Imagine being offered anything you wanted. What is it that you want? Do you even know what it is you want? I don’t think it’s such an easy question to be faced with. Of course we have all thought about it hypothetically, but it would be different if receiving our hearts desire were really possible.
Solomon who was about to become the wisest ruler of all time, was feeling small. His father had been a great king. By any standard, Solomon had large shoes to fill. Solomon’s greatest desire was not to squander his father’s legacy. Along with the whole nation, Solomon had looked up to his father and admired him. We can see that Solomon was clearly ready for his gift of wisdom from God, when he humbly confessed that he felt.. like a little child who doesn’t know his way around. (1 Kings 3:7) When Solomon found himself in doubt, he remembered his father’s advice and asked God for the wisdom to do the right thing.
1 Kings 3:5-14 NLT
That night the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream, and God said, “What do you want? Ask, and I will give it to you!” Solomon replied, “You showed faithful love to your servant my father, David, because he was honest and true and faithful to you. And you have continued your faithful love to him today by giving him a son to sit on his throne. “Now, O Lord my God, you have made me king instead of my father, David, but I am like a little child who doesn’t know his way around. And here I am in the midst of your own chosen people, a nation so great and numerous they cannot be counted! Give me an understanding heart so that I can govern your people well and know the difference between right and wrong. For who by himself is able to govern this great people of yours?” The Lord was pleased that Solomon had asked for wisdom. So God replied, “Because you have asked for wisdom in governing my people with justice and have not asked for a long life or wealth or the death of your enemies— I will give you what you asked for! I will give you a wise and understanding heart such as no one else has had or ever will have! And I will also give you what you did not ask for—riches and fame! No other king in all the world will be compared to you for the rest of your life! And if you follow me and obey my decrees and my commands as your father, David, did, I will give you a long life.”
The Lord gave Solomon what he asked for, an understanding heart. But that was not all he gave him. The Lord was so pleased that Solomon had thought of his responsibility to govern, above and beyond any selfish desire for riches or power, that he gave him wealth and fame as well. Then the Lord went further and promised Solomon a long life too if would continue to follow and obey him as his father had done. My goal is to ask God to give me an understanding heart that I might better know his will and bend my life to best serve his purposes. I hope, that in choosing to search for God’s wisdom above all else, he will give me all the other things I need as well.
1 Kings 3:3-4:34, Acts 6:1-15, Psalms 126:1-6, Proverbs 16:26-27