His father, who had been deeply loved and mightily used would be
sorely missed. One of the greatest men in all of history, his father
was a man who, in addition to being able to leap over walls physically
was so gifted musically that he not only composed songs, but invented
the instruments to play them So courageous of heart was he that when
he was but a teenager, he conquered a giant in battle, rendering him
so popular that women sang songs about him in the streets.\
father, of course, was David. And now that David had passed from the
scene, Solomon would step up and try to fill his father’s shoes — a
seemingly impossible task. After learning of his father’s death,
Scripture tells us that Solomon headed for Gibeon, for in Gibeon was a
tabernacle, a place to meet God.
That night, the Lord appeared to
Solomon in a dream, saying, ‘Whatever you ask of Me, I’ll do for you,’
(2 Chronicles 1:7). ‘Lord,’ said Solomon, ‘I ask of You wisdom. I
need to know how to go out and come in amongst these, Your people.’ By
God’s grace, this young man who had tremendous responsibility suddenly
placed upon him and very difficult obligations looming before him, was
given the wisdom to ask for wisdom.
So pleased was God with Solomon’s
request that He said, ‘I will not only grant you wisdom greater than
any other man — but I will give to you more wealth and fame than any
other person has ever enjoyed, victory over your enemies, and length
of days,’ (2 Chronicles 1:11-12). In other words, by asking for
wisdom, Solomon got everything else thrown in. Why? Personified as a
woman, wisdom says this:
I love those who love me, and those who seek me early shall find
me. Riches and honor are with me; yea, durable riches and
righteousness. My fruit is better than gold, yea, than fine gold; and
my revenue than choice silver. I lead in the way of righteousness, in
the midst of the paths of judgment, That I may cause those who love me
to inherit substance; and I will fill their treasures. (Proverbs
Wisdom cries out to simple men — dumb, unsophisticated, naive,
common people like you and me, saying, ‘If you walk with me, I will
cause you to have riches and success in all that you do,’ (Proverbs
How do we get wisdom? The text before us says if any man lack
wisdom, let him ask of God Who gives to all men generously.
it mean to ask of Him? In Solomon’s day, in Old Testament times, if
someone needed wisdom, for example concerning who to marry, where to
move, what job to take, he would go to Jerusalem where he would find
the high priest. As part of his vesture, the high priest wore a
pouch-like breastplate upon which were 12 gems, each representing one
of the tribes of Israel. It seems that these gems were instrumental in
the dispensing of wisdom. You see, according to Exodus 28:30, if one
had need of wisdom or direction personally, or if the people had need
corporately, the high priest would consult the urim and the thummim.
Although we can’t say dogmatically what the urim and the thummim
were, we do know what the words mean: ‘urim’ means ‘light’; ‘thummim’
means ‘perfection’ — perfect light to give direction.
How did they
work? It would seem as though the stones on the breastplate of the
high priest which were linked to the urim and the thummim would light
up in such a way that, using the letter of the tribe each represented,
an answer would be spelled out.
The problem was that, only the high
priest having the urim and the thummim, anyone having a question would
have to travel all the way to Jerusalem and make an appointment with
him to get an answer. Getting wisdom was not an easy thing to do!
There’s an infinitely better way for you and I to get light and
perfection, for Jesus said, ‘I am the Light of the world,’ (John
8:12); and Paul said in Him are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and
knowledge (Colossians 2:3). Thus, Jesus fulfills the urim and thummim
perfectly. We go to Him Who is Light personified, Who is Wisdom
incarnate and say, ‘Lord, what should I do in this situation?’ And how
does He answer? I suggest in three ways . . .
Through His People
It was God’s people — the twelve tribes of Israel — who
symbolically flashed the message on the breastplate of the high
priest. So too, Scripture says God’s people are jewels in His crown
(Zechariah 9:16). You may not feel like a gem; you may not think the
person sitting next to you is of very much value — but on the heart of
our High Priest, Jesus Christ, we are just that.
Where no counsel is, the people fall; but in the multitude of
counselors there is safety. Proverbs 11:14
Where there is no counsel, people fall — or literally, stumble — in
the dark. But as I talk with my brothers, as I share with God’s
people, the light shines through them in the counsel they give to me.
Through His Word
Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path. The
entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the
simple. Psalm 119:105, 130
I can’t tell you how many times when, wondering what I should do or
which way I should go, I’ll hear someone share from the Word on the
radio and it speaks directly to my situation. Or I’ll open the
Scriptures, a commentary, or a devotional book and find the Word of
God giving perfect light to me.
Upon Our Hearts
But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of
Israel: After these days, saith the Lord, I will put my law in their
inward parts, and write it in their hearts, and will be their God, and
they shall be my people. Jeremiah 31:33
Paul picks up this same idea when he says, ‘Let the peace of Christ
rule in your heart,’ (Colossians 3:15). The word translated, ‘rule’ is
an interesting one. A term linked to sports, it was used with regard
to officiating or umpiring. In other words, the peace of Christ will
call ‘Safe!’ or ‘Out!’ in your heart, giving you light and direction.
I find that these three avenues work together very harmoniously:
Through God’s people there is safety. In God’s Word there is light.
Upon my heart, He’ll write His will. So I can know whether I should
make that move or take that job by simply asking the Lord, knowing
He’ll make His will known to me through His people, in the Word, or
upon my heart if I ask in faith. What does it mean to ask in faith?
The integrity of the upright shall guide them . . . Proverbs 11:3
The Hebrew word translated, ‘integrity’ is ‘toomah’ — from the same
word as ‘thummim’. In other words, direction and integrity are linked
What does the word, ‘integrity’ mean? It means ‘integrated’
or ‘single’. Thus, the single-minded man of integrity says, ‘Father,
I’m not asking for wisdom out of curiosity. I’m committed to doing
what You tell me.’
Anyone who’s not sure if he’s really going to
follow through is double-minded and should not expect to receive
direction from the Lord. But to the man who asks in integrity, the man
who is single in purpose and heart God will give wisdom generously.
‘But what if I misinterpret His will on my heart or through His people
or in the Word?’ you ask. Turn to Genesis 20, where we see the first
mention of integrity in the Bible . . . Eager to become acquainted
with the newest acquisition to his harem, Abimelech looked forward to
meeting Sarah — until God appeared to him in a dream, saying, ‘The
woman you’ve taken is another man’s wife.’ ‘In the integrity of my
heart I have done this,’ Abimelech answered. ‘Yea, I know thou didst
this in the integrity of thy heart for I also withheld thee from
sinning against Me. Therefore I allowed thee not to touch her,’ the
What’s being said here is wonderful, for God is saying, ‘Abimelech,
you made a mistake. But your heart was right, so I protected you in
the decision you made.’ This means that when I ask of God to give me
wisdom, He gives me direction through His people, in His Word, and
upon my heart. But even if I don’t hear correctly and make a wrong
decision, if my heart is right, the Lord will protect me and correct
me just as He did Abimelech.
So many people never move out because of
the paralysis of analysis. That is, they’re always analyzing a
situation to determine what they should do. The Genesis 20 account
frees us from this, for if our hearts are right, we can move ahead,
knowing that He will protect us even if we’re moving in the wrong
Dear saint, as you pray today, I encourage you to do what
you know and you’ll know what to do. You know that you should be in
fellowship Sunday morning, studying the Word with your brothers and
sisters — and you’re doing that right now. I don’t know what I’m to do
tomorrow. I don’t know what’s ahead for me next month or next year.
But I know what I’m supposed to do today. I’m supposed to be here
sharing with you. So I do what I know today, and when tomorrow comes,
I’ll know what to do then. You will too.
If you lack wisdom, ask of
God. And if you do that in faith, you’ll be doing what you know. Then
through His people, through His Word, and through His will upon your
heart, you’ll know what to do as you walk in the Light of the Perfect
One, Jesus Christ.