3-2-2017 The Greater Wisdom In Solomon

“And God gave Solomon wisdom and exceedingly great understanding, and largeness of heart like the sand on the seashore. Thus Solomon’s wisdom excelled the wisdom of all the men of the East and all the wisdom of Egypt. For he was wiser than all men-than Ethan the Ezrahite, and Heman, Chalcol, and Darda, the sons of Mahol; and his fame was in all the surrounding nations” (1 Kings 4:29-31 NKJV).  The God-given wisdom of Solomon written in the Book of Proverbs is the best psychology book explaining human behavior ever written. Simply put, everyone is either “wise” or “foolish.” “Wise people store up knowledge, But the mouth of the foolish is near destruction” (Proverbs 10:14 NKJV). This was hundreds of years before Christ. No Eastern philosophy or religion was equal to it, then or now! That Solomon’s “fame” spread world-wide shows that to be the case.

This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.

#confucius, #solomon, #wisdom


3-3-2017 World-wide Wisdom Of Solomon

Solomon “spoke three thousand proverbs, and his songs were one thousand and five. Also he spoke of trees, from the cedar tree of Lebanon even to the hyssop that springs out of the wall; he spoke also of animals, of birds, of creeping things, and of fish. And men of all nations, from all the kings of the earth who had heard of his wisdom, came to hear the wisdom of Solomon” (1 Kings 4:32-34 NKJV). With God’s wisdom, Solomon judged human behavior, wrote songs, understood God’s Creation, and stood out from “all” earthly kings. Solomon spoke “of” trees, animals, birds, creeping things, and fish,” but not “to” them. He was not like some fictional “Dr. Doolittle” where the Creation talks back, or Aesop whose fables teach animals’ words. Solomon was not in charge of Creation, like the made-up goddess “Mother Nature!” World leaders should come to Solomon today!

This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.

#aesop, #doolittle, #mother-nature, #solomon, #wisdom

Did you know that Solomon warned about Twitter?

Did you know Twitter has been around thousands of years? King Solomon even warned about the trouble it could get you into:

Do not curse the king, even in your thought; do not curse the rich, even in your bedroom; for a bird of the air may carry your voice, and a bird in flight may tell the matter.” (Ecclesiastes 10:20)

Who says Solomon’s wisdom was only good for the times that he was living in? Definitely not anyone who’s found their selves regretting the amount of trouble that 140 characters or less can cause!

#solomon, #tongue, #trouble, #twitter, #wisdom


4-9-2015 What Is Discrimination #4

Solomon said, “a wise man’s heart discerns both time and judgment, Because for every matter there is a time and judgment” (Ecclesiastes 8:5-6 NKJV). Today, Christians are “those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil” (Hebrews 5:14 NKJV). Skin color is no basis for discrimination, but a moral decision is! If discrimination against skin is opposed along with discrimination against the immoral, then Solomon “saw under the sun: In the place of judgment, Wickedness was there; And in the place of righteousness, Iniquity was there” (Ecclesiastes 3:16 NKJV). This is “throwing out the baby with the bathwater.”

Throwing out all “discrimination” because some of it is wrong, destroys the difference between ”good and evil.” Jesus said, “Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment” (John 7:24 NKJV).

This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.

#appearance, #discern, #discrimination, #heart, #iniquity, #judge, #judgment, #righteousness, #skin-color, #solomon

there she stood in the doorway…

In Proverbs 9, two ladies call out from high places in the city. They invite those lacking understanding to dine with them. One of the ladies has prepared the meal she offers; the other has stolen hers. One lady does not seem to mind if people know about your visit; the other wants to keep it a secret. One offers wisdom; one offers pleasure. You must dine with one of these women. Choose wisely. They may both mean well, but one of them will kill you.

For by me your days will be multiplied, and years of life will be added to you. (9:11)

‘Stolen water is sweet; and bread eaten in secret is sweet to a man.’ But he does not know that the dead are there, that her guests are in the depths of Sheol. (9:17-18)

Lord, deliver us a daily dose of discernment and decision-making power: the discernment to distinguish between these two ladies; the decision-making power to accept the right invitation.

#choices, #death, #dinner, #invitation, #life, #pleasure, #proverbs, #solomon, #wisdom

stop and smell the… lilac?

The human soul has this tendency toward discontentment. The status quo is not quite enough, no matter how great it may be. This concept is all over the book of Ecclesiastes–the diary of the man who, seemingly to us, had everything he could ever want at his fingertips–wisdom, wealth, power, sex, fame, influence. Yet, as you read his account, you discover one of the most miserable, unhappy, tormented individuals that ever lived. Seems that “everything” turned out to be “not enough.” So he drops these little hints throughout his thesis that man’s purpose is simply to enjoy the lot he’s been given. Why? It does no good to fantasize. As you’re walking past the lilac bush, it’d be an awful shame to waste the moment dreaming about roses.

What the eyes see is better than what the soul desires.
~ Ecclesiastes 6:9

#contentment, #ecclesiastes, #solomon, #stop-and-smell-the-roses, #wealth, #wisdom

Wisdom Acts This Way

When Solomon was asked what he would like from God his reply was “Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad…” (1 Kings 3:9).

An understanding heart is exactly what God gave him (1 Kings 4:29) along with great riches and honor. However, as Solomon got older he seemingly forgot that wisdom and succumbed to the idolatry of his many wives (1 Kings 11:4).

What happened to a man that had greater wisdom that anyone that had ever lived? Perhaps he forgot the way that wisdom is supposed to act. As he grew older, did Solomon even remember that such wisdom as he had demanded a certain way of life?

James wrote that wisdom behaves a certain way. Those that have wisdom, James writes, will “show by his good life his works in meekness of wisdom” (3:13). Wisdom knows better than to parade itself through the roads of society. It does not ask “Why me?” but rather “Why not me?” Wisdom is the understanding that to humble oneself before God will cause Him to “lift you up” (James 4:10).

In Christ, Steve Preston

#actions, #solomon, #wisdom

Guest Article: Where Does Our Mouth Lead

Here’s a great article about the peril of speaking before we think by Carl Hanson. Carl preaches for the church in Port Townsend, Washington, USA. He also sends out a daily devotional email for teenagers (but they’re also great for the young at heart as you’ll see) called “teEn-MAIL“.


    Commitments. Promises. Pledges. Vows. Giving one’s word. Do we take such SERIOUSLY? What do we see from others around us? Do we observe difficulty sticking to them, keeping them, following through with them, and fulfilling them? Are they quickly made, soon regretted, and then dismissed as if they meant nothing? Has such left us in a world where we do not always know what to expect? Even with signed contracts and business deals, loopholes are sometimes sought out to break that to which one had been formerly committed.

Solomon cautioned. . .

“(25) It is a snare to say rashly, ‘It is holy,’ and to reflect only after making vows.” (Proverbs 20:25 ESV)

The specific context here appears to relate to the committing of something to God; setting it aside as holy and devoted to Him. When such was the case, it could not be taken back for common use. Under the old law, when one made a rash vow and did not fulfill it, they had to offer a sin offering so that the priest could make atonement for them. (Leviticus 5:4-5) Yes, it was a sin!

As SERIOUSLY as we ought to take our commitment to God, we should also be SERIOUS regarding what we have promised to others. Have we ever experienced having not thought a commitment fully through and found ourselves trapped by it? HONORABLE CHARACTER IS SHOWN IN FOLLOWING THROUGH with what was said anyway. For this reason Solomon’s caution was against committing rashly or too quickly. Reflecting on what we have committed — whether to others or to God — should be before we speak.

Solomon noted further in Ecclesiastes. . .

“(4) When you vow a vow to God, do not delay paying it, for he has no pleasure in fools. Pay what you vow. (5) It is better that you should not vow than that you should vow and not pay. (6) LET NOT YOUR MOUTH LEAD YOU INTO SIN, and do not say before the messenger that it was a mistake. Why should God be angry at your voice and destroy the work of your hands?” (Ecclesiastes 5:4-6 ESV)

Where do our words lead? It is better not to vow than to vow and not follow through. That to which we commit ourselves we ought to be ready to make good. Therefore, let us give thought to the SERIOUSNESS of having surrendered our life to God. When it comes to the marriage relationship, the vows ought to be taken very SERIOUSLY as being made to the other and before God Who is the witness of all we say and do. When it comes to our interaction with others, may we be known as ones whose “yes” means yes and “no” means no. (Matthew 5:37) What we have said with our mouth, let us REVEAL BY OUR ACTIONS THAT OUR WORD CAN ALWAYS BE DEPENDED ON; words that always lead to making good on our word.


#christianity, #ecclesiastes, #god, #guest-article, #keeping-our-word, #solomon, #vows, #word-being-our-bond

“Proverbs Are The Piths” (15)

Proverbs 10 is where the “pithiness” begins due to the mouthful of wisdom served on spoon sized verses. For this chapter I’ll only comment on certain verses that stand out (at least to me) instead of commenting on whole passages like I have done previously for Proverbs 1-9.  Bon appetit!

Verse 1: Interesting due to the bluntness of the statement. Building up the self-esteem of a child is an essential task of a parent, but psychologists today get it all wrong if they say any sort of guilt is bad. Solomon flat-out tells his child if he listens to his father he will make him a better child and he will make his parents proud – ignore the advice and he’ll remain a child of constant sorrow to his mother!

Verse 2: The Bible in Basic English translates this verse, “Wealth which comes from sin is of no profit, but righteousness gives salvation from death.” Reminds me so very much of what Paul said in Romans 6:23.

Verse 5: There is a time to rest and a time to work – don’t confuse the two! If only this nation’s parents taught more children this principle many of the problems that our young people face would simply fix themselves. Busy hands have a harder time getting into trouble!!!

Verse 10: When I read verses like this it reminds of how much the characteristics of sneakiness in people has not changed since the days the Bible speaks of. The devious, destructive and deterring “wink of the eye” still remains one of the quickest markers of something when it’s not what it appears to be.

Verse 12: A wonderful verse! Not only do I think so, but so did Peter and James! Peter quotes the verse directly while you can’t help but think of it when you read what James said. They were obviously both fans of the Proverbs.

Verse 13: It’s a ‘hard knock life’ for those who have a hard head – at least that’s how I’d sum it up.

Verses 15-16: Wealth is a tool! Some have more tools than others but we’re all responsible for how we take care of our own tools. Wealth does not always make things better. Use some tools with ignorance and you’ll end up getting hurt. Wealth is one of them! To the untrained heart physical wealth will replace the spiritual treasure of the heart (Matthew 6:19-21; Luke 16:1-14).

Verse 19: I quoted this verse just the other day…but I accidentally left out a word in my comment. I wasn’t following the verse per say; just made a mistake. Shutting a door and window – yeah, we’ve got that! Shutting our mouth – I wish I had it down as much as the doors and windows.

Verse 21: I think this is one of the most overlooked gems in Proverbs. How do the lips of the righteous feed others? Advice, encouragement, warnings, admonitions…it all feeds the soul.

Verse 22: Solomon has much to say throughout Proverbs about work, wealth and blessings from God. I wonder why? True financial blessings from God come without the sorrow…and the fact that all financial “blessings” are not without that issue reveals the source of some “financial aid.” 1 Timothy 6:9-10 preaches right along side with the Proverbs today as strongly as the day they were written. Solomon was a man who felt the sting of wealth and sorrow!!!

Verse 27: Accidents do happen to those who strive to live after the Lord, but foolishness happens to more people than you can shake a stick at. Watch the news! Foolishness affects our lives much more than accidents. Bottom line is a life lived in accordance with God’s will is most-often a life of wiser and more fulfilling days.

Verse 29: The Lord can be for you. But never forget that the Lord can be against if you chose to work evil! You can hear Solomon saying that we don’t want to be on the wrong side of the Lord.

Next up, Proverbs 11.

#book-of-proverbs, #foolishness, #god, #instruction, #parenting, #poverty, #proverbs-are-the-piths, #solomon, #wealth, #wisdom, #work

“Proverbs Are The Piths” (14)

Proverbs 9 continues with the wisdom theme. Wisdom, simplicity, foolishness, reproving, instruction, fear, knowledge, understanding, life, death and destruction are all on the menu.

Verses 1-6: The wisdom that leads to life is built upon a strong foundation that does not originate with man. It metaphorically becomes a home not made with hands; Christians should find a reason to smile in this (Hebrews 10:11). Wisdom offers the invitation that leads to life…what do you know, it still does! (John 6:53-56; Matthew 11:28; Mark 16:15-16) Whatever was wise yesterday, will still be wise today.

Verses 7-12: There is one invitation to be wise, but there are two reactions to it. When it comes to the “scorners” of wisdom it is best to be silent sometimes (Matthew 7:6). Some refuse to listen because they don’t want to learn while the who want to learn will listen. No fear of the Lord??? No wisdom that leads to life!!!

Verses 13-18: The wise lady who represents the way of life has her counterpart – the lady who represents folly and foolishness that leads to woe. It seems as if Solomon is making a concluding statement about all these two women; wisdom is crying out in the streets to be heard, but non-sense/sin is walking around to be seen – we must choose wisely (2 Corinthians 5:7). It always does us good to remember where the guests at sin’s table end up when the meal is finished. The following article came from the email bulletin of the church in Wise, Virginia; the author of the article was marked as ‘unknown.’ I thought it fits Proverbs 9 well. Especially verses 13-18.

What Price for Foolishness?

What some will pay for a moment’s reckless folly is recorded again and again in the Book of Ages. Do you think these got their “money’s worth”?

1. ADAM and EVE, for one bite of luscious fruit when they were not even hungry, brought sin, suffering, shame and death upon themselves and the human race. (Genesis 3)

2. LOT’S WIFE, revealing her longing for the things that pertain to the earth, took one look back at Sodom and became a pillar of salt. (Genesis 19)

3. ESAU, to satisfy one day’s fleshly hunger, lightly esteemed his birthright and forfeited his right to the ancestry of Christ. (Genesis 25)

4. ACHAN, for a garment he could not wear, and silver and gold he could not spend, paid with all his possessions, his family and his life. (Joshua 7)

5. SAMSON, for the caress of a hypocritical woman, lost his will, his strength, his liberty, his eyes and finally his life. (Judges 16)

6. DAVID, to enjoy another man’s wife, hands to posterity a tale of his life with adultery, shame, and tears, boldly written for all to read. (2 Samuel 11)

7. AHAB, coveted another’s little vineyard, permitted his wife to have its owner killed, claimed it for his own, and heard his funeral preached in these words: “In the place where the dogs licked the blood of Naboth, shall the dogs like thy blood, even thine.” (1 Kings 21)

8. JUDAS for thirty pieces of silver, which he couldn’t find occasion or conscience to use, took his own life in shame and despair. (Matthew 27)

These examples could be multiplied but they are sufficient just here. Could these have called back their days after learning their lessons, how differently would have been the history of the world. When we consider the price paid for sin, WE MUCH CONCLUDE IT IS NOT WORTH IT! Surely we do not suppose ourselves smart enough to out-smart God, and get by with sinning and not pay the “wages” of it.

#book-of-proverbs, #foolishness, #god, #instruction, #knowledge, #proverbs-are-the-piths, #sin, #solomon, #wisdom

“Proverbs Are The Piths” (12)

In Proverbs 7 Solomon returns to a topic with which he has much experience – women! The type of woman who would be looking to have a little influence with a king; yes, the type who sadly had quite a large influence on Solomon’s life. The king who began his reign with great wisdom due to his heart walked down a scary path because he ignored his own wisdom (originating from God) due to a heart that was defiled with the flattering words of foreign women. Now he pleads with his children to not make the same mistake when dealing with professional assassins!

Verses 1-5:  There’s no wonder that Solomon tells his son to keep his commandments (originating from God’s word) in his heart. After all, like Solomon had told him earlier, the heart is where the issues of life spring from! Stick close to the women who care – wisdom your sister and understanding your kinswoman. Sometimes, due to male ignorance and stupidity, it takes a woman who cares to see through another woman’s callousness.

Verses 6-9: Solomon gives an eyewitness account to the crime. The wrong place, the wrong time and the wrong person equals the wrong decision. Sounds like the common late-night scene still found today. Hasn’t someone said something about nothing new being under the sun?

Verses 10-20: The woman the young man meets is dressed to kill and an expert at her skill. Clothing can reveal as much about a person on the inside as the lack thereof does on the outside Solomon says! The wife with a house isn’t interested in being a house wife. I guess she’s more of the desperate kind. Makes one wonder about her marriage. Regardless, at the end of the day, a slaughter-house scented with roses is still a slaughter-house, and this young man is about to kiss it all goodbye!

Verses 21-27: The seductress talks the young man into a situation he can’t get out of. Like an ox to the slaughter, Solomon says, she hits her mark and he meets his maker! Solomon warns that this woman is undefeated, but she is not undefeatableThe path to victory starts in the heart! Be wise! Her house is fixed up like heaven, but it’s only a disguised hell. See through it! Solomon badly wants his children to see that illicit sex will make you exactly what the word begins with – ILL!

#adultery, #children, #fornication, #god, #parents, #proverbs-are-the-piths, #solomon, #wisdom

“Proverbs Are The Piths” (8)

Solomon uses what I consider to be a classic way of explaining things to children in his lesson in Proverbs 4: “When I was a boy….” The point of ch. 4 is that if it worked then, it’ll work now!

Verses 1-4: Here we have a little father and son moment. It seems as if Solomon’s expectation is that if anybody would want to listen to him it would be his own son. He had visitors from all over the world, but the most important ears lived under the same roof. He doesn’t say, “Hear what the king has to say!” He says, “Hear what your father has to say.” Maybe a good point in verse 3 that all of us “old fogies” would do good to get is to remember what it was like to be young, and sometimes dumb because of it 🙂 Also, don’t miss the compliment being paid to David right there.

Verses 5-9: Wisdom is the lady who won’t lead you wrong. Solomon is talking about a whole other lady here in chapter 4 than he’ll talk about in chapter 5! She is to be the principle thing, not to be forsaken; when she’s exalted and embraced she will reward accordingly with the best crown a king could wear.

Verses 10-19: Wisdom will keep others from hurting you, and you from hurting yourself. In these verses there is the “way of wisdom” and the “way  of the wicked” and finally the question “which way will you follow?” The gist is that the truth has always been the narrow way!

Verses 20-27: Right is never left and left won’t lead right no matter how many times you turn – keep it between the lines and stay straight, Solomon says. He urges his son to keep his eyes on the prize and the goal in the middle of his heart. He introduces a theme that will he use again too, “keep your heart with all diligence….

A lot of things can be said of Solomon, one of which includes that he had a desire for his children to make the right choices. I guess anyone today who is honest enough to admit when they’ve made the wrong choices should want at least this much for their own children as well; if not all children in general!

#choices, #parenting, #proverbs, #proverbs-are-the-piths, #solomon, #wisdom

“Proverbs are the Piths” (2)

Here’s what we can glean from Proverbs 2:1-5: Ask and You Shall Receive But Wisdom Will Not Just Fall Into Our Lap

Look at the instructions Solomon gives to his children when it comes to getting wisdom, understanding and knowledge for a moment:

In verse one he instructs his son to “receive” (lay hold of, carry along, capture/seize) his words and to “hide” them (store them up as treasure) within himself.

In verse 2 he tells him to “incline” (be attentive) with his ear and to “apply” (to stretch out, turn toward) his heart to understanding.

In verse 3 he tells him to “cry out” (call out, proclaim – do the exact opposite of 1:24-26) for knowledge or discernment and also to “lift up his voice” (to give to, bestow, designate) for understanding.

In verse 4 he tells him to “seek” (to desire, request, or even demand) for wisdom like precious metal and to “search” (make thorough effort) for wisdom as he would for hidden treasures.

After doing all of these things, Solomon says in verse 5, “THEN” his son would understand the fear of God and find the knowledge from God he needs.

The point of these 5 verses is that the reason so many don’t understand God’s word and will in and for his or her life is because they don’t want too! They are not asking for it (James 1:5) and they are not working for it (Proverbs 2:1-5). The wisdom that God is willing to share will not just fall into our lap; if you think it will, then go back and read Solomon’s instructions to his son again. The wisdom of God comes from dedicated humility (think of Solomon’s request for wisdom) and from diligent study (2 Timothy 2:15).

#desire, #god, #proverbs-are-the-piths, #solomon, #wisdom

Reading in 1 Kings this morning, I notic…

Reading in 1 Kings this morning, I noticed a striking fact. The first nine chapters cover Solomon’s rise, wisdom, and activities in temple building. Chapter ten pictures his lavish wealth. Then, immediately following the riches of chapter ten comes his sorry apostasy in chapter eleven. Coincidence? And does it have anything to teach America?

#1-kings, #apostasy, #solomon