You know that your day is not overly exciting when the big event is a hotdog (actually polish dog) at Costco. It was nice to have Debbie come home midday and to join her in a trek to one of her favorite places to shop. One our way back home she dropped me off at the fitness center for my daily workout, while Debbie returned to her work duties. I am staying at it and can see some progress. I had a little more intense workout on the row machine and a good thirty plus minutes on the bike, along with my upper and lower body weight exercises. Continue to pray for the nerve and muscle development in my right leg, especially my quads.
BIBLE VERSE FOR TODAY… That night the Lord appeared to him [Solomon] in a dream and asked him, “What would you like me to give you?”…Solomon answered…“give me the wisdom I need to rule your people with justice and to know the difference between good and evil. Otherwise, how would I ever be able to rule this great people of yours?” 1 Kings 3:5,9
The transition of power from David to Solomon is complete and Solomon has firmly establish himself over the kingdom of Israel. He demonstrates his commitment to the Lord by regular worship at the altars throughout Israel. After one of occasion the Lord appears to Solomon in a dream and asks what he would like.
Our familiarity with this story allow us to gloss over that offer. If you were Solomon what would your response have been? I’m not always comfortable with those “what one thing…..?” or “what is your favorite…..?” type of questions. I remember when Debbie’s mom was recovering from a hospitalization just week before she would eventually pass away. We were going through an exercise where she was picking out her “top ten priorities for the end of life.” I was more uncomfortable than she was with the process and she was amused when I asked, “who made up the rule that you can only have ten?” So you can see why narrowing a once in a lifetime decision to one is a challenge. That is where Solomon was at.
In considering his request, we see that Solomon recognized the challenge and the opportunity before him as King. “O Lord God, you have let me succeed my father as king, even though I am very young and don’t know how to rule.” (1 Kings 3:7) He understood that he was in the position of King because of the Lord’s love and kindness to his father, David. It wasn’t because he was “next in line” – he wasn’t. But it was the Lord’s will for him to be King as well as his father’s desire. Solomon wasn’t chosen because of his outstanding abilities. I’m sure he had developed some, but he even admits to being handed a challenge that was greater than he could handle in his own ability. I can recall being in those types of situations in my life.
A key to honoring the Lord is understanding what I need, not what I want. We often look with envy at those who are successful and desire the outcome, whether it is position, status or wealth. But we often neglect to consider the skills and responsibility that come with those achievements and blessings.
Solomon’s request revealed humility, which is important for an effective leadership. He wanted to govern properly; and he realize he needed wisdom and a discerning heart to do so for the good of the nation.
Wisdom doesn’t equal perfection. I do note that he married the daughter of Pharaoh before this request for wisdom from the Lord. But Solomon made it habit to take many foreign wives which was the “wisdom of the world” of that time. It was a way to secure your kingdom and to keep foreign kings from attacking members of their own family. This practice eventually lead to Solomon’s downfall. So, just because you have wisdom, doesn’t mean you will always make the most of it.
Wisdom does bring blessing and is noticed. “I will also give you what you have not asked for: all your life you will have wealth and honor, more than that of any other king. And if you obey me and keep my laws and commands, as your father David did, I will give you a long life.” (1 Kings 3:13,14) When the Queen of Sheba came to visit Solomon and check out the reports she had heard in her distant land, she remarked, “Happy are your men and happy are these your servants, who stand continually before you and hear your wisdom! Blessed be the Lord your God, who delighted in you, setting you on the throne of Israel!” (1 Kings 10:8,9)
God’s wisdom is available to us if we value it and asked for it. Solomon’s advice was, “Getting wisdom is the wisest thing you can do! And whatever else you do, develop good judgment.” (Proverbs 4:7 NLT) The Apostle James simply said, “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” (James 1:5 NIV)
The Lord may not give you wisdom to make you the “wisest person in the world”; but He will give you wisdom to govern well your family, business and personal decisions if you ask and believe Him for that in your heart.