Good day to each of you reading this column on the subject of wealth or wisdom and the Book of Proverbs.

Let’s lighten the load before we tackle the subject of wealth or wisdom with the following:

Meet George Phillips, an elderly man, from Meridian, Mississippi, who was headed up to bed when his wife told him that he left the light on in the garden shed, which she could see from the bedroom window. George opened the back door to go turn off the light, but saw that there were people in the shed stealing things.

He phoned the police, who asked “Is someone in your house?” He said, “No,” but some people are breaking into my garden shed and stealing from me.

Then the police dispatcher said, “All patrols are busy, so lock your doors and an officer will be along when one is available.”

George said, “Okay.” Then he hung up the phone and counted to thirty before calling the police.

“Hello, I just called you a few seconds ago because there were people stealing from my garden shed. Well, you don’t have to worry about them now because I just shot and killed them both, the dogs are eating them right now.” And he hung up.

Within five (5) minutes, six Police Cars, a S.W.A.T. team, a Helicopter, two fire trucks, a Paramedic, and an Ambulance showed up at the Phillips’ house, and caught the burglars red-handed.

One of the Policeman said to George, “I thought you said that you’d shot them!”

George said, “I thought you said there was nobody available!”

A young man who had been raised as an atheist was training to be an Olympic diver. The only religious influence in his life came from his outspoken Christian friend. The young diver never really paid much attention as his friend shared his faith, but he heard him talk about it often.

One night the diver went to the indoor pool at the college he attended. The lights were all off, but as the pool had big skylights and the moon was bright, there was plenty of light to practice by. The young man climbed up to the highest diving board and as he turned his back to the pool on the edge of the board and extended his arms out, he saw his shadow on the wall.

The shadow of his body in the form of a cross. Instead of diving, he knelt down and asked God to come into his life.

Oh, but wait, this is not the end of the story for as the young man stood, a maintenance man walked in and turned the lights on. You see the pool had been drained for repairs. The rest of the story

Here’s a question—ask 100 people what they would rather have—wealth or wisdom?

How many would say wealth—I would like to ask the 40 and under crowd that same question—wealth or wisdom?

If I were ask you what does wealth, wisdom and work all have in common, what would you say?

For one thing, they all start with a w—Correct

Here is another from my wife—if you use your wisdom=m in your work, you can get wealth.

What are the common threads when putting wealth with wisdom and with work.

Turn to 1 Kings 3:5-14 – The Lord appeared to Solomon at night in a dream and asked Solomon for whatever you want me to give you. Solomon, in return, began by thanking the Lord for his father, David and for his position on the throne.

Solomon, before the Lord, says that he is a little child and does not know how to carry out his duties. Solomon, being taught the ways of the Israelites, a great people asks for a discerning heart to govern the people and to distinguish between right and wrong.

Solomon, being in awe of the Lord’s presence, asks the question—who is able to govern this great people as yours?

This little child, Solomon, could have asked for anything in the way of material wealth, long life, defeat of his enemies, a lavish lifestyle or a whole host of worldly extravagances.

Instead, he asked for “a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between what is right and wrong. (v. 9).

The Lord’s response—pleased that Solomon had asked for this. Look at verse 12—I will do what you have asked, I will give you a wise and discerning heart, so that there will never have been anyone like you, nor will there ever be.

A very important takeaway is that God gave Solomon a wise and discerning heart, but it was up to Solomon to apply that wisdom to all areas of his life.

The Lord tells Solomon if you walk in my ways and obey my statutes and commands as David your father did, I will give you a long life.

I don’t know when Solomon wrote the Book of Proverbs, but I call your attention to Proverbs 1:7 (FF) Respect for the Lord is the first-fruit of Wisdom; and only fools despise correction.

Take a moment to re-read the above verse—Many today are known as know-it-alls and many are known as very knowledgeable, but how many are known as showing wisdom.

In today’s society, is the general public honoring and respecting God?

One must ask, are they fearful of the Lord’s coming or are they looking for a good time?

Solomon, throughout the Book Of Proverbs, provides us with insight on wisdom, benefits of wisdom, discernment of heart, and the blessings that God gives you when “Fear the Lord, with all your heart and mind and soul.”

When reading Proverbs 2, Solomon gives us the moral benefits of wisdom and in Chapter 3, further benefits of wisdom. Many of the benefits given in these chapters were first given to Solomon by the Lord in 1 Kings 3:12-14.

God never goes back on his word, so why should we?

Solomon’s advice as he concludes that wisdom is supreme—Turn to Proverbs 4:25-27 (NIV) Let your eyes look straight ahead, fix your gaze directly before you. Make level paths for your feet and take only ways that are firm. Do not swerve to the right or to the left, keep your foot from evil.

As we close, Trust in the Lord with all your heart and learn not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV)

May you Bless God in all that you say and all that you do.

Jeff

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