For King Solomon, obtaining wisdom was more valuable than having a long life, riches, or honor. He knew that if he possessed wisdom - and acted accordingly - all the other good things would naturally follow.
His son, Rehoboam, however, did not share his father's quest and reverence for wisdom. When he inherited the kingdom after Solomon's death, a delegation of people approached the newly-crowned king and asked for relief from the heavy tax burden that his father had imposed on them. King Rehoboam asked for three days to make his decision concerning their request. First, he solicited advice from the elders who had advised Solomon while he was king. The older men counseled the young king, "Speak gently to these people and serve them with respect, and they will be loyal to you forever." Then Rehoboam sought the opinions of his young friends who had grown up with him. "You need to show these people who's boss! Don't be such a wimp!" they asserted.
Unfortunately, Rehoboam embraced the advice of his peers and rejected the sage counsel of the elders. When the delegation returned on the third day, Rehoboam answered the people roughly, "Instead of making your tax burden lighter, I will add to it. My father chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scorpions!" The people, of course, revolted against this hardline stance. Rehoboam's haughty attitude and harsh words resulted in the Kingdom of Israel being divided with 10 of the 12 tribes ripped away from him, and much warfare and suffering in the years that followed. Israel never regained the prominence that it enjoyed while Solomon was king.
Not only did Rehoboam suffer for his lack of wisdom and inexperience, but so did the entire nation. One bad decision can hurt many people and even change the course of history. Wisdom, then, is of paramount importance.
The following are choice words of wisdom from some of my most trusted older friends:
Jeanette, in her early sixties, from Southwest Virginia advises: "Wisdom for me has come from listening to others, and watching the actions of others... and waiting to see the results. Acting on impulse is not what it used to be as it was in my youth. And holding my tongue on trivial matters has served me well."
Jeanette, age 76, from Bakersfield, California, writes: "For me, wisdom is, as Jesus said, knowing the truth and then living it! It is wisdom to find out what Jesus has said and the context in which He said it, and then respond accordingly. It is intentional living according to truth!"
Ken, in his late fifties, from Arizona, has this counsel from the Bible: "Proverbs 4:5-13 AMP.....'5 Get skillful and godly Wisdom, get understanding (discernment, comprehension, and interpretation); do not forget and do not turn back from the words of my mouth. 6 Forsake not [Wisdom], and she will keep, defend, and protect you; love her, and she will guard you. 7 The beginning of Wisdom is: get Wisdom (skillful and godly Wisdom)! [For skillful and godly Wisdom is the principal thing.] And with all you have gotten, get understanding (discernment, comprehension, and interpretation). 8 Prize Wisdom highly and exalt her, and she will exalt and promote you; she will bring you to honor when you embrace her. 9 She shall give to your head a wreath of gracefulness; a crown of beauty and glory will she deliver to you. 10 Hear, O my son, and receive my sayings, and the years of your life shall be many. 11 I have taught you in the way of skillful and godly Wisdom [which is comprehensive insight into the ways and purposes of God]; I have led you in paths of uprightness. 12 When you walk, your steps shall not be hampered [your path will be clear and open]; and when you run, you shall not stumble. 13 Take firm hold of instruction, do not let go; guard her, for she is your life.' I especially like the Amplified version...Kind of says it all."
For our more "mature" members, what are your choicest gems of wisdom or advice for our readers? Thank you in advance for sharing.