As Solomon had just ascended the throne in Israel succeeding his father, David, he was overwhelmed by it all and prayed to God. He humbly recognized his human frailities: “. . .I am but a little child: I know not how to go out or come in. . . give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge Thy people, that I may discern between good and bad” (1Kgs.3:7-9). This request so pleased the Lord (that he didn’t ask for riches, etc) that God granted him great wisdom as well as riches ! Humble motives always produce great blessings !!
Solomon would go on to record for us this wisdom in such books as Song of Solomon and Ecclesiastes but perhaps the most prominent wisdom book is Proverbs which God also inspired him to write. As that great piece of wisdom literature begins he wrote this, “A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels.” (1:5).
My wife and I had a great blessing in attending a small Bible college. There were many advantages and we made some great friends, even amongst our professors. One of the blessings I recall was our two best friends Ronda and Bill. One day after coming back to campus from my job, which was at the time delivering furniture, I was a little bummed that day as I was seeing a lot of wealthy, spoiled, finicky people and in my mind was contrasting that with seeing people in our college working hard, serving the Lord and struggling to just get by. Ronda told me she had just read Ps.37 that morning in her devotions, “Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity.” (vs.1). Her words were a needed rebuke and a corrective message from God through her to bring to me God’s wisdom !
Now I had a choice to make, would I blow off what she had just said or accept it? Solomon taught a “wise man will hear” ! How do you typically respond when criticized? When you listen, as Solomon said, you give God the opportunity then to increase learning and wisdom in you. And one other thing, God often works through these admonitions from others. Solomon also scribed, “Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.” (27:17). Don’t be a dull Christian, be sharp !! Listen when others speak, it might be that God is trying to use the most unlikely of persons to mold you, it might be He is using a dear friend, that familiar voice of your pastor that we can tune out, or even a child, but be humble enough to hear and consider what is being said. We tend to minimize the criticisms when they come from those we feel are beneath us, but maybe, thats when God is really screaming out to you ! So listen well today and take to heart what you hear, God speaks to us always because He loves us and wants us to increase !!