King Solomon's Mines - Part 1
Since the beginning of recorded history, tales and legends of lost mines and buried and sunken treasures have held an incredible fascination and appeal for many people.
Passionate treasure hunters have fervently searched and even killed for precious metals and gemstones. To this day many of us remain spellbound by these stories of sunken treasures and movies like the fabled King Solomon’s Mines.
In the Bible we read the true story of King Solomon. God blessed him with great riches and power – and wisdom. He was the wisest man who ever lived. In the very centre of the Old Testament is the Book of Proverbs which was mostly written by King Solomon. Under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, he urges us to search diligently for a treasure that is more precious than gold, silver, or rubies. It is wisdom.
He wrote; “Happy is the person who finds wisdom and gains understanding. For the profit of wisdom is better than silver, and her wages are better than gold. Wisdom is more precious than rubies; nothing you desire can compare with her” (Proverbs 3:13-15 NLT).
Life is difficult. We live in troubled times. What sort of people must we be in the middle of these stressful times? What do we need to see us through? To that question the Book of Proverbs offers one massive and obvious answer: Wisdom. Biblical wisdom is living skilfully in whatever situation we find ourselves and the central message of Proverbs is this: pursue wisdom.
Solomon’s book is a rich treasure house of wisdom and he passes on his wise advice in the form of proverbs. A proverb is a short, catchy, to the point, insightful and memorable saying. It does not state everything about a truth but is a guideline and tells us how life works most of the time. It is a general principle but not a universal guarantee. We use many proverbs in everyday speech; “A stitch in time saves nine” urges us to avoid procrastination. “Garbage in, garbage out” is a proverb coined by computer operators.
A Manual for Living
The purpose of the Book of Proverbs is to give us wise, practical (and that’s the key word) advice for our daily living (Proverbs 1:2-5). It focuses on God and teaches us how to live in close relationship with him and with one another. It deals with choices we make between hard work and laziness, honesty and dishonesty, patience and anger. Biblical proverbs guide us in raising our children, handling our money, our choice of friends, caring for the poor, managing conflict, using words well and about nearly every other major issue in our lives.
We all need these precious words of wisdom! Sadly - and especially nowadays, it seems - too many people are making unwise choices and ruining their lives. A businessman was saying that his business was going so well that he couldn’t hire salespeople fast enough to take all the orders coming in to his company. But he said “The only problem is that so many of my new salespeople act strangely.” “What do you mean by strangely?” he was asked. “I mean they do stupid things and get themselves into trouble. They shoot themselves in the foot. They don’t turn up on time. They don’t return phone calls. They don’t charge fair prices. They don’t treat people courteously. They don’t admit mistakes when they make them. They don’t cooperate with their colleagues. They just act strangely, and eventually I have to fire them. They could be building a successful career. Instead they force me to let them go. I’m not demanding a lot, but how can I tolerate their behaviour?”1
What was the bottom line in this man’s complaint? “I can’t find enough wise people.”
We are here to help you!
Living wisely today is a challenge and we all need guidance. What better advice than God’s proverbs for our lives? Welcome to the first in a series of studies in the Book of Proverbs! In each future issue of Face to Face we will take an in-depth look at some of these wise sayings and help you discover how they apply to your daily life. You will learn that each proverb is a gold nugget of practical truth that calls you to action and live a responsible and effective life.
In the meantime why don’t you start reading through the Book of Proverbs?
There are thirty-one chapters and there are thirty-one days in most months. Every day read the chapter that corresponds to that particular date. Read two chapters on the last day of months that have only thirty days. Do that every day, month after month and year after year and you will not only find wise advice for living, you will unearth the silver and buried treasure Solomon writes about – treasure that will last beyond your lifetime!
Read with a pen and paper at hand so you can make notes about the knowledge and wisdom you are learning.
When you read, certain verses will jump out at you – they will speak to you. Let the words sink in.
Place them somewhere you can see them often – on your fridge, on your desk, on the dashboard of your car.
Reflect on them during the day
Ask God to enable you to put them into practice.
If you pursue wisdom with the passion of a prospector panning for gold and an adventurer on a treasure hunt (Proverbs 2:4; 3:13-16), you will discover riches far more valuable than gold. These wise proverbs will change your life!
1 Bill Hybels Making Life Work p13.