The human desire to be wise goes back as far as the garden of Eden. Satan used it as a nemesis to effect the fall of man. In her deception, Eve saw the tree as “…a tree to be desired, to make one wise.” Satan said to her, “ your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.”
When we think of wise men, I believe many of us think of king Solomon. For in the scriptures, God himself said that there was never a wiser man before him, and there will never be a wiser man after him. But have you ever wondered why, if he was the wisest man to ever live, why isn’t he considered among the greatest men that ever lived? He is not mentioned in Hebrews chapter 11- what we call the hall of faith. Solomon is almost never used in scripture as an example of faith, godly living, or conduct. If he was the wisest man to ever live, why is his story overshadowed by so many others in the bible?
Let’s look at Solomon in the context of the scripture about him, and make a small comparison with him and his father David. First of all, Solomon’s request to God when becoming king was, “So give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong. For who is able to govern this great people of yours?" 1Kings 3:9 This request pleased God so much that God said he would grant his request for wisdom to rule, as well as what he didn’t ask for- richest and honor. Although Solomon’s request included moral wisdom (understand good and bad), it was preceded by practical wisdom (rule thy people). Both are good and needed, and pleased God. But one is greater. Armed with the wisdom God had given him, Solomon said, “I applied mine heart to know, and to search, and to seek out wisdom…Ecl 7:25” “ All this have I seen, and applied my heart unto every work that is done under the sun… Ecl 8:9” Solomon’s wisdom was primarily focused on wisdom that is earthy, physical, practical- under the sun. The Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and the Songs of Solomon are filled primarily with practical wisdom. In contrast, the Psalms are primarily filled with spiritual wisdom. David’s request to God was, “I am thy servant; give me understanding, that I may know thy testimonies. Psa 119:125” The Psalms start out describing the wise, blessed man as one whose “… delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. Psa 1:2” David sought the wisdom that is from above- above the sun. This is the greater wisdom. His main desire was to know God and his ways. He was a man of worship, prayer, and a love for the commandments of God. God himself said of David, “… I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart. Acts 13:22.”
Jesus was known as the son of David and not the son of Solomon. Wisdom is the principal thing, therefore get wisdom. But in all your getting, understand what really pleases the Lord. This is the true wise man!