At Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream by night, and God said, “Ask what I shall give you.” And Solomon said, “You have shown great and steadfast love to your servant David my father, because he walked before you in faithfulness, in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart toward you. And you have kept for him this great and steadfast love and have given him a son to sit on his throne this day. And now, O Lord my God, you have made your servant king in place of David my father, although I am but 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 many to be numbered or counted for multitude. Give your servant therefore an understanding mind to govern your people, that I may discern between good and evil, for who is able to govern this your great people?”
It pleased the Lord that Solomon had asked this. And God said to him, “Because you have asked this, and have not asked for yourself long life or riches or the life of your enemies, but have asked for yourself understanding to discern what is right, behold, I now do according to your word. Behold, I give you a wise and discerning mind, so that none like you has been before you and none like you shall arise after you. I give you also what you have not asked, both riches and honor, so that no other king shall compare with you, all your days. And if you will walk in my ways, keeping my statutes and my commandments, as your father David walked, then I will lengthen your days.” I Kings 3:5-14 ESV
Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls, who, on finding one pearl of great value, went and sold all that he had and bought it. Matthew 13:45-46 ESV
For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. I Corinthians 1:22-24 ESV
Wendy’s grandparents gave her a gift card for her favorite department store. She could buy whatever she wanted with it, but she knew she had to choose carefully. Should she get clothes, or shoes, or a new cell phone? Should she get several things that didn’t cost very much, or spend the whole gift card on one really nice thing? It was hard to decide what to buy.
Jesus told a story about a man who bought and sold pearls. One day he found such an incredible pearl that he knew he had to have it. But it cost a lot of money. The only way he could have this wonderful pearl would be to sell everything he had to get enough money to buy it. But he made his choice and put all his savings and merchandise on the line for this one pearl. He knew this precious pearl was worth it.
After Solomon became king he had a dream. God promised to give him whatever he asked for. Solomon had a choice to make. Should he ask for a long life, or death to his enemies? Should he ask to be really rich and powerful? Should he ask to be the most famous king in the world? Solomon made his choice. Instead of any of these selfish ideas, he asked God for wisdom so that he could be a good king for God’s people. For Solomon, wisdom from the Lord was like a precious pearl, worth more than anything else he could possibly have. This choice pleased God, and the Lord promised to give him not only wisdom but everything else he hadn’t asked for.
God gave us his most precious pearl when he sent Jesus to us to be our Savior. Jesus gave up everything he had to win us back to our Heavenly Father. He gave his life for us on the cross so that our sins could be forgiven. He showed us that we are precious pearls to him, and that he was ready to give up everything so that we could be his. This seems like a very foolish bargain, but the Bible calls Jesus and his cross the wisdom of God. Jesus, God’s wisdom, is our precious pearl. What he’s done for us on the cross is more valuable than anything in the whole world.
Dear Jesus, thank you for giving your life for us so that we could be yours forever. Please keep us close so that nothing ever takes us away from you. Amen.