3 Solomon made an alliance with Pharaoh king of Egypt and married his daughter. He brought her to the City of David until he finished building his palace and the temple of theLord, and the wall around Jerusalem. 2 The people, however, were still sacrificing at the high places, because a temple had not yet been built for the Name of the Lord. 3 Solomon showed his love for the Lord by walking according to the instructions given him by his father David, except that he offered sacrifices and burned incense on the high places. 4 The king went to Gibeon to offer sacrifices, for that was the most important high place, and Solomon offered a thousand burnt offerings on that altar. 5 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.”
6 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. 7 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. 8 Your servant is here among the people you have chosen, a great people, too numerous to count or number.9 So give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguishbetween right and wrong. For who is able to govern this great people of yours?”
10 The Lord was pleased that Solomon had asked for this. 11 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, 12 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. 13 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. 14 And if you walk in obedience to me and keep my decrees and commands as David your father did, I will give you a long life.” 15 Then Solomon awoke—and he realized it had been a dream. He returned to Jerusalem, stood before the ark of the Lord’s covenant and sacrificed burnt offerings and fellowship offerings. Then he gave a feast for all his court.
If given the choice, most people would be quicker to choose one million dollars over an education. In fact, in this day and age, a college education is often viewed as a “waste of money” to some people. Why is this? One possible explanation is that we place the highest value on the things that can ultimately serve us in return. We see one million dollars as a better home to live in, a better car to drive, nicer clothes to wear or more vacations to broaden our experience. We have been deeply scarred by the memories of educational burdens, boredom, and debt. When we were in school we wanted to have other things and we wanted to be somewhere else. The irony is that far too often we hear of lottery winners wasting their money, and not actually changing their lives much in the long run. Or we hear story after story of celebrities that strove for riches and fame only to be disappointed by them just as they would have been by a 9-to-5 job. The reality is that no matter how many possessions we own or how much money we have in our bank account, nothing has more life-changing power than knowledge. But the value of knowledge can be measured only by how effectively it redirects you to wisdom. Wisdom allows us to discover the value of less and the dangers of more. Wisdom allows us to discover the value of suffering and the dangers of ease. Wisdom often contradicts our reason, but it has the power to outlast any object that we strive to attain. God does not desire that we obtain knowledge and possessions only to lose both without wisdom. His desire is that we allow our eyes to be opened by His spirit so that His wisdom can become our own.