Scriptural Gem for April 2017

In Genesis 3:5, we read: “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
And in 1 Kings 3:9, we read: “So give your servant [Solomon] an understanding heart to govern your people and to distinguish between good and evil.”

Although the serpent meant to mislead Eve with his statement in Genesis 3 (i.e. he promised knowledge, but he neglected to mention that her understanding would be born of personal corruption), we see that truly “knowing good and evil” is reserved for God in His holy perfection. As for Solomon, Christians often think that he simply asked God for wisdom, but a different picture emerges when we look closer at the original text. In the original Hebrew, 1 Kings 3:9 reads: “So give your servant a 'shama' heart to govern your people...' This Hebrew word 'shama' means 'to hear'. The Amplified version has: “a hearing heart” which is a perfect translation of the original text. So, Solomon asked for the ability to hear God because he himself knew that only God's judgments are perfect, true and just, that only God knows good and evil. In short, Solomon asked for access to God's wisdom by way of a hearing heart!

Throughout Scripture, we are reminded that true wisdom belongs to God alone: 
Job 28:12-13: “But where can wisdom be found? Where does understanding dwell? No mortal comprehends its worth; it cannot be found in the land of the living.”
Daniel 2:20: “Then Daniel praised the God of heaven and said: 'Praise be to the name of God for ever and ever; wisdom and power are his.'”
Romans 11:33: “Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out!”
James 3:17: “But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.”

Jesus encouraged His disciples before He went to the cross by promising “the Spirit of truth [who]…will bring glory to me by taking from what is mine and making it known to you.” (John 16:13—15) God delights in speaking through His people for the sake of His glory. We have received “the Spirit who is from God that we may understand what God has freely given us. [Only then can] we speak, not in words taught us in human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words.” (1 Corinthians 2:12—13) 

Dear friends, let us pray like Solomon, not to be given wisdom as something outside of God Himself, but to be able to hear God's voice and His perfect wisdom. Amen!