Posts Tagged ‘wisdom’

King David served his nation well until the day he died. Before his death, David designated his son Solomon to take the throne. In this text, Solomon faces the choice of what he needs most as he assumes power and authority.

Word:  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 great and faithful love to your servant my father, David, because he was honest and true and faithful to you. And you have continued to show this great and 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?”

10 The Lord was pleased that Solomon had asked for wisdom. 11 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— 12 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! 13 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! 14 And if you follow me and obey my decrees and my commands as your father, David, did, I will give you a long life.”


Some leaders were older when chosen—like Moses and Joshua. We expect older people to have more experience, more information, bigger networks, and more confidence. But God often called younger people to be leaders, people like Queen Esther, Daniel, Josiah, and Solomon.  Perhaps a person’s age is one of those external factors like height that people tend to use as something upon which to base their leadership choices, while God is still more concerned about a person’s heart.

How many fairy tales hinge on the fairy godmother or the genii giving someone three wishes! As children we would always try to figure out how to turn three wishes into an infinite number of wishes by wishing that all our wishes would come true.  Most of those fairy tales end with a disastrous moral lesson to be careful for what one wishes.

This story of young Solomon is quite different. He has already inherited the throne. He has the wealth of his father as well as power over a consolidated nation.  He has absolute authority. For what could he ask God that he did not already have?  More wealth, more power, more fame?

Instead Solomon asked for an understanding heart, so that he could know the difference between right and wrong to govern the nation fairly—with justice.

Solomon was already wise!  He recognized that God had honored his father’s faithfulness, and that even his own existence was by the grace and mercy of God.  He certainly knew the story of his father David’s adultery and murder, but also of his penance and punishment when confronted with his sin. He could have been that child who died as a result of David’s sin—but he wasn’t.

Solomon was many things at the commencement of his reign, but he was not arrogant or conceited; rather, he recognized that God had placed him on the throne to judge between right and wrong—and for that he needed a greater portion of wisdom as do all national leaders.

Seek leaders, young or old, who know that their task is to judge right from wrong and who seek greater wisdom in order accomplish this task—and who seek it from God.


Prayer:  We have leaders who seek power. We have leaders who ask for authority. People want to be leaders who are arrogant and conceited, thinking they are wise—wiser than everyone, even You! Protect our nation from these kinds of leaders. Give us leaders who have understanding hearts, who want to know the difference between right and wrong, and who know they can only govern if you have given them wisdom.  Amen.

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