Remember that renowned ruling of King Solomon, who asked God for wisdom? I bet it comes to mind, the one about the two prostitutes and the surviving baby. Remember how King Solomon deciphered who the real mother was by threatening to divide the living child in two and hand over to each woman a half of their claim?
This creepy and truly astounding court session takes place in 1 Kings, chapter three. Lesson learned. God’s wisdom does not always look like Walt Disney. Hey, but, sometimes it does!
In chapter 4 of 1 Kings, Solomon appoints his chief officials. Some of the chiefs were priests. Some were secretaries. Some were recorders of data, One was in charge of the district governors, one was in charge of forced labor.
After these appointments come the record of King Solomon’s twelve district governors, who they were, and the data about how much and how often they brought provisions to the rather large royal household of the King.
Though the people were taxed for these provisions, the record states, “The people of Judah and Israel were as numerous as the sand on the seashore; they ate, they drank, and they were happy.” (NIV) Egypt brought tribute to King Solomon. The people had peace and safety on all sides throughout Solomon’s lifetime. “From Dan to Beersheba, everyone lived under their own vine and under their own fig tree. Solomon had four thousand stalls for chariot horses and twelve thousand horses.” (NIV) Can you see it? What a pretty way to describe a life of peace and safety!
Then, in verses 23, the recorder of these chronicles says, “God gave Solomon wisdom and very great insight, and a breadth of understanding as measureless as the sand on the seashore” – so wisdom enough for all the people who were as numerous as the sand on the seashore. He was “wiser than anyone else.”
What is wisdom?
As an author and a writer, and as the managing partner of Capture Books, I pray for wisdom regularly. In fact, I have sometimes prayed for wisdom from puberty. Admittedly, I do not always know what wisdom means, what it looks like until I see it, or read about it, or am amazed by something someone else is able to accomplish.
Do you want to know what wisdom looks like?
King Solomon spoke 3,000 proverbs and wrote 1,005 songs for all of his minstrels to play and sing. This means that he understood philosophy, the way life works and doesn’t work, and could teach this succinctly.
He implemented the right laws, codes, regulations, and case managers to achieve the highest welfare for his people.
But, Solomon also understood musicality, music theory, lyric writing, acrostics, rhyming and rhythm, rules of language, tricks of speech, and how to effect passion and motivate others through songs and proverbs.
He spoke about plant life from the cedars of Lebanon to the hyssop that grows out of walls.
When the King heard about a novelty in biochemistry or mathematics or architecture, he applied what he learned to other vaults of knowledge and human need. People came from all nations to listen to Solomon’s wisdom.
King Solomon’s mouth was a destination point.
After studying these two chapters this week, it didn’t escape reason that I should encourage writers to research the edges of their topics fully and record these findings to apply to everything we pen or type on a subject.
It would seem to me that it is not the parroting of other’s information that becomes wisdom. Anyone can parrot what another person says. In our stories and in our writing, we must combine the skills of data collection, fact-checking with pretty rhythms and parallels of speech, added to philosophical functions of life regarding the living things we say we represent in our essays and books and reports. We cannot choose to avoid the fact that the wisest man on earth got there because he desired wisdom above all else.
We cannot avoid unfortunate data such as the appointed advisor over forced labor, or the collection of taxes. These things should make us sit up and ask more questions so that we have answers for our readers who will ask these questions.
When we write well, we include exaggerations to make the reader smile. Solomon’s data recorder even included phrases like, “numerous as the sand on the seashore” and “everyone lived under their own vine and under their own fig tree” because these are the pictures that cause our souls to stir and smiling lips to detach from between bored chins and noses. When we write well, we mention that hyssop grows out of walls (just because we can, because we happen to know that data).
Maybe your writing will become a destination point, but this is a by-product of asking God for wisdom and doing your due diligence. The A-HAs of life in God’s universe abound! Let’s look a little closer into each our own worlds and follow the wonder.