When Solomon was appointed king by his father David, he was only a young man. But because David was old, the people in Israel knew that soon someone would become his successor. Though some tried on their own to overtake his throne, King David had promised Solomon's mother, Bathsheba, that Solomon would be king after him. David's instruction to the new king was this:
"Be strong, act like a man, and observe what the Lord your God requires: Walk in obedience to Him and keep His decrees and commands, his laws and regulations... Do this so that you may prosper in all you do and wherever you go and that the LORD may keep His promise to me..." 1 Kings 2:3-4The promise that David was speaking of was that, so long as his descendants walked faithfully with God, David would never fail to have a successor on Israel's throne. Thus, Solomon was made king of Israel. Now, Solomon loved the Lord very much, but he was a very young man. He knew that because of his inexperience and his young age, there was something that he needed that could only come from God Himself. And so when Solomon was offering thousands of sacrifices to the Lord in Gibeon, He appeared to him and said, "Ask for whatever you want me to give you" (1 Kings 3:5). Now, if God were to appear to me right now and tell me that exact thing, I have no idea what I would ask for... but I wouldn't doubt that many people would ask for wealth, success, or a long life. In Solomon's case, however, he didn't ask for any of those things. Instead, Solomon responded to the Lord:
"Give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong." 1 Kings 3:9And with that, the Lord was pleased. He was glad that Solomon had asked for wisdom over all other things that he could have easily requested. Instead, Solomon chose to ask for something that would extend beyond himself. And so the Lord blessed his request so that there would never be anyone as wise, discerning, or successful as King Solomon.
- - - - -
I myself am in a season of seeking wisdom. Wisdom in regard to the present as well as the future. Wisdom in regard to choices I need to make. Wisdom in relationships and in regard to myself. And what have I learned? That when we pray and ask God for things that are for the better of others, like wisdom, over things just for ourselves, such as wealth, success, long-life, security, or comfort, He is truly pleased.
And that when we pray for wisdom, we better expect to get it. And then we better act on it.
"God gave Solomon wisdom and very great insight, and a breadth of understanding as measureless as the sand on the seashore... From all nations people came to listen to Solomon's wisdom, sent by all the kings of the world, who had heard of his wisdom." 1 Kings 4:29, 34May we, like King Solomon, seek wisdom directly from God Himself, and may we be bold enough to act on that wisdom, so that His name may be lifted high and spread among the nations.