The Wise Father

By Diane Virginia

As Solomon worships one evening, the Lord appears saying, “Ask what I shall give thee.” (II Chronicles 1:7b) Solomon asks for wisdom to rule God’s people. Because of this, God not only makes him the wisest king in all of history, he gives him what he does not ask for: wealth, riches, fame, and honor.

Consider this; Solomon makes this wise decision before God imparts to him the Spirit-gift of wisdom. He is gifted only with ordinary wisdom at this point, so how does he know to ask God for wisdom? Let’s rephrase the question and the answer is obvious. Is there a person who has had a deep influence upon Solomon’s life? In other words, who is Solomon’s “hero,” and why?

May I suggest to you that the influence of Solomon’s wise father motivates Solomon to ask for wisdom. Because David is a wise father, Solomon is prepared to be the wisest king. David’s life influences his son’s eventual success.

Why this important? The way you live your life is, at this present moment, the catalyst for how someone else lives his or her life. Your exemplary example can impact someone to achieve his or her highest potential. If this is so, you are being a wise father or mother, even if those you are influencing are not your blood relatives. Never underestimate the impact your life has upon those around you. Even though the person(s) you are influencing may never share this with you, just as David is Solomon’s hero, you are most likely someone’s “hero” or “heroine.”

Let’s look at Solomon’s father. Notice first, David is an overcomer. Before he becomes king, he serves in the court of King Saul, who can be best characterized as a javelin-throwing, demon-possessed maniac. Saul’s jealousy drives him to commit murderous schemes. David respond to these attacks by seeking the wisdom of God while he calmly plays his harp. The reason Saul hires David to play in his court in the first place is because David is a worshipper.

As Saul’s attacks continue, David “behaves himself wisely.”  This phrase is repeated three times. (I Samuel 18:5, 15, 29) It would be fair for David to seek revenge against Saul, but David never resorts to Saul’s unwise tactics. Instead David is premeditated in his speech, gracious in his actions, and he performs his responsibilities with excellence.  Thus, while David incrementally wins favor, Saul loses his reputation. His heinous acts and insults against David are obvious blunders in the people’s opinions. Saul even loses the favor of two of his children, Jonathan and Michal. David, meanwhile, builds a reputation of being a wise leader, a better warrior, and the obvious choice for king.

On the battlefield, while Saul defeats 1,000 enemies, David defeats 10,000. The women sing, “Saul has slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands.” (I Samuel 18:7b) This choir of female voices madden Saul. Thus, David is forced to flee the murderous king.

What happens next? Is it over for David? To the contrary. God begins to form David’s army during this exile. David gains followers to his army because they recognize the wisdom God has imparted to him. Thus, David continues to outmaneuver Saul in every situation.

When Saul tries to attack him in the wilderness, God provides the refuge of Engedi. How does David and his men know to hide at Engedi?  David asks the Lord for wisdom. To David, calling upon God rather than relying on self-will is as habitual as breathing.

Can you imagine the impact these stories have on David’s son Solomon? I can just hear the conversation now; “While I’m playing the harp, I feel an unction to duck. It is then that King Saul launches his razor-sharp javelin at me. But it misses, thank God, and lodges in the wall behind me.” Solomon teethes on the stories of his wise father. Therefore, when God asks Solomon what he desires as a Spiritual gifting, his obvious choice is that he wants to be like his father.

King Solomon becomes so wise that dignitaries from faraway lands come to test his wisdom with riddles. These kings become his supporters, causing unity and peace in the lands. The queen of Sheba becomes a devotee, giving Solomon sandalwood and spices in abundance (II Chronicles 10:1, 7-11) King Hiram of Tyre forms a naval alliance with King Solomon. The two kings use their collective knowledge-base to harvest gold from Ophir (I Kings 9:27-28). It is Solomon’s wisdom that makes him a great king, and his father David’s example that helps him to know what to ask Father God for.

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