“Solomon loved the Lord and followed all the decrees of his father, David, except that Solomon, too, offered sacrifices and burned incense at the local places of worship. The most important of these places of worship was at Gibeon, so the king went there and sacrificed 1,000 burnt offerings. That night the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream, and God said, “What do you want? Ask, and I will give it to you!” Solomon replied, “You showed great and faithful love to your servant my father, David, because he was honest and true and faithful to you. And you have continued to show this great and faithful love to him today by giving him a son to sit on his throne. “Now, O Lord my God, you have made me king instead of my father, David, but I am like a little child who doesn’t know his way around. And here I am in the midst of your own chosen people, a nation so great and numerous they cannot be counted! Give me an understanding heart so that I can govern your people well and know the difference between right and wrong. For who by himself is able to govern this great people of yours?” The Lord was pleased that Solomon had asked for wisdom. So God replied, “Because you have asked for wisdom in governing my people with justice and have not asked for a long life or wealth or the death of your enemies— I will give you what you asked for! I will give you a wise and understanding heart such as no one else has had or ever will have! And I will also give you what you did not ask for—riches and fame! No other king in all the world will be compared to you for the rest of your life! And if you follow me and obey my decrees and my commands as your father, David, did, I will give you a long life.” – 1 Kings 3:3-14 2 Chronicles 1:1-12
Proverbs – a book of instruction for wisdom
“Their purpose is to teach people wisdom and discipline, to help them understand the insights of the wise. Their purpose is to teach people to live disciplined and successful lives, to help them do what is right, just, and fair. These proverbs will give insight to the simple, knowledge and discernment to the young. Let the wise listen to these proverbs and become even wiser. Let those with understanding receive guidance by exploring the meaning in these proverbs and parables, the words of the wise and their riddles. Fear of the Lord is the foundation of true knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline.” – Proverbs 1:2-7
Proverbs helps us apply God’s guidance to various aspects of daily life in this world.
(providing particular comparison between the benefit of learning and the consequences of refusing to learn)
Knowledge – information “Intelligent people are always ready to learn. Their ears are open for knowledge.” – Proverbs 18:15
“A wise person is hungry for knowledge, while the fool feeds on trash.” – Proverbs 15:14
Understanding – what the information means
Wisdom – knowing the way to apply our understanding of knowledge
“Choose my instruction rather than silver, and knowledge rather than pure gold. For wisdom is far more valuable than rubies. Nothing you desire can compare with it. “I, Wisdom, live together with good judgment. I know where to discover knowledge and discernment. All who fear the Lord will hate evil. Therefore, I hate pride and arrogance, corruption and perverse speech. Common sense and success belong to me. Insight and strength are mine.” – Proverbs 8:10-14
“My child, listen to what I say, and treasure my commands. Tune your ears to wisdom, and concentrate on understanding. Cry out for insight, and ask for understanding. Search for them as you would for silver; seek them like hidden treasures. Then you will understand what it means to fear the Lord, and you will gain knowledge of God. For the Lord grants wisdom! From his mouth come knowledge and understanding.” – Proverbs 2:1-6
“Fear of the Lord is the foundation of wisdom. Knowledge of the Holy One results in good judgment.” – Proverbs 9:10
“Getting wisdom is the wisest thing you can do! And whatever else you do, develop good judgment.” – Proverbs 4:7
“Now regarding your question about food that has been offered to idols. Yes, we know that “we all have knowledge” about this issue. But while knowledge makes us feel important, it is love that strengthens the church. Anyone who claims to know all the answers doesn’t really know very much. But the person who loves God is the one whom God recognizes.” – 1 Corinthians 8:1-3
“For in him we live and move and exist. As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’ And since this is true, we shouldn’t think of God as an idol designed by craftsmen from gold or silver or stone.” – Acts 17:28-29
What do we learn?
- God is the source of wisdom.
- God values learning.
- God cares about our motives for learning.
- God has pleasure and purpose for learning.
- Learning should be helpful to the common good.
- Not all sources of information are equal.
- We can enjoy learning.
What should we do about this?
- Choose to value what God values.
- Read Proverbs.
- Make a list of topics for learning.
- Consider the source.
- Give each source value-based input.
- Share the journey.
- Have fun.