I Kings

Cruising Route 66

“He Who Knows Not”

The LORD appeared to Solomon during the night in a dream, and God said, “Ask for whatever you want Me to give you.” … “Give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong…”    

 I Kings 3:5&9  

Ever think about what you would ask for if you had the opportunity to have anything you wanted? Solomon had been given that opportunity and instead of riches, health, or eternal life, he chose discernment. In other words, “Endow me O, Lord with wisdom!” – “Enable me to tell the difference between what looks right and what is right!”

Is Solomon saying that he can’t tell the difference? Yes. This is a clear sign of a truly wise man. It’s only a fool who sees himself as the discerner of truth. There is a Persian proverb tongue twister that holds a great deal of truth:

He who knows not, and knows not that he knows not, is a fool; shun him.
He who knows not, and knows that he knows not, is a child; teach him.
He who knows not, and knows not that he knows, is asleep; wake him.
He who knows, and knows that he knows, is wise; follow him.

We live in a world in which the line between right and wrong tends to become blurred. So long as it doesn’t affect us directly, we tend to ignore it. Isaiah 5:20 says that there are those who call good, evil, and evil, good. It cannot simply be ignored in hopes that it will just go away. Nor can we assume that such foolishness will not affect us because we are not exempt, as I Kings so clearly points out.

As Solomon grew old, his wives turned his heart after other gods, and his heart was not fully devoted to the LORD his God, as the heart of David his father had been.  I Kings 11:4   

What happened? Simply put, Solomon moved from being one “who knows that he knows,” to one “who knows not that he knows not.” Solomon was not saved from the wickedness of his wives because he no longer turned his “ear to wisdom” or “applied his heart to understanding.” He stopped “looking for it as for silver” and he no longer “searched for it as for hidden treasure.” By the fact that he “turned his heart after other gods”, clearly demonstrates that he lost “the fear of the Lord”. Solomon lost the ability to tell the difference between right and wrong. Wisdom became foolishness.

Life without wisdom, without understanding and discernment, is like driving 65 miles an hour in a school zone, on a thick foggy day, without your glasses. You may get to your destination without incident, but the chances are good that someone is going to get hurt. Most likely it will always be you. Like Solomon, we have gotten to our destination successfully… so far.

Do you want the wisdom of God? Do you want more than a general assumption about right and wrong, Do you desire divine help in knowing the difference between the two?

First, you must admit that you can be swayed by a lie. The world is filled with deception. Truth is constantly being massaged to fit individual agendas. What is wrong can sometimes be confused with what is right when our ears are filled with nothing but voices shouting their perspectives and beliefs.

Secondly, we must recognize that we need to hear God’s voice in all we do, not just during our times of devotion and our weekly visit to church.

There are three steps that must be taken each day to assure God’s wisdom is ever-present in our lives.

First, Go To Your Knees. – God promises wisdom to those who simply ask for it.

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.    James 1:5   

Second, Go To The Word. – God has provided a divine owner’s manual, and within its pages He has laid out a wonderful “troubleshooting” plan for every circumstance and situation you will ever face.

For the LORD gives wisdom, and from His mouth come knowledge and understanding.     Proverbs 2:6  

Third, Hang Out With The Wise. – Discernment is better caught then taught. Spend time with those who demonstrate Godly wisdom in their conduct, compassion, and understanding of God’s Word.

The whole world sought audience with Solomon to hear the wisdom God had put in his heart.      1Kings 10:24

Now take the next fifteen minutes, turn off the TV and find a quiet place with your Bible. Open it to your favorite verse and read it in context, then ask God for wisdom, His wisdom, to serve those whom God brings into your life today.

Until next time,


Award-Winning Author of
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