An Understanding Mind
1 Kings 3:9-10 (ESV) – “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?”
It pleased the Lord that Solomon had asked this.
If you could ask God for anything, what would you ask for? I can think of so many things that would be awesome to request. I would request more time with my late son, Kaleb. Just the thought of having more time with him makes me smile. Another option might be an infinite supply of financial funds to travel the world with my family. What would you request?
Our passage today shows this unthinkable scenario actually happened in the life of Solomon. Solomon becomes king over Israel. He was the son of David, Israel’s greatest king. At David’s death, Solomon steps in as their king. The LORD gives Solomon a blank check to ask for whatever he wants. We read Solomon’s response, “’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?’ It pleased the Lord that Solomon had asked this.”
Solomon asks for wisdom. He doesn’t request endless money, power, or invincibility. He wants wisdom. His request would give him the ability to lead Israel well. His greatest desire is to rule the people well. This answer pleases the Lord. The result? He gives Solomon his request for wisdom, but He also adds riches and power to him.
Why is the Lord pleased with Solomon’s answer? Because it shows Solomon’s posture and desire to lead well. He wasn’t self-interested. He wanted to honor the Lord by ruling His people well. God decided to provide wisdom, plus lavish His kindness on Solomon by giving him everything else.
This passage is a great lesson for us. We should recognize the importance and gravity of the roles God has given us. We need wisdom and discernment to fulfill them faithfully. Our prayers should mimic Solomon’s. We should long for a wisdom that helps us be the people God calls us to be in each sphere of responsibility He gives us.
Whether it is our family, work, or church, we need wisdom to glorify God in our daily functions. Ask Him. It not only pleases Him that we ask, but it pleases Him to give it.
Reflection & Journal:
- Why is it impressive that Solomon asked for wisdom?
- What is God’s response to Solomon’s request? And why?
- How does this passage inform us of our own need for wisdom?
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