Learning to Discern#1. “Wisdom has its limits.”

Learning to Discern#1. “Wisdom has its limits.”

As a child I asked my mother to explain why the ‘real’ mother had told Solomon to give her baby to the lady who had stolen her child. My mother’s explanation, though quoting the given biblical reason, did not convince me of any wisdom on Solomon’s part. The problem lay in the fact that my 8-year-old mind couldn’t accept that a mother would ever give her baby away, and especially to a baby thief? Naturally, time opened my mind to Solomon’s wisdom. It is no wonder that all Israel was amazed at his wisdom in exposing the identity of the child’s mother by a test of love.

When Solomon became King, God made him the ultimate offer: “Ask for whatever you want me to give you.” Solomon, already showing tremendous wisdom, requested “a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong” (1Kg.3:9).

God, of course, granted his request, and graciously added wealth and a long life to it.

How many Christians have envied Solomon’s life of excess? You would hope, after reading Ecclesiastes, that everyone would avoid everything that brought Solomon to the point where he deemed his life under the sun as such a waste. But not so!

We humans are prone to believing that we, given the chance, could take everything that Solomon was given and ‘do it better.’ That is maybe so, but probably not!

You see, Solomon’s wisdom to “govern…and discern good and evil” was gifted to him by God up-front, but he ignored it when it suited him anyway.

We are truly blessed by the Biblical legacy of wisdom that God bestowed upon Solomon. However, Solomon proved beyond a shadow of a doubt, that no matter how much divine wisdom is bestowed upon a man, it cannot make him “a man after God’s own heart.” That we must bring to God ourselves!

John Staiger


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