Wisdom Gone Viral

The One Year® Chronological Bible, NKJV (Tyndale, 2013), May 26

imagesSolomon’s wisdom went viral before the existence of social media, “And men of all nations, from all the kings of the earth who had heard of his wisdom, came to hear the wisdom of Solomon” (1 Kings 4:34). Solomon’s wisdom, insight and understanding—his fame—spread to “all the surrounding nations” (4:31). No one else as wise as Solomon existed, and everyone desired to benefit from his wisdom. Some believe that Solomon’s wisdom-teaching influenced the great wisdom traditions of the world as they took his teaching back to their lands.

Solomon understood relationships and sexuality long before television relationship-gurus appeared on the scene. He warned of the peril of sexual sin throughout Proverbs.

Solomon was poet laureate before such an honor ever existed, “He spoke three thousand proverbs, and his songs were one thousand and five” (1 Kings 4:32). The Song of Songs is an unparalleled work of literature.

Solomon’s keen scientific observations preempted the Discovery Channel, “Also he spoke of trees, from the cedar tree of Lebanon even to the hyssop that springs out of the wall; he spoke also of animals, of birds, of creeping things, and of fish” (4:33). Proverbs is replete with insight into the the animal world.

The Queen of Sheba takes advantage of having access to such a resource. Traveling two thousand miles on the backs of camels is not too far a distance to go to obtain such wisdom. Other kings and leaders travel great distances to hear Solomon’s wisdom. Solomon fulfills part of God’s promise to Abraham that his descendants will bless the nations, “In you all the families of the earth shall be blessed” (Gen. 12:3).

Solomon begins his series of wise sayings by defining their nature and intent, “to know wisdom and instruction, to perceive the words of understanding, to receive the instruct of wisdom, justice, judgment, and equity; to give prudence to the simple, to the young man knowledge and discretion” (Prov. 1:2-4).

Like a parched land thirsty for rain, the ancient world longed for the wisdom of God. Contemporary humanity is just as parched, but rather than hear the wisdom of God, people run to science, government, and psychology, ignoring timeless truth in favor of temporary fixes. With today’s printing capacity, the Bible is more available than ever, but few avail themselves to understand its story and know its wisdom—Jesus Christ who “became for us wisdom from God—and righteousness and sanctification and redemption” (1 Cor. 1:30).

Wisdom cries out still. Who will listen?

Questions from today’s chronological Bible reading (1 Kings 4; Psalms 72, 127):
Read 1 Samuel 8. How does Solomon compare to Samuel’s description of having an earthly king?
What does Solomon’s wisdom do for the nation of Israel? What does this reveal about wise leadership and nations?
What do Psalm 72 and Psalm 127 reveal about Saul’s leadership philosophy?