Begonias And Wisdom
“For the Lord grants wisdom! From His mouth come knowledge and understanding. He grants a treasure of good sense to the godly.”
~ Proverbs 2:6-8
How often have you heard someone say: “If only I could win the lottery then I could . . . .” They are thinking their life would become easier and more fun because of experiencing a financial windfall.
Margaret R. McDowell, a syndicated economic columnist wrote a story that she heard some 30 years ago about an owner of a plant nursery who won the lottery. When this man won the lottery, people anticipated that he would retire and move to the south of France. However, he hired financial advisors to coordinate his new wealth. He kept working in his roadside nursery, moving palm trees and planting begonias. This man liked plants and getting dirt on his hands. He liked working with his customers, and enjoyed running a productive small business. “In short, he kept his life’s work, and his purpose.” She wrote: “Last I heard, he was happily digging in the dirt, planting flowers (begonias) for spring.” He appeared to have great wisdom because he did not change his lifestyle when he won the lottery.
Compare him to Solomon, the tenth son of David and the third king of Israel, who reigned for forty years. He built the temple in Jerusalem. He was the author of Ecclesiastes and Song of Songs, as well as many of the Proverbs and a couple of the Psalms. But how did Solomon acquire wisdom?
In a dream God appeared to Solomon and asked him “What do you want? Ask, and I will give it to you.” Solomon asked God to give to him wisdom to be able to “govern” his people well, and “know the difference between right and wrong (wisdom).” Solomon’s answer pleased God, and He granted him wisdom. God also gave to him what he did not ask for, and that was riches and honor, and He told him, “No other king in all the world will be compared to you for the rest of your life.”
Unfortunately, Solomon failed to apply wisdom in all areas of his life. In other words, He failed to obey God as he sank into sin. Alexander Whyte stated: “The shipwreck of Solomon is surely the most terrible tragedy in all the world. For if ever there was a shining type of Christ in the Old Testament church, it was Solomon . . . but everyday sensuality made him in the end a castaway.” Herbert Lockyer, D.D., D.Litt. stated: “Sensuality and pride of wealth brought about Solomon’s deterioration.”
Compare the plant nursery owner’s wisdom to Solomon’s. They were both wealthy. But how were they different? It was the way they put wisdom into practice. The plant nursery owner just continued on with his routine of life of being the owner by “moving palm trees and planting begonias.” Solomon, on the other hand, allowed his wealth and power to cloud his wisdom, and he began to ignore God. (Although it is debated, it is possible that later in life, he repented.)
For God’s people today, let us remember that true wisdom comes from God, and is found by reading the Bible and listening. We must take great effort to find it and use it, as it is a constant process. If we trust in God, he will make us truly wise.
Lord God, thank You for providing Your wisdom to Your people. Amen.
~ Ann Brock