King Solomon was wiser and richer than all the kings of the earth—he surpassed them all. People came from all over the world to be with Solomon and drink in the wisdom God had given him. And everyone who came brought gifts—artifacts of gold and silver, fashionable robes and gowns, the latest in weapons, exotic spices, and horses and mules—parades of visitors, year after year. 1 Kings 10:23-25 (MSG)
One the most awesome things about journeying through God's message is the way the various pieces and themes fit together. Today as I read the chapter my synapses started sparking and I saw patterns emerge in the text!
A few chapters ago, we read that God gave Solomon a choice of wisdom or riches. Solomon chose to ask for wisdom, and as a result, God said he would grant Solomon's request and added: "As a bonus, I'm giving you both the wealth and glory you didn't ask for."
So, there's a principle and a pattern established: Make wisdom your priority and seeking understanding your goal. Prosperity follows wisdom.
In today's chapter, we see that pattern repeated in both a macro level and a micro level. Look how the chapter is contsructed on the whole. We see that Solomon's wisdom attracts the Queen of Sheba, who comes seeking Solomon's wisdom and understanding. Impressed, she plies him with gifts and the rest of the chapter describes Solomon's riches. Solomon had wisdom, which led to his success.
Then in verses 23-25 (above) the principle is summarized at a micro level. People came to Solomon for wisdom, and his wisdom led to his incredible propserity.
Now, consider Solomon's own words in the book of Proverbs where he writes:
You're blessed when you meet Lady Wisdom,
when you make friends with Madame Insight.
She's worth far more than money in the bank;
her friendship is better than a big salary.
Her value exceeds all the trappings of wealth;
nothing you could wish for holds a candle to her.
With one hand she gives long life,
with the other she confers recognition.
Her manner is beautiful,
her life wonderfully complete.
She's the very Tree of Life to those who embrace her.
Hold her tight—and be blessed! Proverbs 3:13-18 (MSG)
If I seek wisdom, it may very well lead to prosperity and then I am doubly blessed. If I seek prosperity and have no wisdom, I actually profit nothing in God's eyes. That's the way Kingdom economics works.
Creative Commons photo courtesy of Flickr and kh-67