1 Kings 5

Practical Wisdom.

“When the ways of people please the LORD, he makes even their enemies live at peace with them.” ­– Proverbs 16:7 NLT

Solomon wasn’t all talk, no action. He didn’t just spend all his time writing pithy proverbs and spouting quotable tidbits of truth like some oracle. No, he put his God-given wisdom to use in everyday life. And 1 Kings 5 gives us a glimpse of just what wisdom in practice looks like. Solomon is following through on his father’s request that he build a dwelling place for God. David had come up with the idea, but God did not allow him to accomplish it. Instead, God had told David that his son, Solomon, would build the Temple. Now David is gone and Solomon is beginning the formidable task of building a house suitable for God.

A building project of this magnitude was going to require a great deal of materials, and much of it was not readily available in the land of Israel. So Solomon was going to have to deal with the surrounding nations in order to barter for the goods required to complete the Temple. One of the primary resources Solomon was going to need was lumber, and the greatest source of lumber in the region was from the forests of Lebanon. The only problem was that Lebanon was under the control of the pagan Phoenicians. So Solomon was required to do business with King Hiram of Tyre in order to get his hands on the wood he would need to complete the Temple. And here is where wisdom comes into play. Because Solomon had wisely sought God and lived according to His standards, God gave Solomon a peaceful relationship with his surrounding neighbors. Solomon had a good reputation with the pagan kings whose lands surrounded Israel. Solomon was living out the reality of the truth of the Proverbs he wrote.

  • Good people are guided by their honesty (Proverbs 11:3 NLT).
  • Commit your work to the LORD, and then your plans will succeed (Proverbs 16:3 NLT).
  • When the ways of people please the LORD, he makes even their enemies live at peace with them (Proverbs 16:7 NLT).
  • The LORD demands fairness in every business deal; he sets the standard (Proverbs 16:11 NLT).
  • The godly walk with integrity (Proverbs 20:7 NLT).
  • The king’s heart is like a stream of water directed by the LORD; he turns it wherever he pleases (Proverbs 21:1 NLT).

Because Solomon lived wisely, God gave him a healthy relationship with a pagan king. And because Solomon lived wisely, he knew how to deal faithfully and with integrity with King Hiram. Solomon was going to deal wisely with Hiram. He would pay him well for the services he rendered. He would deal fairly in his business dealings with him. He would not take advantage of him, but pay him exactly what he deserved. Solomon would use wisdom to build God’s house, and God would be pleased. Wisdom is practical, not ethereal. It is not some esoteric pursuit reserved for the mentally gifted or academic elite. It is a readily available resource available to any and all who seek it – as long as they seek it from the right source: God Himself.

When a person’s ways please the Lord, even his enemies will be at peace with him. Those are not just empty words. They’re a promise. And Solomon knew it first-hand.

Father, I want to enjoy the benefits of practical wisdom. I don’t want just a bunch of head knowledge that sounds impressive when you quote it to others – like some kind of Yoda or guru. I want to take what you teach me and try it out in real life and see it work. The truth is, I’ve already seen Your wisdom work itself out in my life in so many beneficial ways. I just want to see it more. Give me the strength and determination to seek for Your wisdom and apply it to my everyday life. Amen

Ken Miller
Grow Pastor & Minister to Men