17 Keys to Living Well

Solomon Asks for Wisdom (1st Kings 3:1-15)

1 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 the LORD, 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 statutes of 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, O 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 distinguish between 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 riches and honor-so that in your lifetime you will have no equal among kings. 14 And if you walk in my ways and obey my statutes 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.

Key 1: God gave Solomon the ability to understand right from wrong (discernment)

Key 2: Solomon had to continue to "walk in God's way" and "obey the laws" for his gift to continue

Key 3: Solomon's desire was inline with long-term good for both himself and those around him

Solomon himself repeats these in Proverbs 2 1-6

1 My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you, 2 turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding, 3 and if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, 4 and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, 5 then you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God. 6 For the LORD gives wisdom, and from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.


Key 4: Fear of the Lord and the desire to live a life that will be ready for inspection is a requirement. You cannot be morally deficient and follow a straight path.

From Proverbs 1:7
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline

From Proverbs 3:5-6
Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.

See also Proverbs 31:30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.


Key 5: Have no room for Adultery or Envy

From Proverbs 5:3-5
For the lips of an adulteress drip honey, and her speech is smoother than oil; but in the end she is bitter as gall, sharp as a double-edged sword. Her feet go down to death; her steps lead straight to the grave.

See also: Proverbs 27:20 Death and Destruction are never satisfied, and neither are the eyes of man.


Key 6: Don't Co-sign loans

From Proverbs 6:1-3
My son, if you have put up security for your neighbor, if you have struck hands in pledge for another, if you have been trapped by what you said, ensnared by the words of your mouth, then do this, my son, to free yourself, since you have fallen into your neighbor's hands: Go and humble yourself; press your plea with your neighbor!


Key 7: Have no Room for Pride or Arrogance

From Proverbs 8:13
To fear the Lord is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech.

See also: Proverbs 16:5 The Lord detests all the proud of heart. Be sure of this: They will not go unpunished. 16:18 Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.

See also: Proverbs 27:1-2 Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring forth. 2 Let another praise you, and not your own mouth; someone else, and not your own lips.

See also: Proverbs 30:4 Who has gone up to heaven and come down?
Who has gathered up the wind in the hollow of his hands?
Who has wrapped up the waters in his cloak?
Who has established all the ends of the earth?
What is his name, and the name of his son?
Tell me if you know!


Key 8: Accept Criticism and grow from it

From Proverbs 9:8-9
Do not rebuke a mocker or he will hate you; rebuke a wise man and he will love you. Instruct a wise man and he will be wiser still; teach a righteous man and he will add to his learning.


Key 9: From your mouth can come great blessing or terrible judgment

From Proverb 10:11
The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life, but violence overwhelms the mouth of the wicked.

See also: Proverbs 13:3 He who guards his lips guards his life, but he who speaks rashly will come to ruin.

See also: Proverbs 15:1-2 A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. The tongue of the wise commends knowledge, but the mouth of the fool gushes folly.

See also: Proverbs 26:22 The words of a gossip are like choice morsels; they go down to a man's inmost parts.


Key 10: Truth is paramount; determine to seek it, and don't give up on it like Pontus Pilot

From Proverbs 12:17 & 19
A truthful witness gives honest testimony, but a false witness tells lies. Truthful lips endure forever, but a lying tongue lasts only a moment.

See also: Proverbs 16:13 Kings take pleasure in honest lips; they value a man who speaks the truth.


Key 11: Lasting wealth is gain slowly over time, even if you could get rich quickly, you probably shouldn't

From Proverbs 13:11
Dishonest money dwindles away, but he who gathers money little by little makes it grow.

See also: Proverbs 17:16 Of what use is money in the hand of a fool, since he has no desire to get wisdom?

See also: Proverbs 20:21 An inheritance quickly gained at the beginning will not be blessed at the end.

See also: Proverbs 23:4 Do not wear yourself out to get rich; have the wisdom to show restraint.


Key 12: Pick your friends carefully and invest time with them (but maybe not too much time)

From Proverbs 13:20
He who walks with the wise grows wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm.

See also: Proverbs 25:17 Seldom set foot in your neighbor's house too much of you, and he will hate you. See also: Proverbs 27:17 As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.


Key 13: Think things through to their logical conclusion. Carefully consider goals and objects and where they will lead you.

From Proverbs 14:15
A simple man believes anything, but a prudent man gives thought to his steps.

See also: Proverbs 16:3 Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.

See also: Proverbs 19:2 It is not good to have zeal without knowledge, nor to be hasty and miss the way.


Key 14: A good attitude is essential for a healthy life

From Proverbs 15: 30
A cheerful look brings joy to the heart, and good news gives health to the bones.


Key 15: Justice is at the heart of truth

From Proverbs 18:5
It is not good to be partial to the wicked or to deprive the innocent of justice

See also: Proverbs 17:15 Acquitting the guilty and condemning the innocent the Lord detests them both.

See also: Proverbs 21:3 To do what is right and just is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice.


Key 16: Discipline yourself, your use of alcohol, and your children to attain high hopes

From Proverbs 19:18
Discipline your son, for in that there is hope; do not be a willing party to his death.

See also: Proverbs 20:1 Wine is a mocker and beer a brawler; whoever is led astray by them is not wise.

See also: Proverbs 25:28 Like a city whose walls are broken down is a man who lacks self-control.

See also Proverbs 29:17 Discipline your son, and he will give you peace; he will bring delight to your soul.


Key 17: Show compassion when the opportunity arises

From Proverbs 25:21
If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat; if he is thirsty, give him water to drink.

See also Proverbs 28:27 He who gives to the poor will lack nothing, but he who closes his eyes to them receives many curses.

See also Proverbs 29:7 The righteous care about justice for the poor, but the wicked have no such concern.

See also Proverbs 31:9 Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.

 

Copyright Paul Asay 2006
Developed for Faith Weavers Sunday School Class
First Baptist Church of North Terre Haute