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Peter-John Courson


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.\

This one’s 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 8:17-21)

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 8:5).

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.

What does 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 together.

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 Lord replied.

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 direction.

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.