When my wife, Laurin, and I brought our first son, Jonah, home from the hospital, we were terrified. I remember carefully placing Jonah, still strapped into his baby carrier, onto the kitchen floor in our home, trying not to disturb him. If he woke up, we’d have to feed him or change him or rock him back to sleep—or who knows what else he might need. As long as he slept, we were doing okay. Every minute that passed was one more minute that Jonah wouldn’t learn our little secret: we had no idea what we were doing.
A few weeks in, and everyone was miserable. Jonah seemed to cry constantly, and because none of us were sleeping through the night, we were all tired and cranky. In desperation, Laurin reached out to her friend, Jennifer, a pediatric nurse who just happened to have written a book on caring for newborns. Jennifer came over the next day. She gave us a schedule for feeding and sleeping, showed us how to give Jonah an evening routine sure to conk him out, and even provided us with a few swaddling lessons. We took our newfound newborn knowledge and immediately applied it. Believe it or not, within the week, Jonah was sleeping through the night—and so were we.
I love when change happens quickly. I think we all do. If your pants were looser just minutes after getting on the treadmill, wouldn’t you run more? If you could learn a new language just by watching a foreign film or two, wouldn’t you? But that’s not usually how life works. Normally, change takes place slowly. When change does happen quickly, it seems almost too good to be true. That’s how we felt that first time Jonah slept through the night. We could barely believe our ears—silence instead of crying.
And that’s how it was for Solomon too. One night he was foolishly offering sacrifices to God at Gibeah (1 Kings 3:4), unaware of how worshiping the at one of the so-called “high places” was to put the one true God on the same level as the false gods who sought to lead the people of Israel into idolatry. A short time later, Solomon was back in Jerusalem, offering proper sacrifices before the ark of the covenant on the altar sanctioned by God (v. 3). What happened to Solomon in between? God gave him wisdom.
Solomon immediately knew that God ought to be worshiped according to God’s instructions, rather than the convenient traditions of the day. But that’s not all. He was able to judge the people of Israel with justice and fairness. And soon, his wisdom was known far and wide. “Emissaries of all peoples, sent by every king on earth who had heard of his wisdom, came to listen to Solomon’s wisdom” (1 Kings 4:34). Because of Solomon, God’s people were blessing the nations of the world, just as God told Abraham they would (Genesis 12:3).
Here’s the incredible thing: God promises to give us wisdom, too, if only we will ask. Scripture tells us, “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you” (James 1:5). Now, God doesn’t say it will come instantaneously or be as pronounced as Solomon’s, but He does promise to bless us with wisdom. So, ask Him for it—and when He gives it, follow Solomon’s example: use your new wisdom to love God and others well.
Written by John Greco