I just had the coolest devotional reading today. I read I Kings 2-3, Psalm 147, and I Corinthians 13. I Kings left me with a big question, and Psalm 147 and I Corinthians 13 answered it. I read my Bible methodically, so these three passages were put together for me in advance by God. (Or you could call it a coincidence. I don’t really believe in those, however.) Below, you can see the questions I typed out in my Spiritual Journal on my website (http://www.mbweston.com/) and how they were answered.
I Kings 3: Solomon asks God for a discerning heart, and God gives it to him, saying "I will give you a wise and discerning heart, so that there will never have been anyone like you, nor will there ever be." Solomon is known to have been wise, but that wisdom did not give him the ability to obey God. I often wonder why. I've always placed high value on wisdom and knowledge about the Bible and about God. I have seen throughout my (short) lifetime, however, that those who are wise can turn away and stop following God. Although I don't understand why or how, I know that it must take more to obey God than wisdom. Why isn’t wisdom good enough?
Psalm 147: Here is part of the answer. It says, "The Lord delights in those who fear Him, who put their hope in His unfailing love." There must be something about genuinely respecting and grasping the power of God and then putting hope in Him that is somehow greater than wisdom.
I Corinthians 13: Ah, here's the other part answer. How amazing that I read these passages on the same day. "If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, but have not love, I am nothing." Later it says, "But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away." I can see from both the Psalms and this passage, why immense wisdom is not enough. What does it take to follow and obey God? First, it takes the heart of David (w/o the adultery/murder)—heart full of a genuine fear and respect for God and faith. Second, it takes a heart of love for both God and others. Funny how when Jesus was asked what the most important commandments were, he said "Love the lord your God with all your heart and love your neighbor as yourself." (I didn't look it up, so that's about as accurate as I can get it from my memory.) The heart God wants us to have is not characterized by wisdom, it's characterized by fear and respect for Him, hope and faith, and love for others. I shall end with I Corinthians 13:13. "And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love." (Not wisdom.)
(My husband was looking over my shoulder as I read this. He said that he had been praying for wisdom for years, and God has given him wisdom. Then he said that he had not been praying for love, and he doesn't really care about others that much. I think his prayer life is about to change....)
For more information on my debut novel, A Prophecy Forgotten, check out my website at http://www.elysianchronicles.com.