Throughout the Bible, there are many examples of people who asked God for wisdom. Seeking wisdom from above is an important theme, as godly wisdom helps us live righteously and make good decisions that honor God. In this comprehensive blog post, we will explore key figures in the Bible who sought after wisdom in their lives.
Wisdom is a gift from God that He eagerly desires to give to His children. James 1:5 (NKJV) states:
If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.
Rather than relying on our own understanding, we are encouraged to ask God for wisdom in all matters. He promises to grant it generously whenever we ask in faith.
Throughout Scripture, we see examples of righteous men and women who humbled themselves before God and pleaded for Him to impart His divine wisdom. As we study their stories, we can learn important lessons about seeking wisdom for our own lives.
Here are some key takeaways about asking for wisdom in the Bible:
- God delights in giving wisdom freely to those who ask Him.
- Wisdom from God is greater than any human wisdom.
- Seeking God’s wisdom demonstrates humility and dependence on Him.
- God’s wisdom enables us to live righteously and make wise decisions.
- Wisdom leads to blessings and favor, while folly leads to harm.
Now, let’s explore some of the notable people in the Bible who desperately sought after godly wisdom in their lives.
One of the most famous examples is Solomon, the son of King David. When Solomon became king, God appeared to him in a dream and said “Ask! What shall I give you?” (1 Kings 3:5 NKJV). Solomon could have asked for long life, wealth, or victory over enemies. But instead, he asked for wisdom to lead God’s people justly.
1 Kings 3:9 (NKJV) records Solomon’s humble request:
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?
This request pleased God, and He granted Solomon immense wisdom. 1 Kings 3:12 (NKJV) states:
Behold, I have done according to your words; see, I have given you a wise and understanding heart, so that there has not been anyone like you before you, nor shall any like you arise after you.
Solomon’s God-given wisdom was unmatched. He wrote over 3,000 proverbs and over 1,000 songs (1 Kings 4:32). Leaders from all nations came to listen to Solomon’s wisdom from God (1 Kings 4:34).
Solomon serves as a prime example of the blessings of wisdom that come from petitioning God. His story reminds us that seeking God’s wisdom should be our top priority.
A second example is the prophet Daniel. When King Nebuchadnezzar had a perplexing dream, he summoned all the magicians and astrologers in Babylon to interpret it. But none could do so, causing the king to order that all the wise men be executed.
In response, God revealed the dream and its interpretation to Daniel. His life and the lives of the other wise men were spared. Daniel demonstrated for us the importance of appealing to God for wisdom in difficult situations rather than relying solely on human intelligence.
In 1 Kings 10, the Queen of Sheba traveled to meet Solomon after hearing of his great wisdom. She came and spoke with him about all that was on her heart and Solomon answered all her questions with immense wisdom.
1 Kings 10:8 (NKJV) records her response:
Happy are your men and happy are these your servants, who stand continually before you and hear your wisdom!
Even Solomon’s servants were blessed by proximity to such godly wisdom. This shows the ripple effect of wisdom – it not only benefits us individually but can also bless those around us. The Queen of Sheba recognized that being near a wise leader was invaluable.
Like Solomon’s servants, we should position ourselves to be close to godly wisdom – reading the wise words of Scripture, learning from mature believers, and walking in obedience to God’s commands. As James 1:5 reminds us, God wants to impart His wisdom to us liberally.
Only be strong and very courageous, that you may observe to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may prosper wherever you go. This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.
God did not simply tell Joshua to be wise. He told him the means to attain wisdom – meditating on God’s Word continually. Godly wisdom comes from saturating our minds with Scripture under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Through meditating on the Bible, Joshua gained the wisdom he needed to lead well.
Job was a righteous man who feared God greatly. When trials came, including the loss of his children, possessions, and health, Job turned to God for wisdom in his suffering.
Job 28:12-28 describes how wisdom is found in God alone, not just human skill or intelligence. After exploring the depths of godly wisdom, Job concludes:
And to man He said, ‘Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom, and to turn away from evil is understanding.’” (Job 28:28 NKJV)
Despite his desperate situation, Job recognized that the starting point of wisdom was the fear of the Lord. He teaches us to turn to God as the source of true wisdom when navigating trials.
In Proverbs 2, Solomon shares the advice he gave to his own son about pursuing wisdom.
Proverbs 2:1-6 (NKJV) states:
My son, if you receive my words, And treasure my commands within you, So that you incline your ear to wisdom, And apply your heart to understanding; Yes, if you cry out for discernment, And lift up your voice for understanding, If you seek her as silver, And search for her as for hidden treasures; Then you will understand the fear of the Lord, And find the knowledge of God. For the Lord gives wisdom; From His mouth come knowledge and understanding;
Solomon urges his son to passionately pursue wisdom as one would pursue a precious treasure. He reminds him that beginning wisdom is fearing the Lord, and that God Himself is the source of all wisdom and knowledge. As God’s children, we must heed the same advice, earnestly crying out to the Father for wisdom.
For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God;
Paul prayed for the Colossian church to keep growing in spiritual wisdom and understanding so they could live righteously. He teaches us to keep asking God to deepen our wisdom so we can fully know and obey His perfect will.
We began this post with James 1:5, which promises that God will grant wisdom generously whenever we ask Him in faith. James goes on to contrast the two types of wisdom – heavenly versus earthly and demonic:
But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. (James 3:17 NKJV)
James exhorts believers to live according to godly wisdom from above, rather than selfish, earthly wisdom. When seeking wisdom, we must examine our hearts. Are we desiring wisdom for righteous reasons and God’s glory, or for selfish gain? Thankfully, our gracious Father is eager to impart pure, peaceable wisdom from above as we ask.
Throughout the Bible, we see example after example of faithful followers of God pleading for divine wisdom. From Solomon to Daniel, Joshua to Job, Paul to James, we are shown the immense value of seeking after God’s wisdom rather than relying on our own limited understanding.
May their examples encourage us to earnestly plead for heavenly wisdom each day. As James reminds us, we need only ask in faith. God promises to generously and without reproach grant us increased knowledge, skill, understanding, and discernment as we humbly seek after Him – the source of all wisdom.