Down through the ages, knowledge and wisdom have been highly prized.
The Tompkins County Public Library, founded in 1864 by Ezra Cornell, has 235,000 items with the annual circulation of approximately 800,000.
Abdul Kassem Ismael lived in the 10th century. He was the grand-vizier of Persia, a very wealthy and educated man, he had a library that consisted of 117,000 volumes (more likely scrolls rather than the bound books we have today). Abdul loved his books so much that even when he traveled (and he traveled a lot) he never parted with them.
How did he do that? Well, he used about 400 camels which were loaded with his library, and these camels were trained to walk in alphabetical order so that he could obtain the volumes he wished at a moment’s notice.
Solomon was supposedly the wisest man that ever lived. I Kings 4: 32-34 He spoke three thousand proverbs and his songs numbered a thousand and five. He spoke about plant life, from the cedar of Lebanon to the hyssop that grows out of walls. He also spoke about animals and birds, reptiles and fish. From all nations people came to listen to Solomon’s wisdom, sent by all the kings of the world, who had heard of his wisdom.
Among those who came to hear his wisdom was a particular Queen. The Queen of Sheba. She traveled nearly 1500 miles to present Solomon with gifts and to ask him hard questions to discover just how wise he was. She was so shocked by how well he answered that she said:
“I did not believe what they said until I came and saw with my own eyes. Indeed, not even half the greatness of your wisdom was told me; you have far exceeded the report I heard.” (II Chronicles 9:6)
Solomon was so wise that, to this day, his name has been forever associated with wisdom. So, how did Solomon become so wise?
I Kings 3:5-13 At Gibeon the LORD appeared to Solomon during the night in a dream, and God said, ‘Ask for whatever you want me to give you.’ Solomon answered, ‘You have shown great kindness to your servant, my father David, because he was faithful to you and righteous and upright in heart. You have continued this great kindness to him and have given him a son to sit on his throne this very day. Now, LORD my God, you have made your servant king in place of my father David. But I am only a little child and do not know how to carry out my duties. Your servant is here among the people you have chosen, a great people, too numerous to count or number. So give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong. For who is able to govern this great people of yours?’
The Lord was pleased that Solomon had asked for this. So God said to him, since you have asked for this and not for long life or wealth for yourself, nor have asked for the death of your enemies but for discernment in administering justice, I will do what you have asked. I will give you a wise and discerning heart, so that there will never have been anyone like you, nor will there ever be. Moreover, I will give you what you have not asked for — both wealth and honor — so that in your lifetime you will have no equal among kings.
God was pleased that Solomon preferred Wisdom over wealth and honor. In fact, God was so pleased with Solomon’s choice gave Solomon gave him all three gifts.
Throughout Scripture, Godly wisdom is more highly prized than all the other honors a man or woman could receive. And that is because God is always pleased with those who seek HIS wisdom.
Solomon wrote most of the book of Proverbs. Chapter 1 The proverbs of Solomon son of David, king of Israel: 2 for gaining wisdom and instruction; for understanding words of insight; 3 for receiving instruction in prudent behavior, doing what is right and just and fair;
4 for giving prudence to those who are simple, knowledge and discretion to the young—5 let the wise listen and add to their learning,
and let the discerning get guidance—6 for understanding proverbs and parables, the sayings and riddles of the wise. 7 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.
So, for your wisdom and understanding, I share with you some of my favorite Proverbs to contemplate.
2:6 For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.
3:5,6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.
6:6-8 Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise! It has no commander, no overseer or ruler, yet it stores its provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest.
10:26 As vinegar to the teeth and smoke to the eyes, so are sluggards to those who send them.
11:22 Like a gold ring in a pig’s snout is a beautiful woman who shows no discretion.
14:7 Stay away from a fool, for you will not find knowledge on their lips.
15:1 A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.
17:1 Better a dry crust with peace and quiet than a house full of feasting, with strife.
22:1 A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold.
23:29-35 Who has woe? Who has sorrow? Who has strife? Who has complaints? Who has needless bruises? Who has bloodshot eyes?
Those who linger over wine, who go to sample bowls of mixed wine.
Do not gaze at wine when it is red, when it sparkles in the cup, when it goes down smoothly! In the end it bites like a snake and poisons like a viper. Your eyes will see strange sights, and your mind will imagine confusing things. You will be like one sleeping on the high seas, lying on top of the rigging. “They hit me,” you will say, “but I’m not hurt!
They beat me, but I don’t feel it! When will I wake up so I can find another drink?” (This pertains to drugs as well)
25:24 Better to live on a corner of the roof than share a house with a quarrelsome wife (or husband).
26:11 As a dog returns to its vomit, so fools repeat their folly.
26:18,19 Like a maniac shooting flaming arrows of death is one who deceives their neighbor and says, “I was only joking!”
27:15,16 A quarrelsome wife (or husband) is like the dripping of a leaky roof in a rainstorm; restraining her is like restraining the wind or grasping oil with the hand.
27:20 Death and Destruction are never satisfied, and neither are human eyes.