She was a ruler who had power, influence and authority, but she had heard of a King whose wisdom had become legend. He intrigued her. She wondered if all she had heard about him was true. She decided to go see him, to take the long journey from Southern Arabia, bringing him some of her vast wealth to see what she could learn. She was eager to test him herself. She commanded her servants to load up an impressive caravan—countless camels carrying tonnes of spices, gold and precious stones—all lavish gifts for the King...
The story of the meeting of the Queen of Sheba and Solomon, the King of Jerusalem is found at 1 Kings chapter 10 and 2 Chronicles chapter 9.
So what does a Biblical story from thousands of years ago have to do with you and me today?
Through a recent incident at work God has been speaking to me about wisdom. In a nutshell, I had an uncomfortable conversation with my boss about a situation I should have handled differently. My failure to do something caused me to look back and ask myself a question I couldn’t answer: “Why didn’t I do that?!”
As I reflected on my daily pattern over the past few months, I realized that my routine had become: fall asleep on the couch after a long day at work, wake up around 3am and head to bed, sleep a few hours, turn off the alarm, jump out of bed, get a shower and head to work.
Very few mornings began with one-on-one time with the Lord. I wasn’t being intentional about giving Him the first hour of my day to see what He had to say. Prayer, devotion and Bible reading was becoming an afterthought. On “good” days, I’d slot it into 5 or 10 minutes of reading the Bible or I’d read a 3 minute devotional at my desk when I got to work. On bad days, I’d just say a 30-second prayer while driving to work.
God’s message to me was clear: I haven’t been seeking wisdom. I spent too much time focussed on getting things done at work. There’s a popular mantra: “Don’t work harder, work smarter,” but you can’t work smarter without Jesus, who is Wisdom personified. Wisdom lets you know what to do in every situation. We concentrate so much on improving our technical knowledge, honing our craft and adding to our skillset but without God’s wisdom, our efforts won’t be as fruitful.
This was a big revelation for me because for so many years, I have spent a lot of time learning. I have three degrees in law and have done further training and numerous courses. I think of myself as being good at what I do and being successful at my career is a big part of my identity. I know God wants me to be a better lawyer; and academic and professional learning itself isn’t bad; but the rewards of wisdom are far greater.
The benefits of wisdom
The advantages of wisdom are many. Here are just a few:
- Wisdom will look out for you, watch over you and protect you - even without you being conscious of it (Proverbs chapter 2, verse 11);
- Wisdom will give you honour/glory (Proverbs Chapter 4 verses 8-9); and
- Wisdom establishes whatever you seek to build with your hands (Psalms chapter 90, verse 17). Unless the Lord builds your career, you labour in vain (Psalms chapter 127, verse 1).
The first step on the journey to wisdom
“The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding.” (Proverbs chapter 4, verse 7).
Like the Queen of Sheba, the first step to attaining wisdom is realising you need it (James chapter 1, verse 5).
When Solomon became King, God offered to give him anything he wanted. Solomon said the one thing he desired was what he needed most: wisdom to govern God’s people (2 Chronicles chapter 1, verses 7–12). This so impressed God that God gave Solomon wisdom plus more wealth he never could have dreamed of. To be a good leader in the areas in which you work, you must recognise, like Solomon, that knowing, discerning and applying God’s Will is paramount. The Bible tells us reverence for God is the beginning of wisdom. Reverence is really saying: “God, I’ll set aside what I think I know, because I have heard of your great wisdom and I want more of it in my life.”
The pursuit of Wisdom requires sacrifice (Proverbs chapter 4, verse 7). It entails giving up what is valuable to you (for example, time spent on other hobbies or pursuits) but in the end it is worth more than you ever gave up. This is not unlike the man who found riches in a field and then sold all he had to buy the land (Matthew chapter 13, verse 44).
God has challenged me to embark on a journey over the next few months in which I actively seek out his wisdom. It means making time to delve into Proverbs every morning—before work (no matter how sleepy I may feel) and before my morning tea (I’m no coffee drinker). I’m not just reading it passively. I am asking with every line- “God, what do you want to teach me about Wisdom? How can I get it?” I want the words to permeate my heart. I challenge you to take the journey with me. There’s much to discover.
This week ask God to stir your passion for wisdom, pray and ask him to give it, it’s a prayer request He loves to grant. Go get it!
Sharma Taylor is a corporate attorney with a Doctor of Philosophy Degree in Law from Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand. This year, she is committed to pursuing God even harder than before. Currently, she is becoming a runner and loves the strength she feels after conquering a work out.
Sharma Taylor previous articles may be viewed at: