In this passage, Solomon recalls the words his father David told him when he was a boy, words, that apparently left in a deep impression on him. David told him,
Lay hold of my words with all your heart; keep my commands and you will live. Get wisdom, get understanding; do not forget my words or swerve from them. Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you; love her, and she will watch over you. Wisdom is supreme; therefore get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding. Esteem her, and she will exalt you; embrace her, and she will honor you. She will set a garland of grace on your head and present you with a crown of splendor.” (4-9)
These words so impressed Solomon that when God offered to give him whatever his heart desired, Solomon didn’t ask for wealth, power, or any of the other things you’d expect a king to ask for. Instead, he asked that God would give him wisdom. And God happily granted it to him.
In the same way, God will grant wisdom to anyone who asks and seeks after it. James wrote,
If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. (1:5)
The question then becomes, how much do we esteem wisdom in our lives? Do we actively seek it? Particularly in his Word? How often do you spend time in his Word? For many Christians, it’s once a week on Sunday, while taking a fast on the Word of God the rest of the week. Then as we face situations in life, we find that we don’t have the wisdom to deal with them, and we wonder why things so often go wrong in our lives. That’s why Solomon said,
Wisdom is supreme; therefore get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding. (Proverbs 4:7)
But it’s not enough to merely learn what wisdom says. We need to follow it as well. James says in verses 6-8 of chapter 1,
But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does.
Some people ask God for wisdom, but when they receive it, they doubt that it’s really the best way. And so they just go on doing things their own way. James says that type of person will never find stability in his life. Instead he’ll always be tossed around by his circumstances and the opinions of others.
But when we truly esteem wisdom, when we seek it and then follow it, Solomon tells us we will find peace, stability, and honor.
How about you? Do you esteem wisdom in your life?