How a Noteworthy Statement by King Solomon Helps Put Certain Limitations in a Right Perspective

April 13, 2015

First Kings 4:29-34 highlights the surpassing greatness of the wisdom that God gave King Solomon:

1Ki 4:29 And God gave Solomon wisdom and understanding exceeding much, and largeness of heart, even as the sand that is on the sea shore.

 30 And Solomon’s wisdom excelled the wisdom of all the children of the east country, and all the wisdom of Egypt.

 31 For he was wiser than all men; than Ethan the Ezrahite, and Heman, and Chalcol, and Darda, the sons of Mahol: and his fame was in all nations round about.

 32 And he spake three thousand proverbs: and his songs were a thousand and five.

 33 And he spake of trees, from the cedar tree that is in Lebanon even unto the hyssop that springeth out of the wall: he spake also of beasts, and of fowl, and of creeping things, and of fishes.

 34 And there came of all people to hear the wisdom of Solomon, from all kings of the earth, which had heard of his wisdom.

These breathtaking statements relate the remarkable breadth and depth of wisdom that God gave to King Solomon.

In the very next chapter, however, we read that King Solomon sought out the services of Hiram king of Tyre to render necessary service for the building of a house for God’s name (1 Kings 5:1-6). In fact, Solomon himself declared that the Sidonians were uniquely skilled in a way that none of the Israelites was:

1Ki 5:6 Now therefore command thou that they hew me cedar trees out of Lebanon; and my servants shall be with thy servants: and unto thee will I give hire for thy servants according to all that thou shalt appoint: for thou knowest that there is not among us any that can skill to hew timber like unto the Sidonians.

From this statement by Solomon himself, we learn that the superlative wisdom that God gave Solomon did not extend to the skill of cutting timber!

The greatness of Solomon’s wisdom, therefore, included the skill of discerning what areas he (and all the others around him) was not especially gifted at and the skill of accurately assessing who had the skills that he himself lacked. From this noteworthy statement by King Solomon, we should learn that an important facet of living our lives wisely to the do the will of God in our lives is to recognize what areas God has not gifted us in and to avail ourselves freely of the services of those whom He has gifted in those ways.

Moreover, we should not feel that we are somehow stupid or unmanly or lacking if we are not able to do some specific tasks well, as many others may be able to do them. If someone who was so immensely gifted supernaturally by God as Solomon was yet lacked a high degree of a specific skill involving manual labor, we who have not been directly blessed by God to any degree comparable to what Solomon was have no need to feel ashamed or inadequate because we are not particularly skillful in doing certain or even many manual tasks well!

 

 

 

Rajesh

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