This Week's Focus Passage

This Week’s Focus Passage: Proverbs 16:16 ‘How much better is it to get wisdom than gold!’

This Week’s Focus Passage: Proverbs 16:16

‘How much better is it to get wisdom than gold!’

If we ascribe, as many do, the writings of mostly all the Proverbs, to the son, and successor, of David, king of Israel, as the very beginning of this grand book of collected writings, informs the reader, clearly, as follows: The Proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel, we are encouraged to embrace these pithy expressions as coming before us as the works of the one of whom Jehovah gave great understanding. We read at 1 Kings 3:5-9;    

In Gibeon Jehovah appeared to Solomon in a dream by night; and God said, Ask what I shall give thee. And Solomon said, Thou hast showed unto thy servant David my father great lovingkindness, according as he walked before thee in truth, and in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart with thee; and thou hast kept for him this great lovingkindness, that thou hast given him a son to sit on his throne, as it is this day. And now, O Jehovah my God, thou hast made thy servant king instead of David my father: and I am but a little child; I know not how to go out or come in. And thy servant is in the midst of thy people which thou hast chosen, a great people that cannot be numbered, nor counted for multitude. Give thy servant therefore an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and evil; for who is able to judge this thy great people. 

And the speech pleased the Lord, that Solomon had asked this thing. And God said unto him, Because thou hast asked this thing and hast not asked for thyself long life, neither hast asked riches for thyself, nor hast asked the life of thine enemies, but hast asked for thyself understanding to discern justice; behold, I have done according to thy word: lo, I have given thee a wise and an under- standing heart; so that there hath been none like thee before thee, neither after thee shall any like thee arise like unto thee. 

Indeed, the great wisdom of Solomon has become, over the centuries, and not only in religious circles, proverbial, [no pun intended]. In point of fact, that which immediately follows this response of Jehovah, to His servant king, is that ‘famous’ account of the two harlots coming before this newly appointed king Solomon, with a most serious challenge for him to determine between the right and the wrong of it. These two woman came to the king with a serious problem. They had an infant with them; and infant that each woman claimed belonged unto them. Their stories agreed that they had both given birth to a child, and that less than three days apart. The infant of one of them died during the night, and she wickedly switched her baby for the other, as the other slept, taking for herself the living child; leaving the dead child with the other. In the morning, the mother of the living child woke and realized ‘her’ child was dead, but when daylight appeared, and she could see better, she knew what had been done; the children had been swapped out. So they went before the king with their disagreeing accounts of the matter. In modern day parlance, this would be a he said/she said situation, but in this case, we would have to refer to it, as a she said/she said; but the point is the same. How is the king to know to which mother the living child belongs? This is a remarkable narrative, as the new, young king appears to have no way of determining the true parent. But Jehovah God had recently given this son of David ‘a wise and understanding heart’ so that there was none like him before, nor would there be any like him afterward, for understanding and wisdom. Solomon commanded that he be ‘fetched a sword,’ subsequently directing an attendant to divide the child in two, and give each one half child. The true mother, in motherly compassion, and yearning from her heart for her child, said, ‘No, give the child to her.’ But the other said, It shall be neither thine, nor mine, divide it. The account, and the paragraph closes with;

And all Israel heard of the judgment which the king had judged; and they feared the king: for they saw that the wisdom of God was in him, to do justice.

Surely, it would be will nigh impossible for anyone to suggest that Solomon could not have written our focus verse this week. It appears incredibly applicable to this immediate demonstration of his God-granted wisdom, in the case of the two mothers. Imagine how the young king felt in his heart after receiving this expression of the gift of wisdom and understanding so conspicuously set before his eyes, as well as the eyes of those in attendance. Surely, this young king was both the author, as well as the early practitioner of the truth of Proverbs 16:16. He was not only its author, but we might say, he was its demonstrator on every occasion that lovers of the Word of God turn the page to the book of Proverbs, and then to verse 16:16, and read again;


How much better is it to get wisdom than gold!

Yea, to get understanding is rather to be chosen than silver.


David Farmer, elder

Fellowship Bible Church


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