Solomon: Courage, Wisdom and Leadership

Part 3

Give Me Wisdom Please!

I recently read a post that asked, If you could have anything, what would it be? One response that caught my attention was this: I want a 100 Billion dollars in gold. With that amount of money, boy, could I do a lot. First, I’d buy all my friends and family houses of their choice and put in trust sufficient funds to pay their property taxes and insurance for life. I’d put money in trust for each of them that paid them 10 times their current wage a year.  


This post reveals the heart of man who thinks in terms of outcomes. His motives are ‘I want this for me and want this for you’.  


Mankind in general and our current culture, in particular, are consumed with outcomes. We want our desired outcomes easily, quickly and in the comfort of our own homes. Immediate outcomes are the mindset of the lottery generation.  


Another way to think about outcomes is the eternal principle of cause-and-effect. The principle of cause-and-effect threads its way through every aspect of life. Cause-and-effect is the very power source of God’s created order within His universe.  


However, we are usually one-sided in our thinking of cause-and-effect. We generally think about our desired effect without pondering and planning around the cause. In other words, we wish for certain outcomes without going through the work it takes to achieve such outcomes. 


Let me give you an example. Many people say, whether consciously or subconsciously, ‘I wish I could make a million dollars a year’. Or ‘I wish I had 10 million dollars and could retire’. That is outcome thinking. That is effect thinking. When we wish for things or hope for certain outcomes, we jump to the effect. However, we have it backwards. We should spend 1% of our time determining our ideal outcomes and 99% of time planning and executing the cause(s).  


I call this causal thinking and planning. 


Let’s go back to the million-dollar-a-year thinking. It takes only a moment to wish for a million dollars a year. It takes only a moment to wish for the desired effect. The real work and the road less traveled is the thinking it takes to plan and determine the causal activities that will produce (through the natural course of things), the desired effect. 


The reality is that making a million dollars a year in America legally and ethically has been done many, many times and is being accomplished right now by thousands and thousands of people. 


So, instead of wishing for a million dollars a year (the desired effect), begin planning and determining a path of personal development, training, apprenticeship, work ethic, career development, etc., that will eventually lead to your desired effect. 


It may sound a bit cliché, but the journey is the real adventure, not the final outcome. 


I’m just using the million-dollar-a-year concept as an example. The principle of causal thinking can be applied to any and every circumstance of life. 


When Solomon asked for wisdom, did he ask for a cause or an effect


When Solomon became king of Israel and Judah at a young age, he had the desired outcome in mind. He wanted to lead his people to greatness and enjoy the blessings of wealth and economic prosperity. He wanted to rule in peace and garner the respect of the nations of the world. He wanted to be a great king. He knew the outcome and effect he desired.


When God spoke to Solomon and said, Ask what you wish Me to give you, Solomon didn’t ask for the outcome, he asked for the means to the outcome. He didn’t ask for the effect, he asked for the causal thinking that would produce the desired effect. 


Solomon responded to God’s question by saying: 


Now O Lord my God, You have made Your servant king in place of my father David, yet I am but a little child; I do not know how to go out or come in. Your servant is in the midst of Your people which You have chosen, a great people who are too many to be numbered or counted. So, give Your servant an understanding heart to judge Your people to discern between good and evil. For who is able to judge this great people of Yours? I Kings 3:7-9. 


Solomon did not ask for the effect or outcome he desired, (unlike the man who asked for the 100 million in gold). Solomon asked for the cause (wisdom) that would produce his desired effect, (a blessed a prosperous nation). It was pleasing in the sight of the Lord that Solomon had asked this thing. I Kings 3:10 


Here are a few observations to consider: 


  • God’s created order has built within it the powerful principles of cause-and-effect and sowing and reaping. God’s Word often speaks of it in terms of if-then. God told Solomon, If you walk in My ways, keeping My statutes and commandments, as your father David walked, then I will prolong your days. I Kings 3:14.
  • This story in I Kings 3 infers that God is pleased when we think and act in terms of cause-and-effect, (with an emphasis on causal thinking) rather than always wishing and hoping for certain outcomes. It was pleasing in the sight of the Lord that Solomon had asked this thing.
  • The Bible is filled with the principles of cause-and-effect and sowing-and-reaping and if-then. Yes, external factors outside of ourselves influence our current situation in life. But for the most part, our current state in life is the culmination of our personal decisions compounded over the many years of our lives. Solomon established his kingdom in peace and prosperity by ruling well and applying wisdom to his decisions and plans. 
  • God superseded the powerful principle of cause-and-effect in one key area of life; our salvation. Jesus is both the cause and the effect of our salvation. He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world and because of His great love, He predestined us to adopt into His family for His own glory, Ephesians 1. We bring nothing to the table in our salvation. Jesus has done it all. Jesus is both the cause and the effect of our salvation. We simply believe and even our belief is a gift from God. 


But God … made us alive together with Christ, (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. Ephesians 2:4-7.


Live your life here on earth following the wisdom of sowing and reaping and cause-and-effect. But in salvation, realize that Jesus is the alpha and omega, the beginning and the end, the cause-and-effect. He is all in all and everything You need to save you from a life of sin and despair. Praise be to God, the author and finisher of our faith. Amen!