Posted by: Moses | March 18, 2010

Wisdom

Wisdom: skill in discerning reality from perception.

I have been reading through Proverbs for the past several weeks. As I have been meditating there, I noticed a profound discontent in my heart, almost a full blown envy that I had been given no “wish” where I could be downloaded with the wisdom of the ages. Does it not seem unfair that this ancient man was given almost a “genie in a bottle” style wish?

As I was thinking, my mind was drawn to 2 Peter 1 where Peter describes how we have been given such “Great and precious promises in Christ.” In fact they compose “all that is necessary for life and godliness.” Life and godliness do not appear to be something that Solomon had. So why with these promises, when tempted with sin can I not discern the reality of God’s worth from the false promise of pleasure that sin offers? Should not I, a Son of the Most High, indwelled by the Living Christ, having his Spirit formed within me, stand head and shoulders above an Old Testament king who spent much of his life in pagan revelry?

Perhaps this is simply New Covenant hubris. How wonderful to think though, that the wisdom of the ages far beyond the mind of Solomon, dwells within me! Solomon was not the wisest man to ever walk on earth. Christ is. And the Spirit of Christ dwells within each of us. What’s more, Solomon poignantly illustrates that man does not reason himself toward righteousness. If Solomon was saved, it was most assuredly not because he reasoned his way out of sin. If Solomon was bought by Christ’s blood, he dwells above by faith alone like every saint.

From reading his story it seems that Solomon often trusted in his God-given wisdom rather than on his God’s covenant. He glorified the gift rather than the giver: building ships, brokering treaties, multiplying wives, trusting in chariots. His heart seems plain from his deeds, and Scripture reveals as much. God was pleased with Solomon’s wise request but surely not with this proliferation of wealth and wives that is clearly prohibited in the law (1 Kings 3:10, Deut 17:14-20). Though given a good thing, Solomon turned away from the sweet promises of the covenant of God in Deuteronomy (1 Kings 11:9-20). The nations of Israel paid for his sins for the next 300 years, following pagan king after pagan king (11:11-12). He was only spared because of David’s faithfulness (11:13).

How blessed are we who have only faith in God’s New Covenant to rely on, we gentiles, who are but a branch grafted into the great tree of the People of God (Romans 9-11). At first I coveted what God gave Solomon. However, if Solomon’s wisdom were mine, I am quite confident that my twisted heart would use it to justify all sorts of ungodly hedonism as he did. With the Spirit’s wisdom within me, a wisdom that is not mine, I have a humble capability to wage war on Sin. This capability is absolutely dependent upon God’s Spirit within me. Apart from Christ I am dead and lost in my sin (Ephesians 2:1 ff). As a result, I cannot both pursue this righteous battle and trust in my own mind at the same time. I cannot turn “away from the Lord” as Solomon did because what I have is only a deposit guaranteed by the gift of faith (1 Kings 11:9, Eph 1-2). I must press on to win the prize. I thank the Lord that I, chief of the distractible, have far fewer distractions from the prize than Solomon did.

Lord teach us to follow after your Spirit and fight against the flesh in Your power (Gal 5). May we grow in Spiritual wisdom like you as we follow after you as we must (1 John 2:6). Let my heart depend on you and the wisdom that you provide by your Spirit rather than pining for an independent wisdom that only led a great king into sin. Ironically, Solomon did not well distinguish reality from perception as he gathered the wealth and status of a fading earth rather than keeping the eternal covenant of God. Teach me that in your kindness you have given me all that is necessary for life and godliness far beyond King Solomon’s gift. This is not hubris but thanks to God my provider. He has graciously given me all that I could need in a way that forces me to enjoy and rely on Him, the ultimate giver and gift, my only true source of satisfaction. What more could your son ask? How kind of Him to give us good gifts in such a way that we would truly learn to delight and depend on Him.

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