The Wisdom of Solomon Discerns Good from Evil and is NOT Impossible to Have Today
Here is the scriptural account of Solomon’s God-given wisdom in action. Read it and then let’s draw some conclusions and applications for today’s church.
And now, O LORD my God, you have made your servant king in place of David my father, although I am but a little child. I do not know how to go out or come in. And your servant is in the midst of your people whom you have chosen, a great people, too many to be numbered or counted for multitude. Give your servant therefore an understanding mind to govern your people, that I may discern between good and evil, for who is able to govern this your great people?” It pleased the Lord that Solomon had asked this. (1 Kings 3:7-10)
The idea for this post came to me as I was preaching last Sunday’s sermon in the Wise as Serpents series of messages. The example of King Solomon’s wisdom came to my mind as I preached, and I shared it with the congregation. (Note: we will be publishing next Sunday a post based on that sermon which Jeff preached on June 5th 2016.)
Here is how Solomon received that wisdom. It is the wisdom of the Lord, conveyed to him by the Spirit. And right away he exercises it —
Then two prostitutes came to the king and stood before him.
The one woman said, “Oh, my lord, this woman and I live in the same house, and I gave birth to a child while she was in the house. Then on the third day after I gave birth, this woman also gave birth. And we were alone. There was no one else with us in the house; only we two were in the house. And this woman’s son died in the night, because she lay on him. And she arose at midnight and took my son from beside me, while your servant slept, and laid him at her breast, and laid her dead son at my breast. When I rose in the morning to nurse my child, behold, he was dead. But when I looked at him closely in the morning, behold, he was not the child that I had borne.”
But the other woman said, “No, the living child is mine, and the dead child is yours.”
The first said, “No, the dead child is yours, and the living child is mine.”
Thus they spoke before the king.
Then the king said, “The one says, ‘This is my son that is alive, and your son is dead’; and the other says, ‘No; but your son is dead, and my son is the living one.’” And the king said, “Bring me a sword.” So a sword was brought before the king. And the king said, “Divide the living child in two, and give half to the one and half to the other.”
Then the woman whose son was alive said to the king, because her heart yearned for her son, “Oh, my lord, give her the living child, and by no means put him to death.”
But the other said, “He shall be neither mine nor yours; divide him.”
Then the king answered and said, “Give the living child to the first woman, and by no means put him to death; she is his mother.”
And all Israel heard of the judgment that the king had rendered, and they stood in awe of the king, because they perceived that the wisdom of God was in him to do justice. (1Ki 3:16-28)
The wisdom of God was in him to do justice
Hear that? See that? The wisdom of God was in him to do justice. What is this justice? Discerning good and evil. Distinguishing the wicked from the righteous. Here Solomon was confronted with, you might say, an abuser or at least a very wicked person, along with a victim. Who was lying? Who was telling the truth? Solomon sorted it out. He used very practical wisdom and the real mother was revealed, as was the liar.
Now, today we often hear and use the phrase, “that would take the wisdom of Solomon.” And we think that such wisdom is really unattainable, that somehow it was a very unique dose of wisdom that God gave him. And so it was, in his day. But in this era of the New Covenant, all of God’s people are given the Holy Spirit. Every one of them. And one of the gifts of the spirit is wisdom.
Therefore, brothers, pick out from among you seven men of good repute, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we will appoint to this duty. (Act 6:3)
that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, (Eph 1:17)
And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, (Col 1:9)
In other words, wisdom from God evidences itself in the ability to discern good from evil, and every Christian should be praying for more and more of that Spirit and His wisdom. The leaders of local churches must be people who are so gifted.
But the church today???
What are we seeing when victims of evil come and lay their case before their churches and church leaders? What are we seeing over and over and over again? We all know the answer. In so many cases, and in fact typically, the people who are counseling and teaching Christ’s people do not have a clue. The shepherds don’t have a clue. The shepherds do not have the wisdom of the Spirit. As a result, they justify the wicked and expel the righteous.
Want more proof about this? Look at this passage —
About this we have much to say, and it is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing. For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food, for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child. But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil. (Heb 5:11-14)
See it? For those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil. There it is. Do you think that church leaders, pastors, elders, Christian counselors, teachers, ought to be mature in Christ? I hope so. If they are not, then they are “unskilled in the word of righteousness” and are mere children sitting in the seats of judges. But once more, what are we seeing today? Are we seeing these leaders regularly exercising “powers of discernment” able to “distinguish good from evil”?
What does that tell us then?
It means that many, many, many local churches are being led by people who are unqualified for their offices. They do not possess God’s wisdom, though they frequently insist that they do. They don’t. And we know they don’t because they so often are duped by or take the side of the evil ones, while rejecting the righteous.
And all one need to do is read the many accounts recorded on this blog in the articles and in the comments which prove that such is indeed the case.
If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. (1 Cor 13:1-2)
Love, you see, gives justice. To the victim. And to the wicked. Lot’s of clanging noise out there. Little justice. Little love.