We all have sought counsel from friends, business associates, salespersons, or teachers. Have you ever wondered if their counsel is truthful in your best interests, or are they holding back what they really think so as not to hurt your feelings, or intimidated because you are the boss and they are afraid to tell you what is really on their mind. Or is what they tell you because they have a personal interest or agenda on their minds.
In a novel excerpt, I surmised how King Solomon, based on his proverb, may have answered the Queen of Sheba’s concern about trusting his counsel. The novel is a contemporary application of a story form to promote understanding of proverbs and ancient wise sayings in relation to our modern times.
“Bilqis, I have noticed from our conversations that you have a habit of raising an eyebrow when I say something that interests you to become more attentive. You must learn to hide all emotion in your facial expressions so as not to give away your thoughts when you are negotiating or acting in your role as Queen over your subjects.”
“A shrewd person will use their eyes and ears to observe personal mannerisms to his or her advantage. A wise man understands the powers of his eyes and ears that his God has bestowed him with to help aid his powers of discernment.” An attentive ear and an observant eye, Yahweh is the maker of them both. (Proverb 20:12)
Bilqis upon hearing my explanation suddenly stood up, turned away from me, walked to the window, and gazed out for a long while. She appeared to be contemplating the meaning of what I had said in a very personal way. Finally, she turned and starred stonily at me before she commented.
“Solomon, your Goddess of Wisdom has given you great powers of perception and insight. I am beginning to worry and fear your counsel. You seemed to have acquired personal insight into my mind from the knowledge you have learned about me during our conversations. How do I know I can trust you not to take advantage of me with your powers of wisdom? What else are you secretly not divulging to me?”
I reacted surprised and disconcerted at her statement. I answered her concern in a very soft comforting voice.
“Bilqis trust me and do not fear my counsel. Our minds are like water in a deep well. Most people have a natural secretiveness and unwillingness to divulge what is on their minds. A wise man recognizes every person conceals secrets and opinions in the deep waters of their mind.”
“A wise man also develops skills of perception to elicit thoughts to seek truth from the counsel of those that surround him. Same as if to lower a bucket into a deep winding well and maneuver the bucket filled with water to the surface. Think of the counsel of our conversations as being buckets drawing out from the deep waters of our minds. We must trust each other so as not to cut the rope off the buckets. Counsel in a man’s mind is as deep waters, and a man of discernment draws it up. (Proverb 20:5)
“Why then did you not counsel me sooner that my eyebrows have been giving you a clue to my mind?”
“Bilqis, remember what I said about how a teacher first plants an easy to grow sycamore tree before planting the much harder to grow oak tree. You never asked me. When you finally did ask, I revealed how I did it. A person must learn to ask probing questions in order to obtain wisdom and truth. Discernment comes from those who understand how to ask pertinent and sometimes personal questions to identify the truth or logic of the counsel being given him.”
Her face softened somewhat from my reply. She then took a deep breath and asked me in a guarded tone.
“So tell me Solomon, what personal thoughts about me are now going on in the deep waters of your mind right now?”
“I was thinking how wonderful it would be if you were my wife.” I replied immediately in a candid tone.
Her head moved back as her eyes closed, and then her smile returned as she slowly shook her head from side to side. She then came back to the table and took my hand to signal she wanted us to leave the banquet table as she muttered despondently in jest.
“I should know better than to ask my truthful trustworthy counselor that has two hundred wives his personal thoughts of what is on his mind about me.”
We laughed together as we left the banquet room. Her reply was an apt remark but gave me no clue of her personal feelings toward me.
“ So tell me Bilqis, what is going on in the deep waters of your mind now about me personally.” I asked guardedly in return.
“I am thinking that until I master my facial expressions, the next riddle I present you will be in writing when I am far out of your sight.”
We both laughed again as we left the banquet hall arm and arm.
As A Lily Among Thorns – A Story of King Solomon, the Queen of Sheba, and the Goddess of Wisdom by Rudy U Martinka
Now available as an eBook at all sellers. View at link below.
Persuasion Acts 27:11 HERE
Galatians 6:7-8 HERE