“I will do what you have asked. I will give you a wise and discerning heart, so that there will never have been anyone like you, nor will there ever be.” 1 Kings 3:12
Today, we find Solomon conversing with the Lord in a dream at Gibeon. The Lord tells Solomon to ask for whatever he wants and it will be given to him. When my eyes scanned this statement, a list of things ran through my mind that I would ask God for:
A nicer place to live.
A peek at His plans for the future.
A quick fix for a difficult relationship.
A detailed answer to a burning question.
But instead of immediately bringing circumstantial requests to God, Solomon praises Him. Solomon acknowledges the great kindness the Lord has shown his father, David, by giving him a son to sit on his throne. Solomon goes on to call himself a child and admits to not knowing how to carry out his duties as king. Immediately following his praise, Solomon asks the Lord for a discerning heart to govern His people and to distinguish right from wrong.
Fascinating, isn’t it? Solomon can ask for anything, but the greatest desire of his heart is to discern God’s best in order to lead and judge well. He didn’t want anything circumstantial or superficial. Solomon wanted wisdom so he could successfully steward all God entrusted to him.
Solomon’s request for wisdom was pleasing to the Lord. He replies that Solomon will receive the discerning heart he desires, “…so that there will never have been anyone like you, nor will there ever be.” God wanted to set Solomon apart. And I believe He wants to do the same for us as well.
Solomon kept God’s kingdom and authority first before his own power or influence. I think the Lord has purposely placed this passage before us today so we let this truth seep deep within our soul: wrestling with His wisdom displays our ability to demonstrate discernment. We are set apart when we listen to and obey His word. It is not about getting smarter or trying harder, but walking closer to the Lord’s heart that allows us to radiate the worth and wisdom we receive from Him.
Our utmost accolade on this side of eternity? Seeking, finding and using God’s wisdom. Like Solomon, we too can prosper under the hand of the Almighty. His wisdom is readily available to us and goes beyond our own observation or reasoning. It is the wisdom we receive from God that empowers and enables us to discern His very best plans. And the best part? God will not withhold wisdom from those who seek. All we have to do is ask.
After receiving his discerning heart, Solomon puts his wisdom into practice by settling a dispute between two prostitutes. His wise ruling was verification to an answered prayer and the people of Israel were in awe of the wisdom Solomon was given directly from God.
When Solomon judged, he operated out of a place of inward identity, not outward validity. He didn’t want riches or power, but a discerning heart that would help him steward his leadership role well. Solomon’s inward identity came from worshiping and sacrificing to the Lord, wrestling with wisdom from the very hand of God.
When we operate out of a place of outward validity, we are hungry for power and accomplishment. We want others to notice our wisdom and validate our authority. But when our inward worth radiates, we point to the Lord. It is He who gives us wisdom to discern His directions and develop the very best plans.
Our personal desires must not distort the word, wisdom, and ways of the Lord. It is our responsibility to apply the wisdom and discernment we receive from God to all areas of our life. Wisdom should not only give us the ability to choose well, but it must strengthen our character to carry out our calling.
Heavenly Father, thank You for Your infinite love. I am forever grateful that when I seek You, I find You. Help me to wrestle well with Your wisdom so that I may demonstrate the discernment You give to me. I pray that the more I seek You, the more You reveal Yourself to me. In Jesus’ name, amen.