Winner: Scholar's Prize
Lord, help me to live beyond the meager resources of my adequacy and learn that You are totally reliable.
Read 1 KINGS 4:29-34
Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Even those who are not scholars should care about stewardship of God’s world. Is God calling me to use my God-given wisdom to learn more about science or the arts?
Wow! This description of Solomon’s expertise in almost every area is nothing if not overwhelming! He would be top billing in documentary or reality programs in science, music, poetry or nature studies. He is pictured as the greatest all-round polymath ever known. We might say he knew more about animals than David Attenborough, more about song writing than Shakespeare or Andrew Lloyd Webber. Even if some of his proverbs and songs were collected by him rather than all written by him, this is an impressive list. One can see very clearly how Solomon came to be seen as the epitome of all “wise” people.
Why are we being told all this? Is it really just a matter of information or does the writer of Kings have a bigger agenda than that? Well, on the positive side we can say that we have here a picture of the full extent of God’s blessing of Solomon, his gifts of “wisdom and very great insight” (29). We also see an affirmation of those who study biology, botany and all kinds of sciences, or music, poetry and all kinds of arts. Sometimes Christians have given the impression that studying anything other than theology is somehow ungodly. This passage gives the lie to that. Solomon’s wisdom was God-given. God wants us to be interested in the way his world works.
On the negative side, given the later descriptions of Solomon’s arrogance, cruel lordship and descent into paganism, maybe there is also a reminder here that great knowledge does not necessarily make for a great person. Similarly, great celebrity does not necessarily mean great worth. It is a lesson worth noting today.
“Jesus replied, ‘Love the Lord your God with… all your mind” (Matt. 22:37). How do you feel about this statement? In what ways can you sharpen your mind? How does God give you wisdom?
Sovereign Lord, I give myself anew to You. Quicken my mind, create in me a hunger for learning. Above all, may I seek You first.