Tuesday, October 2, 2012

1 Kings 4-5: Wisdom for Every Vocation


1 Kings 3:28 When all Israel heard the verdict the king had given, they held the king in awe, because they saw that he had wisdom from God to administer 
1 Kings 4:29-30 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 men of the East, and greater than all the wisdom of Egypt.
1 Kings 4:34 Men of all nations came to listen to Solomon's wisdom, sent by all the kings of the world, who had heard of his wisdom.
1 Kings 5:12 The Lord gave Solomon wisdom, just as he had promised him. There were peaceful relations between Hiram and Solomon, and the two of them made a treaty.

Divine wisdom as exemplified in Solomon's reign is not limited to spiritual matters but encompasses the following intelligences and skills:
  • Cognitive Intelligence (IQ): This is necessary for problem-solving (e.g. resolving the dispute by the two prostitutes over the baby). Leaders are confronted daily with problems, and need wisdom to solve them on the go. 
  • Administration & Logistical Intelligence: Administrative and logistical intelligence refer to the ability to organize people into effective teams. In particular, Solomon uses his wisdom to organize his state agencies and the logistical provisions to keep the state machinery humming.
  • Creative arts and Scientific Disciplines:  Wisdom is not limited to practical business of life but also extends to the creative arts and the scientific disciplines. Solomon composes songs and writes proverbs, beside conducting extensive research on plant and animal life. 
  • Social and Diplomatic Skills: Solomon's wisdom extends to inter-state diplomacy. People skills don't come easily for some people, but we can always ask for wisdom from God, who gives liberally. We don't have to excuse our lack of people skills. All we need to do is follow Solomon's example--ask for it!
God wants to grant us wisdom to do everything "for the glory of God", not just for "spiritual" matters. No matter what our vocation is in life, whether a student or scientist, preacher or plumber, accountant or administrator, CEO or clerk, writer or musician, we all can ask God for wisdom. The Apostle James encourages us in James 1:5 to ask for God's wisdom: "If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him." We can all be like Solomon in his glory. God wants our lives to glorify Him, lives marked by security, significance and success. But we must remember that unlike worldly wisdom with leads to arrogance and pride, God's wisdom produces the opposite effects: "But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere" (James 3:17).

Lord, grant us wisdom to glorify you in every vocation we are called into do today, not only in the ministry but also in the marketplace. Amen.

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