“King Solomon was king over all Israel, and these were his high officials: Azariah the son of Zadok was the priest; Elihoreph and Ahijah the sons of Shisha were secretaries; Jehoshaphat the son of Ahilud was recorder; Benaiah the son of Jehoiada was in command of the army; Zadok and Abiathar were priests; Azariah the son of Nathan was over the officers; Zabud the son of Nathan was priest and king’s friend; Ahishar was in charge of the palace... God gave Solomon wisdom and understanding beyond measure, and breadth of mind like the sand on the seashore, so that Solomon’s wisdom surpassed the wisdom of all the people of the east and… of Egypt. For he was wiser than all other men… He also spoke 3,000 proverbs, and his songs were 1,005… And people of all nations came to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and from all the kings of the earth, who had heard of his wisdom.” 1 Kings 4:1-6,29-32,34
“Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise.” Proverbs 13:20
“A friend loves at all times,
and a brother is born for adversity.” Proverbs 17:17
“A man of many companions may come to ruin,
but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” Proverbs 18:24
“Faithful are the wounds of a friend.” Proverbs 27:6
At the start of his reign, Solomon employed his God-given wisdom by establishing a skilled team around him. If he was to lead and serve his kingdom, he would learn and implement, as he wrote, that ‘one grows wise by walking with the wise.’ Extremely gifted himself, he knew he needed others specifically talented in different areas, and he needed the help, loyalty, encouragement, and consistent camaraderie of a wise friend.
There is nothing quite like friends who will listen, and speak truth in love (and firmness), no matter how hard it is. Those who truly care about your soul, want your best, and will do what it takes to help you become more like Christ. Those with whom you can bare your soul, who will bear your burdens, who guard your treasure. Those who complement your strengths, and implant courage in you to exercise yours. (Galatians 6:1-2; Ephesians 4:15; Hebrews 3:13)
With whom do we surround ourselves? Those who make us look good in the world’s eyes, or those who build up our souls? Those who are quick to affirm our choices and pat us on the back for self-effort, or those who will challenge our decisions, and point us to Jesus? Those who have the latest in-vogue advice, or those who direct us to God’s word, even when it stings as it convicts and corrects? (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
How are we developing spiritual wisdom that we can contribute to our friendships? In being a friend, are we careful to keep confidences, to withhold saying or implying anything that would put another in a bad light? Do we take time and attention to read between the lines, to listen for the unspoken sensitivities and implications behind the words we actually hear? How brave are we to address wrong thinking and doing, after taking care of the plank in our own eye? (Matthew 7:3-5)
Lord, may I be a friend who urges others on in their faith, reflects You in Your purity and light, and walks wisely so I can help others grow wise alongside me.