God's wisdom is always proven right. Would you agree with me? His wisdom is always proven right. In fact, He says there is a way which seems right to a man, but it leads to death. Proverbs 14:12. There is a way that seems right to a man, thought it was right, but it didn't consider the outcome of the thing for that, its end is the way of death. To consider the outcome of the thing is the wisdom. God's ways are better because God's ways lead to life. Jesus said, I've come that you have life and life to the full. I want you to have life. I want you to have blessing. I want you to have the fullness of God, and He knows the way to do it. God's ways are better.
There's a better way to live. He speaks to every area of your life, business, finance, family, marriage, relationships. He's got your soul. He speaks on every level of your life. For example, a principle of the Lord when it comes to marriage, this is just one example of many examples. 2 Corinthians 6:14, He gives this wonderful piece of wisdom. "Do not be bound together with unbelievers." "Do not be unequally yoked," He says in another way. That's a principle of wisdom because of the outcome. "For what partnership does righteousness have with lawlessness, or what fellowship does light have with darkness?"
He even gives the reasoning behind the wisdom, or how about Ephesians 5:25? "Husbands, love your wives as Christ loved the church, gave Himself up for her." Oh, if you take hold of the wisdom of God, it will come back to you in tremendous blessing because God wants to bless your marriage. Anybody believe me? He wants to bless your marriage. He wants you to have a blessed, and God knows how to do it.
If you have your marriage the way God would have your marriage, it will bless your marriage. He wants to bless your life. He wants to bless your family. He wants to bless your finances, your business. He wants to show you the wisdom. 1 Corinthians 3:19-20, "For the wisdom of this world is foolishness before God. For it is written, 'He is the one who catches the wise,'" he's talking about worldly wisdom, "'He is the one who catches the wise in their craftiness'; and again, 'The Lord knows the reasonings of the wise, that they are useless.'"
B. What you desire is what you pursue
It does not bring about the result of God's blessing on your life. Then we see this. What you desire is what you pursue. What you desire. "What is it you want?" he said to Solomon. What is it you want? What is it you would like? What you desire is what you pursue. I submit we are all pursuing something or meaning some things. We're all pursuing. That's the nature of the soul that God gave us. In fact, in the speech, David's last and final speech that he gave that we just looked at, what was the summation of wisdom that David imparted to Israel as well as to his son?
Seek God then, seek Him earnestly. If you seek Him, He will let you find Him. For when you find Him, you find peace and you'll find a soul that's made beautiful in the presence of the glory of God. If you find Him, seek Him, seek Him earnestly. Seek first the kingdom of God and all of these things will be added unto you. We're all pursuing. It's the nature of who we are, but what is it that you are pursuing? It's a very important question.
If we would pursue the things of God, can you imagine the result, what it would bring about in our lives? That's why David, the culmination of his life wisdom is found in that verse, seek Him earnestly. See, what you desire has everything to do with who you will become. What you desire, what you are pursuing has everything to do with who you will become. If we would desire that which God would do in our lives, ah, you would grow in faith and maturity. I submit that the very things that you desire have been transformed by it. When you pursue God in your life, the very things that you desire will be changed. You will desire differently than you used to.
Do you remember when you were in the world? The things that you desired in the world were quite different than what you desire when you're in the kingdom of God. In fact, Psalm 37, a great word given here in verses 4-5, "Delight yourself in the Lord." All right, now there is a wonderful principle of wisdom, how to live your life. In the course of your life, delight yourself in the Lord. What do you delight in?
What is it that is the delight of your desire? Well, delight yourself in the Lord. It's one of the most important aspects of wisdom. He will give you the desires of your heart. He'll give you the desires and then He'll give you the desires. See how I played that out? He says, commit your way to the Lord. See, commit your way. I commit my way to you, Lord. Trust in you, Lord, and He'll do it. This faith to believe. He will give you the very desire, but your desires will be changed.
If you ask people that are in the world and the people who are growing in maturity in Christ, you will see what they desire are very different things. I remember I was in the world. I did the world thing. I remember what I desired. Anybody else remember? It's changed. See, because I care about the soul now. I didn't understand before. When I was in the world, when I did the world thing, I didn't understand. The importance of the soul, the condition of the soul, didn't really see it.
Many don't, they're quite blind. The soul is the most important aspect of who we are. The soul, this the most important. I didn't see that, I was blind to that. I was just doing the world thing. I was just doing the flesh thing. I tell you what, you do the flesh thing very long, and your soul is going to get sick. Anybody do the world thing enough to know what I'm saying? I tell you what, if your soul is sick, you are sick indeed. If your soul is alive, you are alive indeed. That is living, when your soul is alive in the Lord, that is life.
II. In Wisdom, Ask God for Much
Therefore, in wisdom, ask God for much. Ask Him for much. When God asked Solomon, "What is it you wish for me to do?" he recognized his insufficiency. This is the great people. I need wisdom and understanding to judge your people well, I need to be able to discern. He asked for an understanding heart, to be able to see. Discernment means to be able to see into the thing. To be able to rightly divide the thing.
A. God’s wisdom is a great treasure
For the purpose of my calling. He's anointed for a calling and a purpose. You also have a purpose. God gives to everyone purpose. May that purpose and then calling be so high that you need God's wisdom to do it, because God's wisdom is a great treasure, the Scripture says. God's wisdom is a great treasure. How precious is wisdom? God's Word says that wisdom is more precious than wealth and great riches. Proverbs 16:16 is just one verse, but there are many. "How much better it is to get wisdom than gold. And to get understanding is to be chosen above silver."
You got a choice. Imagine this way to see it. Imagine you got a fellow here who has both, he's very, very wise and he's very wealthy. Then you say to him, now you got to have one or the other. Which one do you choose? You can have one or the other. You can have wealth or you can have wisdom. Which one do you choose? I can absolutely give you the answer right now. I can tell you exactly what he would say. He would say, "Oh, if I get to choose between wealth and wisdom, I'll take wisdom. Wealth? No, that'll pass. I can rebuild wealth. The wisdom, got to have my wisdom. I can't live without my wisdom. I have to have that." Anybody agree with me? It's the most-- Between the two.
Proverbs 23:23, "Buy truth, and don't sell it." Get a speak in here like in investing of your life. "Buy truth, don't sell it." Buy and hold and get more. Get wisdom, get instruction, get understanding. Then, Proverbs 4:7, "The beginning of wisdom is, get wisdom." That's the beginning, that's the foundation. The beginning of wisdom is acquire wisdom. Then in all of your acquiring, get understanding while you're at it, because wisdom sees. Wisdom can see. Sin is blind. Sin is blind, it cannot see. What I mean by that is, those who are involved in the sin of the thing, they can't see the consequences. They can't see the outcome, or they're blind to it. I absolutely tell you that if they could see the outcome, they wouldn't do it.
If they could see the outcome of the thing, they wouldn't do it. Anybody agree with me? Sin is blind, but wisdom sees. Solomon knew he needed wisdom for the purpose of his calling.
Me and you have purpose and calling such that you need wisdom to do it, because without wisdom, you may begin well, but you're not going to end well. You need the wisdom of God to finish what God has started in your life. The wisdom of God, the Word of God is such great value because of the outcome, because of what it does in your life. Psalm 19:7-11, "The law of the Lord is perfect because it restores the soul."
See the value of your soul? See the value of it? The law of the Lord, the Word the Lord's is right, is perfect, because it will restore. Restore means it was broken and God will rebuild it. It was broken, but now we're going to rebuild it on the foundation of life, on the Word of God. The outcome is a restored soul. The testimony of the Lord is sure because it makes wise the simple. God can take the simple and make them wise because they have the wisdom and the principles of God.
The precepts of the Lord are right because it rejoices the heart. The commandment of the Lord is pure because it aligns the eyes. The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever. The judgments of the Lord are true, they are righteous altogether, they are more desirable than gold. Yes, then much fine gold, is sweeter than honey. It's sweet to the soul. See, the condition of the soul is everything. Is sweet to the soul. It's sweeter than the drippings of the honeycomb.
B. Learn to discern – applying God’s Word
In keeping them, there is great reward, outcomes. The result of. Therefore, we say learn to discern by applying God's Word. Learn to discern, to see. How? By applying. See, Solomon asked for an understanding heart to see, to discern. Wisdom is taking the Word of God and then applying it correctly. That's discernment, because I can tell you that there are many who take the Word of God and use it for their own purpose. You need to take the word of God and apply it correctly. Therefore, you need not only do you need the Word of God, you need the heart of God. The very heart of God will help you to see how to apply it rightly. You need both.
The knowledge of the Word is wonderful, but knowledge by itself puffs up the Scripture says. You need the love and the character of God because love builds up. You need more than just knowledge. You need the heart and the character of God. How do you get wisdom? Well, you get some wisdom simply by the experiences of life. Such as a burner, you get burned and lesson learned. What you and I need is the discernment of the spirit. There is a spiritual discernment, to be able to see the spiritual aspect and ramification and result of the thing that you are considering. There is a spiritual aspect of many things of our lives. To see it.
If you need more wisdom, ask for it. You need wisdom in the applying of the Word of God to your life. James 1:5 is one of those verses that you should underline, memorize, and dogear the page. I had used it and quoted it many, many times. James 1:5, "If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God who gives to all generously and without reproach," and never reproach if you are asking for that, "and it will be given to him." He'll do it, He'll give it to you. You need wisdom? Ask. Pray, ask, and let me just add, and wait. Pray, ask, and wait. Don't move until you have it.
This is a principle of life. Don't move, you wait. Don't move until you have it. It's so precious. It's so valuable. You'll make a terrible decision without the wisdom of God. Pray, ask, and don't move. Wait. To the peace of God, the Word of God, the Spirit of God, wait. We need to grow in the knowledge of God's Word? Yes, right, because the Word of God contains the wisdom of God.
2 Timothy 2:15, "Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." That's right. We also need to then have our spirits trained. The Scripture says our senses trained to discern good and evil. Let me give you a great verse. Hebrews 5. Dogear this page. It's such a right principle. "Everyone who partakes only of milk," he's talking about here now the basics of the Word of God, the A, B, Cs literally. "Everyone who protects only of the milk is not accustomed to the word of righteousness, for he's just an infant.
"But solid food," talking about spiritual solid food, "is for the mature, who," now notice this, "who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil." Because of practice. They've been applying God's Word. They've been applying the principles of wisdom, and because of practice, they have trained their senses to be able to discern it. Have you ever been into a room, you just walk into a room and immediately you sense there's something wrong here?
You're not even in the room two minutes. You just walk into the room, and right away something in your soul. That's the spirit. See, when you are taking the Word of God and applying it to your life, you are training your senses to discern there's something wrong here. Maybe you're speaking to somebody you just met, let's say, and right away your spirit, there's something wrong here.
Or the opposite is true. You might be talking to somebody, and you realize there's something very right here. This is a wonderful person. I would like to get to know this person better. I got to tell you, as we are introducing Roan, it reminds me of when we first had our first conversation with Pastor Jean Marais. This was about three years or so ago and we had a position open, and he heard about it and so he let us know he was interested. I said to Pastor Matthew, let's call him. Well, he lives in South Africa. Let's call him. You never know, God can do anything. Let's call him because there are many obstacles, I'll tell you.
We called him. I think we talked for an hour and a half. Afterward I said to Matthew, there's something very right here. There's something very right here. We are going to pursue. I said right there, we are going to pursue this and if this thing cannot work, it's very difficult to do that, if this thing cannot work, it won't be because of us. Someone else is going to have to close the door, but I will pursue, and I will pursue and I will pursue. You might know me. I'm relentless when I get my mindset on something.
C. Don’t just have wisdom; live by it
There's something very right here. Here's what's interesting. I can tell you that's true with every single person on our staff. Every one of them is a story of getting to know their heart and the spirit saying there's something very right here. The discernment of the Lord will bless your life. Amen. In other words, don't just have wisdom, live by it. See, choose wisdom. Which wisdom? The wisdom of God. If you submit a question to worldly wisdom and God's wisdom, you're going to give different answers. Once you decide that you're going to live by the wisdom of God, then choose to live by that wisdom.
Having wisdom and living by that wisdom are not the same thing. This is important. Having wisdom and then living by that wisdom are not the same thing. Knowing the right thing to do and doing it are not the same thing. For example, intelligence. Intelligence, in the same way, is to be used. You can have intelligence and not use it. Let me give you a humorous example. I will use in this case lawyers, not that I'm picking on them but it's just easy.
These are actual questions that lawyers asked as recorded by court reporters. Attorney, "How is your first marriage terminated?" Witness, "By death." Attorney, "And by whose death was it terminated?" Witness, "You take a guess." Here's another one. Attorney, "Now, doctor, isn't it true that when a person dies in his sleep he doesn't know about it until the next morning?" Witness, "Did you actually pass the bar exam?"
This is the last one. Attorney, "Can you describe the individual?" Witness, "He was about medium height and had a beard." Attorney, "Was this a male or a female?" Witness, "Well, unless the circus was in town, I'm going with male." I don't know why I love that. It's so funny. Case in point, Solomon had 700 wives and 300 concubines. Need I say more? Can you imagine 700 mothers-in-law? Okay, I'm sorry. That was just being funny. Just being funny there. Please do not send me an email, that was just for humor.
Jesus said this in Matthew 7:24. "Everyone who hears these words of mine and acts on them," see the difference? "Everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, he may be compared to a wise man who built his house on a rock." In Jesus are found all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. Build your life on this rock because of the outcome, the outcome. The favor of God, the blessing of God. The condition of the soul is the outcome.
Let's pray. Lord, thank you so much. Oh, how amazed we are at your Word. What you reveal such great wisdom and truth. God, we want more wisdom. We need more wisdom, great wisdom, the wisdom that comes from God, because we want the outcome. We want a life that is blessed of God. We want a foundation that's built on the Lord, God himself. God, that's what we want. You said we can ask. That's our desire. That's what we seek. That's what we're asking. We need great wisdom.