1 Kings 3:5-14
“One night in Gibeon the LORD appeared to Solomon in a dream. God said, ‘Tell me what I should give you.’ 6 Solomon replied, ‘You demonstrated great loyalty to your servant, my father David, as he served you faithfully, properly, and sincerely. You have maintained this great loyalty to this day by allowing his son to sit on his throne. 7 Now, O LORD my God, you have made your servant king in my father David’s place, even though I am only a young man and am inexperienced. 8 Your servant stands among your chosen people; they are a great nation that is too numerous to count or number. 9 So give your servant a discerning mind so he can make judicial decisions for your people and distinguish right from wrong. Otherwise no one is able to make judicial decisions for this great nation of yours.’ 10 The LORD was pleased that Solomon made this request. God said to him, “Because you asked for the ability to make wise judicial decisions, and not for long life, or riches, or vengeance on your enemies, I grant your request, and give you a wise and discerning mind superior to that of anyone who has preceded or will succeed you. 13 Furthermore, I am giving you what you did not request – riches and honor so that you will be the greatest king of your generation. 14 If you follow my instructions by obeying my rules and regulations, just as your father David did, then I will grant you long life.’
Decisions. Difficult to make, especially when the heat and pressure is on. It was shortly after Solomon was endowed with wisdom that he had to choose between two women whose baby was whose. Just today I had to make a tough decision – many, actually. And the day has just begin. Thank God that He promises wisdom to all who ask Him. But what impresses me about this story of Solomon was his heart.
We all marvel that Solomon was not greedy and made a selfless decision. But upon further examination, I am amazed at the disposition of Solomon. True humility cannot be faked. On the spot, He is overwhelmed that God would ask him to choose at all. His first response was to praise God for His past kindness shown to his father, David, then for God’s loyalty and godly character. He then states how amazed he is that God would choose him at all and professes his own weakness. I am blown away that he recognizes his lack of capacity to lead God’s people and blatantly states that he cannot do it without God’s help. Solomon had the most important thing settled in his soul: his kingdom was not his, the people he governed were God’s. He needed wisdom from God to be able to judge in a way that pleased God. Wow.
I’d like to think we would all choose so wisely, but confess I can look over my life and see times where I saw God’s grace to judiciously choose and times where I did not. What impeded walking in wisdom in those times? Perhaps, if we take inventory of our lives, we might see where we strayed more clearly. Were we leaning on God, or man’s understanding in those times? I guess we could all say that Solomon also had moments like that, too. He was not perfect. (700 wives and 300 concubines, probably not so smart in this aspect of his life). But his heart saw his true, sincere need for God, and at the most critical moment at the beginning of His kingdom, He knew his foundation had to be laid in God.
Maybe some people reading this blog look over their lives and see wreckage. Regrets over past decisions which have impacted your life leave you wondering if there is any hope for recovery at all. The same invitation from God for Solomon is extended to you – ask God for wisdom, like Solomon did. Consequences might still remain, but in Christ they will serve to purify us and glorify Him. Maybe you are at a crossroads right now and need to make a decision which will potentially impact your life. Maybe you do not recognize that it will impact your life and just “go with the flow”. Hopefully not.
Solomon lived a peaceful life. God had promised this before he was even a king, but God also knew what Solomon would ask for. Making wise decisions can bring peace, but sometimes unwise choices are made that affect your life, too, which you had no say in. Either way, we daily feel the impact of walking in wisdom and numbering our days aright, or not. Right now, we can choose to recognize our need of God and His wisdom. Really recognize it – not just give mental assent to it because it is what we are supposed to say. We can see our utter moral poverty before a Holy God and give Him our lives, which are His, after all.
In our quest to be wise, we can surround ourselves with people who are wise. We may know many people we consider wise, but possessing true wisdom is vastly different than one who is puffed up with knowledge. Who surrounds you in your daily life? Walking with fools can wreck your life and impact you, too. He who walks with the wise becomes wise.
Lord, help us to choose wisdom and to walk in a manner that pleases You. Help us to see our need of you and to have the humility to ask for Your wisdom and not rely or lean on our own understanding.