July 20, 2020

1Kings 3:1-12

“Give your servant therefore an understanding mind to govern your people, able to discern between good and evil; for who can govern this your great people?” vs, 9

Solomon’s biographer described him as the wealthiest king on earth. His armies were undefeated and his building projects unmatched, and he spared no expense in providing for himself and his wives. Even the Queen of Sheba came to see him and he lavished her with gifts. And according to his biographer all this happened because, as a young man, in a dream, he had asked God for wisdom and not riches. It’s an amazing story, one that has made the phrase “Wisdom of Solomon” familiar to all, but it’s also a huge distortion! The opulent life-style that Solomon lived, his wasteful spending and dictatorial rule, his collection of love slaves, his embrace of idolatry, was as far from being wise as we can imagine. By the time his reign ended the country was divided and in a state of rebellion. His practices meant the end of a united Israel! The lesson is plain! The true marks of wisdom in a leader are not revealed in what fawning publicists write, but in the effects of their policies among the people they’ve been called to lead. Extravagant living is never a product of wisdom, but is almost always a combination of manipulation and greed. What a blessing it is to have leaders who are servants and not tyrants, and who can govern with understanding minds. Such persons are truly a gift from God!

Thought for the Day: Some examples of wise leaders.

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