And to man He said, ‘Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom, And to depart from evil is understanding.’ Job 28:28
A man is wise when he truly understands how unworthy and small he is in the presence of the One who created the universe around him.
When one realises this, all he would do is to bow down and worship and submit to Him to whom all things belong. As the hymn writer put it, “Turn your eyes upon Jesus, Look full on His wonderful face. And the things of this world will look vainly pale, in the light of His glory and grace.”
And the mystery of it all…..even the ability to realise this is a gift from God…how can a truly wise man ever be proud of his understanding?
1 Kings 2:26 “Then the woman whose son was living spoke to the king, for she yearned with compassion for her son; and she said, “O my lord, give her the living child, and by no means kill him!””
I learnt a precious lesson from Solomon’s handling of the two woman who claimed to be the true mother of a child. The scenario was simple, yet so instructive. Two mothers each had a child of their own. One child died. The mother of the dead child stole the living child and took him for herself. Both woman claimed to be the true mother of the living child. The case was brought before Solomon for judgement. He asked for a sword to cut the living child into two so that he could be shared by the two mothers. The true mother immediately asked for the child to be spared and given to the other woman. What a way to determine the truth of a matter!
When Christians come into conflict, it is natural that they will want their point of view to be heard. Some may even go all out to ensure that their “rights” are protected and they win their arguments. Solomon shows us that those with genuine love will deny themselves. Those who truly have a heart of love will give up their rights so as to minimise collateral damage. They will believe that our sovereign God sees & knows all. He will manage their vindication. They need not take it into their own hands. The more one fights for his own vindication, the more it shows one’s lack of faith and potential guilt.
Wasn’t this practised by our Lord Jesus? He gave up all His rights, was humbled and humiliated to be on earth to save His people. 1 Pet 2:21-24 “Who committed no sin, Nor was there any deceit found in His mouth”; who, when He was reviled did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously; who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness – by whose stripes you were healed.”
The devil will tempt us to take things into our own hands. That represents the way of the world in any conflict. But in God’s kingdom, He is the king. He knows our hearts. Self denial is painful. But we must submit & have faith in Him who judges righteously. Seek Him!