“Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.”
That has nothing to do with much of anything, except that it points us toward the topic of today’s devotional: wisdom.
If you’ve sat through enough children’s Sunday School classes, you probably know that King Solomon is widely regarded as the wisest man that ever lived (outside of Jesus, of course–but Jesus is also God, so that’s a bit of a competitive advantage).
But no one is born wise. Interestingly enough, apparently even a younger Jesus had room to grow in wisdom (see Luke 2:52). The question, then, is where does wisdom come from? Where does it begin? How do we become increasingly wise?
According to 1 Kings 3, wisdom begins from a posture of humility. God asks Solomon what he would like to receive from God. Just so we’re on the same page, this is the God who spoke creation into existence, the authoritative Ruler and Sustainer of the heavens and earth. He literally had the ability to give Solomon anything he might ask for.
So what did Solomon ask for?
“I am but a little child. I do not know how to go out or come in…Give your servant an understanding mind to govern your people.” (1 Kings 3:7, 9)
The wisest man to ever live came to be the wisest man to ever live precisely because he acknowledged he was not all that wise to begin with. In humility (“I am but a little child…”), Solomon knew he didn’t have what it took to govern God’s people. He didn’t have all the answers–if this whole deal was going to work, Solomon knew he needed a lot of help. So, in humility, he asked. And from his surplus, God supplied.
Despite what we seem to wish our social media feeds would lead others to believe, we don’t know it all. We could all use a healthy helping of wisdom. The good news is that the God who supplied wisdom to Solomon has also promised to supply wisdom to his people, giving “generously to all without reproach” (James 1:5). But a prerequisite to obtaining said wisdom is asking God for it–or, to put it another way, humbly admitting that you are not what he is: all-knowing, all-seeing, all-powerful, and always in control.