WISDOM FOR LIVING DEVOTIONAL
SEPTEMBER 18, 2020
TOPIC: LEARN WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
BY T. O. BANSO
“King David said to all the Israelites who were gathered, ‘God chose my son Solomon, who is young and hasn’t yet learned what he needs to know, but the work is important’” (1 Chronicles 29:1a New Century Version).
The desire by some people to exhibit what they know is the reason they have not learnt what they need to know. I know someone like that. This is probably responsible for where he is today. Try to talk with him, and he is going to lecture you!
He always thinks he knows. All his efforts are targeted at proving that he knows; so, he never really learns. Yet, you can’t see in his life the proof of what he claims to know. My prayer for him is to settle down and really learn, and stop trying to prove that he knows something.
Benjamin Disraeli (1804-1881), British writer and Prime Minister said, “To be conscious that you are ignorant is a great step to knowledge.” Wise people are eager to know more than they are quick to let others know what they know.
Proverbs 10:14 says, “Wise people store up knowledge, but the mouth of the foolish is near destruction” (New King James Version). When you go to church, school, the workplace, or even at home, do you seek to know more or you’re trying to impress people that you know?
I read a story somewhere but I can’t remember the full details now. The summary is that a young man had an appointment with a mentor. During the meeting, the young man did all the talking. After much talking the mentor took a jug of water or tea and poured it into a glass until it was overflowing. The young man told the mentor that the glass was full and was overflowing.
The mentor wasn’t blind. He did it deliberately to teach the young man. He told the young man that he had nothing to teach him because he was already full – he knows too much already. It wasn’t that there was nothing for him to learn from the mentor but he had a bad attitude. He must empty himself for the mentor to be able to pour himself into him. Are you too full of yourself or you’re ready to learn? Are you teachable?
David had the privilege of presenting his successor, Solomon, his son, to the Israelites before he died. He addressed the people and spoke about Solomon in relation to the major project before him on his ascension to the throne. This was the building of the Temple. “King David said to all the Israelites who were gathered, ‘God chose my son Solomon, who is young and hasn’t yet learned what he needs to know, but the work is important’” (1 Chronicles 29:1a New Century Version).
He told them the materials he had given towards the Temple project and encouraged them to give also. The people gave gifts willingly and joyfully.
Please take note of how David described Solomon. He said he was “young and hasn’t yet learned what he needs to know.” God knew this but still chose Solomon for this gigantic project. In other words, God didn’t choose Solomon because he knew what he needed to know. It was left for Solomon to learn thereafter what he needed to know.
Nobody knows everything but to get to a certain level or get some things done, we must know certain things. A wise person will identify what he doesn’t know, not pretend that he knows. After identifying what he needs to learn, he will pursue how to learn it. What you don’t know, you don’t know! David knew his son well and knew he had not yet learnt what he needed to know.
No wonder, when he had a dream after he had offered a thousand burnt offerings to the LORD at Gibeon, and the LORD told him to ask for anything he wanted, Solomon knew what he lacked. “Now, O LORD my God, You have made Your servant king instead of my father David, but I am a little child; I do not know how to go out or come in. And Your servant is in the midst of Your people whom You have chosen, a great people, too numerous to be numbered or counted. Therefore give to Your servant an understanding heart to judge Your people, that I may discern between good and evil. For who is able to judge this great people of Yours?” (1 Kings 3:7-9 New King James Version).
Solomon’s speech pleased the LORD. He gave him a wise and understanding heart so that there had not been anyone like him before him, nor shall any arise after him. He also gave him what he didn’t ask for, riches and honour, so that there would not be anyone like him among the kings all his days.
Solomon had not learnt what he needed to know because he was young. The New King James says he was young and inexperienced (1 Chronicles 29:1). The Message says he was “young and untested.” Solomon knew this and when the opportunity presented itself, he asked God to help him in this area. He did.
Nobody knows everything but have you learnt what you need to know by now? In a way, life is a school, how much are you leaning daily? Or do you only go about trying to impress people with what you know? A paraphrase of Proverbs 18:15 in The Message says, “Wise men and women are always learning, always listening for fresh insights.”
What have you learnt of late in the church, school, home, or workplace? In your chosen career or field, are you learning new things? There is so much knowledge everywhere. Are you learning what you need to know?
I study my Bible every day to learn from the Holy Spirit what He wants to teach me, even from passages I have read over and over again. The Holy Spirit gives me new insights. He shows me things I have been blind to. He does the same for other believers, too.
It gladdens my heart when I receive feedback from readers acknowledging how much they have learnt from what the LORD has helped me to learn, which I have written and published. It doesn’t matter if several others were blessed but chose not to acknowledge that they have learnt anything or have been blessed. I was born to do what I am doing.
Are you learning what you need to know? Your progress or success may depend largely on this. This is important. “Those who get wisdom do themselves a favour, and those who love learning will succeed” (Proverbs 19:8 New Century Version).
Nicodemus, a Pharisee and a member of the Sanhedrin, sought to learn what he didn’t know. He came to Jesus by night. He had not even asked a specific question but had only given a preamble when Jesus told him his greatest need: he must be born again. He didn’t know what it meant and Jesus explained this to him (John 3). He later became a secret disciple of Jesus who spoke up in his defence after a failed attempt to arrest Jesus; he together with Joseph of Arimathea gave Him a decent burial (John 7:50-51; 19:38-40).
Luke 18:18 says, “Now a certain ruler asked Him, saying, ‘Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?’” (New King James Version). This man wanted to learn what he didn’t know. Unfortunately, when Jesus told him what he must do, he went away sorrowful. He wasn’t ready to do it.
To learn what you need to know will cost you something. It may cost you time, money, humility, and so on. The Queen of Sheba left her country for Jerusalem in Israel to test Solomon with hard questions and discuss with him. Jesus said she came from a distant land to hear the wisdom of Solomon (Luke 11:31). She had heard so much but she decided to come personally to find out Solomon’s fame and wisdom. The original story is recorded in 1 Kings 10.
To learn what you need to know, you also need to associate with those who already know it. Queen of Sheba associated with a wise king, Solomon, to contact wisdom. Fools hate knowledge (Proverbs 1:22). Don’t associate with fools. “He who walks with wise men will be wise, but the companion of fools will be destroyed” (Proverbs 13:20 New King James Version).
Reading good books is also important. Charles Spurgeon is quoted a saying, “Give yourself unto reading. The man who never reads will never be read; he who never quotes will never be quoted. He who will not use the thoughts of other men’s brains, proves that he has no brains of his own. You need to read.”
The Ethiopian Eunuch was a reader and he eventually found help to learn what he needed to know. Acts 8:30-31 says, “Philip ran over and heard the man reading from the prophet Isaiah; so he asked, ‘Do you understand what you are reading?’ The man replied, ‘How can I, when there is no one to instruct me?’ And he begged Philip to come up into the carriage and sit with him” (New Living Translation). Phillip went ahead to explain to him and eventually the man was born again and baptized in water.
Sometimes you will be corrected to learn what you need to know. Don’t hate correction. “Whoever loves instruction loves knowledge, but he who hates correction is stupid” (Proverbs 12:1 New King James Version).
Whatever you learn is unfruitful unless you apply it. Put to practice what you learn. It helps you to master it and become a blessing to others. “Wisdom is the right use of knowledge. To know is not to be wise. Many men know a great deal and are all the greater fools for it. There is no fool so great a fool as a knowing fool. But to know how to use knowledge is to have wisdom” (Charles Spurgeon).
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto you today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank you, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The LORD be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Father, help me to identify what I need to learn; help me to learn what I need to know. Make me teachable, O LORD. I will love knowledge; I won’t hate correction. Holy Spirit, teach me Yourself and help me to humble myself to learn from others. I will associate with the wise men, not with fools in Jesus’ name.
(For over 300 in-depth and powerful messages by T.O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
Phone No: +2348155744752, +2348033113523
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