Lord, thank You for leaders who possess a pragmatic wisdom.
Read 1 KINGS 4:29–34
29 God gave Solomon wisdom and very great insight, and a breadth of understanding as measureless as the sand on the seashore. 30 Solomon’s wisdom was greater than the wisdom of all the people of the East, and greater than all the wisdom of Egypt. 31 He was wiser than anyone else, including Ethan the Ezrahite—wiser than Heman, Kalkol and Darda, the sons of Mahol. And his fame spread to all the surrounding nations. 32 He spoke three thousand proverbs and his songs numbered a thousand and five. 33 He spoke about plant life, from the cedar of Lebanon to the hyssop that grows out of walls. He also spoke about animals and birds, reptiles and fish. 34 From all nations people came to listen to Solomon’s wisdom, sent by all the kings of the world, who had heard of his wisdom.
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
If we had rulers patterned after the early years of Solomon, how much better off we would be!
Earlier in the chapter (20,21) we are reminded of God’s promise to Abraham that his descendants would be as numerous as the sand by the sea and that their territory would extend from the Euphrates to the border of Egypt. Now we are told that the breadth of Solomon’s understanding can also be compared to sand. This is the time of fulfillment. Those promises that seemed so impossible in Abraham’s time are moving toward realization. No wonder the people are “happy” (20). Theirs is now the greatest king in the world—yet, he is only a shadow of the greater King who was to come, the Lord Jesus Christ.
We have passed over the names of many people who served Solomon and enhanced the splendor of his kingdom. Some lists of names in Scripture record faithful servants of God who deserve a mention in the sacred story. Other people would be completely lost to history were it not for their association with those who are important in salvation history. Pontius Pilate gets more recognition in the history of the church than he ever deserved as a Roman official. So it is with the wise men mentioned here (31). Their names are elsewhere in Scripture, but we know nothing of their wisdom, except that it was inferior to Solomon’s.
The writer makes sure that we are aware of the profound nature of Solomon’s wisdom. Proverbs and songs come from his mouth. Nature is the source of the inspiration of his images: images that in turn articulate the wonder of the land that God has given to his people. The God who created nature gives Solomon the wisdom to appropriate and incorporate it. Jesus also used nature to illustrate his teaching. Should we not do the same?
Spend time reflecting on the wonder of God’s creation.
Lord, give our political leaders the wisdom to pattern themselves after Solomon.
Click here to sign up to receive the EXTRAs via email each quarter.
© 2023 Scripture Union U.S.A. All rights reserved. Reproduction of the whole or any part of the contents without written permission is prohibited.
Encounter with God is published in the USA under license from Scripture Union England and Wales, Trinity House, Opal Court, Opal Drive, Fox Milne, Milton Keynes, MK15 0DF.