Thursday Devotional | October 15, 2020

Being wise is not the same as being smart. Our intelligence helps us make sound decisions in a logical way. But, intelligence isn’t always enough to make the right decisions. As we’ve discussed in previous posts this week, we need discernment. Discernment requires wisdom. The more difficult the decision, the more discernment is required. Wisdom helps us discern our individual biases, allowing us to see things as they are rather than what me might like them to be.

Solomon Faces a Difficult Decision

16 Then two prostitutes came to the king and stood before him.17 The one woman said, “Oh, my lord, this woman and I live in the same house, and I gave birth to a child while she was in the house.18 Then on the third day after I gave birth, this woman also gave birth. And we were alone. There was no one else with us in the house; only we two were in the house. 19 And this woman’s son died in the night, because she lay on him. 20 And she arose at midnight and took my son from beside me, while your servant slept, and laid him at her breast, and laid her dead son at my breast. 21 When I rose in the morning to nurse my child, behold, he was dead. But when I looked at him closely in the morning, behold, he was not the child that I had borne.” 22 But the other woman said, “No, the living child is mine, and the dead child is yours.” The first said, “No, the dead child is yours, and the living child is mine.” Thus they spoke before the king.

23 Then the king said, “The one says, ‘This is my son that is alive, and your son is dead’; and the other says, ‘No; but your son is dead, and my son is the living one.’” 24 And the king said, “Bring me a sword.” So a sword was brought before the king.25 And the king said, “Divide the living child in two, and give half to the one and half to the other.”26 Then the woman whose son was alive said to the king, because her heart yearned for her son, “Oh, my lord, give her the living child, and by no means put him to death.” But the other said, “He shall be neither mine nor yours; divide him.” 27 Then the king answered and said, “Give the living child to the first woman, and by no means put him to death; she is his mother.”28 And all Israel heard of the judgment that the king had rendered, and they stood in awe of the king, because they perceived that the wisdom of God was in him to do justice.

1 Kings 3:16-28 (ESV)

In the ancient Near East, people viewed wisdom as helpful in ensuring that someone’s life amounted to something worthwhile. Perhaps that explains why Solomon asked God to grant him the gift of wisdom in the passage prior to the one above. In the above passage, we see that God indeed answered Solomon’s prayer for greater wisdom.

In the above passage, Solomon exercises his wisdom and demonstrates his deep insight into human behavior. His God-given insight helped Solomon see things the true way they were opposed to the way one of the women wanted him to believe they were.

Undoubtedly, you’ve had to make some difficult decisions in your life. I know I have. Each time that I thought I made the toughest decision ever, I found that it only prepared me for the next more difficult decision.

One of the most difficult, heart-wrenching decisions I ever faced was deciding to take my Dad off life support. It was not my decision to solely make on my own, but ultimately I bore responsibility for it. By God’s grace, wisdom helped me see beyond my biases, allowing me to make a decision. I didn’t know it at the time, but that experience would help me counsel a friend when he was faced with taking his wife off life support.

Only a few years earlier, I had officiated their wedding, beginning a wonderful new chapter in their lives. I needed wisdom beyond my human capacity in order to advise my friend when he sought my counsel. Thankfully, God showed me great mercy and unfathomable grace, allowing me to help my friend make the toughest decision of his life.

Making decisions is something I believe we get better at with each decision we make. Life offers us no shortage of choices. In each instance, we are free to decide what we choose. But, choices have consequences and thus, decisions come with increasing responsibility the more difficult they become. We don’t get the freedom to choose without bearing the responsibility of our decisions. Life doesn’t work that way.

Sharing the Gospel at UGM

Reflection Questions:

1. What’s the most difficult decision you ever had to make?

2. How did you determine what to do?

3. How can wisdom help you discern what’s true versus what’s fake?

4. What value does wisdom carry in today’s culture?

5. Do you have advice for someone who wants to grow in their wisdom?


Lord, thank You for the gift of Your word. Thank You for wisdom. Help us grow in our ability to discern truth from fiction. May we use wisdom to share the truth of Your word. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

May the Lord shower You with His grace and mercy.


The Devotional Guy™

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  1. My advice to someone who wants to grow in wisdom would be a question: “Are you open to be broken?”
    I don’t recall who said it, but your thoughts reminded me of this quote: “Life breaks all of us, and, afterward, some of us are stronger at the broken places.” Blessings.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow, David. That’s an excellent question and great quote. That rings so true. Thanks for sharing that. 🙏


  3. The quote is actually by Hemingway.

    “The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong at the broken places. But those that will not break it kills.”

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Ah…Hemingway. Farewell to Arms?


  5. Alan Kearns says:

    This post is a real brain buster, seeking wisdom is never easy. It often comes with answers we often find hard to swallow, but in the end it is about having faith and exercising it. I cannot even begin to understand the decision you had to make regarding your dad, but it certainly is great how God used it in such a positive way. God bless you brother.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. It was certainly a surreal moment filled with heart-wrenching irony, Alan. It required leaning on every ounce of experience and godly counsel I could muster. It was certainly a time of tremendous, deep prayer. Apart from God showing us the way, I don’t know what we would have done in that moment. There’s no one that can really stand on that mountain with you other than the Lord. And it feels like the tallest mountain standing in the center of the deepest valley with no one around for miles and miles. Just you and the Lord. I appreciate your thoughts and encouragement. Thanks for reading.

    Liked by 1 person

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