Wisdom Of God
Proverbs 27:9 AMP
I Kings 3:5 (Solomon’s Dream)
I Kings 3:9 ESV
James 1:5 ESV
Meet my squad (circle of close friends)
It goes without saying that Solomon’s wise words are truer than true.
In Proverbs 27:9 we learn, “Oil and perfume make the heart glad; So does the sweetness of a friend’s counsel that comes from the heart.”
Several things about Solomon’s words jump out. Solomon was born 990 B.C.E, and died in 931 B.C.E. (which stands for “before common or current era). That was a long time before A.D. from the Latin ‘Anno Domini’ which means the year of our Lord or before Jesus Christ.
How did Solomon know about the importance of essential oils approximately 3000 years ago? Or…did we know about the importance of scented oils and perfume because of Old Testament mention of them?
Maybe the greater question is, how did Solomon know essential oils stimulate the human brain by communicating signals to the brain “to exert neurotransmitters (serotonin and dopamine) thereby regulating mood” (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23531112/#).
Surely Solomon didn’t know exactly what role serotonin plays for human health.
Serotonin is now known to regulate mood. Basically serotonin is mostly found in a human gut (G.I. tract) which aides in digestion, it plays a role in good sleep, it releases platelets to our blood to help heal a wound, it is believed it aides bone health, and it plays a role in human sensuality health (https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/22572-serotonin#:~:text=Mood%3A%20Serotonin%20in%20your%20brain,serotonin%20are%20associated%20with%20depression.)
Dopamine is the chemical that enables a human to feel pleasure, be satisfied and motivated (https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/dopamine#:~:text=of%20the%20brain.-,What%20is%20the%20role%20of%20dopamine%3F,of%20dopamine%20in%20the%20brain.)
We do know Solomon was a wise man who knew things others did not know.
How did Solomon know oil and perfume produce the same result to a friend’s wise counsel?
When Solomon compared oil and perfume to a friend’s wise counsel it was not known that the wise counsel of a friend also caused the human brain to produce the neurotransmitters of serotonin and dopamine.
Solomon’s wisdom was a gift from God. We know from I Kings 3:5 that in a dream Solomon asked God what he wanted to be given to him. In the dream in 1 Kings 3:9 Solomon said, “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?”
God asked Solomon what he could give him.
Solomon asked for wisdom.
God gave Solomon great wisdom.
The specific knowledge of the chemicals serotonin and dopamine were not known by Solomon by name but he knew oils and perfume play a positive role in his life.
Likewise, Solomon knew wise counsel from a friend also produce a “good” result.
When we are with or when we acknowledge our “squad” or our circle of really trusted companions, specific chemicals are released in our brain.
There are “four main hormones -- chemicals your body produces -- that trigger feelings of happiness, and each chemical is connected to specific events or rewards.” Those four horomones are dopamine, serotonin, endorphin, and oxytocin (https://www.cnet.com/health/mental/happiness-is-in-your-hormones-ways-to-naturally-boost-dopamine-and-serotonin/).
In the case of receiving wise counsel of a friend, one key factor is the hormone oxytocin. The above referenced article tells us that oxytocin is associated with (among other things) having contact with someone you trust.
When someone we trust offers us wise counsel it produces oxytocin in the brain. Oxytocin has been called the love hormone.
As a sidebar, studies show playing with or petting your pup produces oxytocin in the human brain as well. It stands to reason that could apply to any animal as well. My chosen pet is my trusty schnoodle.
And (the looming question in my head…okay I’m listening God) is, “are those chemicals/hormones also produced from our memories of trusted friends?” While I didn't find any data on the specific question, it stands to reason when we have a strong memory of a trusted friend or companion, oxytocin and other chemicals are produced.
For example, I specifically remember telling my dad about what I experienced when I attended the Billy Graham Crusade in Kansas City in 1967. After I relayed my experience to him about my awareness of the Spirit in and around me, he gave me wise counsel about what happened to me that night.
My dad clarified and magnified the importance of the event. I not only remember what I felt like the night I stepped inside Arrowhead Stadium, I remember that my dad encouraged me and gave me wise counsel that related to what God did that night IN me.
I believe the memory of that night continues to produce positive chemicals/hormones today whenever I recall what happened.
I find great comfort when I read and think of James 1:5, “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.”
We have access to the same wisdom that Solomon possessed.
We have access to chemicals/hormones that produce a positive result in our daily lives.
How GREAT Is our God?
The Wisdom OF God is very very great!
Spiritual Practice: Remember
Remember a specific positive time when you were given wise counsel by someone you trusted.
In God, Deborah