Monday, May 30, 2011

You Can Be Wise

Now Solomon the son of David established himself securely over his kingdom, and the LORD his God was with him and exalted him greatly. Solomon spoke to all Israel, to the commanders of thousands and of 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, which Moses the servant of the LORD had made in the wilderness. However, David had brought up the ark of God from Kiriath-jearim to the place he had prepared for it, for he had pitched a tent for it in Jerusalem. Now the bronze altar, which 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 up there before the LORD to the bronze altar which was at the tent of meeting, and offered a thousand burnt offerings on it. In that night God appeared to Solomon and said to him, "Ask what I shall give you." Solomon said to God, "You have dealt with my father David with great lovingkindness, and have 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?" God said to Solomon, "Because you had this in mind, and did not ask for riches, wealth or honor, or the life of those who hate you, nor have you even asked for long life, but you have asked for yourself wisdom and knowledge that you may rule My people over whom I have made you king, wisdom and knowledge have been granted to you. And 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." (2 Chronicles 1:1-12)

When we say "You Can Be Wise," we’re not talking about I.Q. There are all kinds of smart people around.  Many have very high I.Q. and some are barely more than borderline normal on the test scales. Intelligence cannot be confined to I.Q. tests.  Some people are what is called “street smart.”

There is a woman who is clothes smart.  She can sniff out bargains on clothing the way hunting dogs find a fox.  She also knows the considerable difference between quality and mere appearance.  She is “clothes smart.”
There is a man who was never known to be much of an academician.  In truth, his graduation from high school was more an act of grace than merit. However, he is the most literate man regarding automobile engines whom I have ever met.  He is “car smart.”
Many of us had a mother who was a gourmet cook. She rarely used measuring spoons or cups. She just intuitively knew how much of each ingredient was enough.  She was “food smart.”

Conversely, we all have our gaps in knowledge. Will Rogers used to say, "We are all ignorant, just about different subjects."

A man was assigned as pastor of an affluent 4,000-member congregation.  The church was rich in tradition, prestige and Ph.D.s.  Initially he worried about their level of education and wondered if he would have to labor week by week turning out intellectual treatises.  His fears were short-lived. "Very few of them had ever been inside the walls of a seminary," he said. "In fact, some of the very brightest and best educated were among the most theologically deprived I have ever met. I have encountered educators and scientists who hung on every word of the children's sermons because those moments made new information accessible to them." Indeed, there are all kinds of "smart," and we are all ignorant, just about different subjects.

The background passage in our reading today introduces a series of questions that need to be answered.  Can a man be wise without great knowledge?  Is there a type of wisdom that comes from God and is more than just common sense taken to a new level?  Solomon asked for wisdom when he could have had anything else in the world.  Can we be wise?  This week we will look at wisdom and see if we can learn how to be “life smart.”

Scripture to Claim:
A wise man will hear and increase in learning, and a man of understanding will acquire wise counsel,  (Proverbs 1:5)

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