We are talking about wisdom today because our Old Testament lesson, about Solomon, and our Epistle lesson, Paul telling to live wise rather than unwise lives, are very much thematically linked. At least the theme that arose for me out of our texts for this Sunday revolved around wisdom.
It is very tempting to suggest that Solomon’s experience is, or should be, the norm. There is a dramatic encounter between God and an individual, preferably in a vision or a dream, and God provides wisdom for that person. There are a couple of things wrong with this but the most obvious comes from Paul’s exhortation that we live “wise” rather than “unwise” lives. Say what you like about Paul and how he can be hard to understand he never asks us to do what is literally impossible; nor does God. If we are called to live wisely then we can. Paul give no indication here or anywhere that we should wait for some divine encounter. Furthermore, the notion that the divine encounter provided the needed wisdom for Solomon falls apart if you read the rest of the story of Solomon and his far from perfect kingship.
Give the sermons below a listen and see if I can convince you that we can all be wise . . . and let me know if I don’t.