By Pastor Shana Wise
1 Kings 3:5-15 (NKJV) At Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream by night; and God said, “Ask! What shall I give you?”
6 And Solomon said: “You have shown great mercy to Your servant David my father, because he walked before You in truth, in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart with You; You have continued this great kindness for him, and You have given him a son to sit on his throne, as it is this day. 7 Now, O Lord my God, You have made Your servant king instead of my father David, but I am a little child; I do not know how to go out or come in. 8 And Your servant is in the midst of Your people whom You have chosen, a great people, too numerous to be numbered or counted. 9 Therefore give to Your servant an understanding heart to judge Your people, that I may discern between good and evil. For who is able to judge this great people of Yours?”
10 The speech pleased the Lord, that Solomon had asked this thing. 11 Then God said to him: “Because you have asked this thing, and have not asked long life for yourself, nor have asked riches for yourself, nor have asked the life of your enemies, but have asked for yourself understanding to discern justice, 12 behold, I have done according to your words; see, I have given you a wise and understanding heart, so that there has not been anyone like you before you, nor shall any like you arise after you. 13 And I have also given you what you have not asked: both riches and honor, so that there shall not be anyone like you among the kings all your days. 14 So if you walk in My ways, to keep My statutes and My commandments, as your father David walked, then I will lengthen your days.”
15 Then Solomon awoke; and indeed, it had been a dream. And he came to Jerusalem and stood before the ark of the covenant of the Lord, offered up burnt offerings, offered peace offerings, and made a feast for all his servants.
· What are you asking for? Does it add value to your life and the ones around you (blessing to others) (vs. 5)?
· King Solomon was twelve years old when he became king. In verse seven, he stated he was just a child. We as believers in Christ must remember that no matter what age we are, we are still God’s children, meaning that we must humble recognize this fact in His presence. We think we know what we want, or what’s best, but God, our loving Father always has better plans for us than we do.
· In verse nine we find King Solomon asking for wisdom to rule God’s people. He could have asked for anything, but he asked for something that was going to add value to his life and the people that he was connected too. When was the last time you asked God for something that wasn’t directly to benefit you but others as well? Do we understand as believers that value of wisdom?
Solomon asked two things related to wisdom in verse nine:
1. To have an understanding heart to judge God’s people.
a) Why is this virtue so important and of value doing this day and time we live in? I believe it is because we live in a very judgmental world. The world judges without the heart of God, which usually involves no mercy, while believers judge through the Word of God which equals grace. Grace and Mercy have more value than silver and gold.
2. To be able to discern between good and evil.
a) Discernment means the ability to judge well. It also means perception in the absence of judgment to obtain spiritual guidance and understanding. Many people in the world today are living and making decisions without spiritual guidance. This is very dangerous especially when it comes to the lives of other people because decisions are based on information and facts mixed with feelings and emotions rather than the Truth. God wants his children to lead righteously, but this can only be achieved through discernment=spiritual guidance from the Holy Spirit.
b) How can we know what is good or evil if we do not console the One who distinguishes them both? Genesis 2:9, And out of the ground the Lord God made every tree grow that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Genesis 2:17, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”
c) The problem that so many people are having today is that they cannot discern between good and evil therefore in the spiritual sense they continue to eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil (flesh. Trees that doesn’t produce good fruit) rather than the Tree of Life (Good fruit-producing. Fruit that adds value to your life and the lives of the ones you are connected to). King Solomon asking for discernment (wisdom) was one of the most valuable decisions and request that he made because in doing so, he would be able to lead and respond righteously as the national leader of Israel. He also was a model leader to the surrounding nations. His legacy of wisdom, leadership, riches, influence, writer, teacher, psalmist, etc.; was a direct connection to his initial request to God in this passage of scripture.
· King Solomon’s request pleased God. In verses ten through fourteen, we see God responding to Solomon’s request. God not only granted him what he asked for, but He also blessed him with what he didn’t ask for which was riches and honor. Many times, we find ourselves in prayer doing the opposite of what Solomon did, we want riches and honor over wisdom and understanding. If we only understood the value of wisdom, everything else in our life will fall in order. Whatever problem or situation that we are facing or goal, vision, or dream that we are trying to fulfill, wisdom will help us to achieve it.
· Our prayers need to be selfless and Kingdom-focused, that is what pleases God. Solomon asked for something bigger than him and money couldn’t buy it. Wisdom is still one of the most valuable commodities that the children of God need to possess.
· What areas of your life do you need God to give you wisdom about? Examine your last prayer request to God, was it self-focused or Kingdom-focused?
· In verse fourteen God told Solomon that he wanted him to continue to walk with and follow Him. Blessings usually always come with instructions. God just doesn’t want to bless us; he wants fellowship and relationship. We can also learn from King Solomon’s later years that he started to lean on his understanding rather than God’s and it affected members of his family and the nation of Israel (Read 2 Kings). The lesson we can learn from that is we can never get too old or smart to stop learning God’s ways and following His instruction.
· Examine your current fellowship with God, is He leading and guiding you in every step of your life? Are you inquiring understanding from Him or is something else competing with His time?
· Lastly, in verse fifteen, we find twelve-year-old King Solomon worshiping God at the Ark of the Covenant. He had an encounter with the True and Living God, and his response was worship. What a powerful witness and lesson. This young man was not too young to: pray, ask for wisdom, and worship God. He had a great father named King David who role modeled this behavior and relationship before his son. As parents, we are the models for our children, for they are watching us and our relationship with the Father. King David modeled not only worshiping God but also righteously leading a nation. So, when it was King Solomon’s turn to rule, he had been equipped already through the demonstration of discernment, wisdom, and righteous behavior, and worship through his father. Who is looking up to you for the demonstration of wisdom, discernment, and worship? How can you be more faithful in what God has for you to do?
· Always remember the value of wisdom because it affects last throughout the generations!
About the Author
Dr. Shana Wise is the Pastor and CEO of Wise Choice Ministries (est. 2016), a non-profit church ministry. She is the founder of The Well Christian Women’s Network (est. 2016). Dr. Wise is the author of women’s devotional, Acts of Intercession, and The Impact of Your Election which are both available on Amazon. She received a Doctor of Divinity degree in 2019 from St. Thomas Christian University. Her passion is to teach and preach the gospel of Jesus Christ, equip others to apply the Word to their lives, and demonstrate the Word through the power of the Holy Spirit. Shana is married to Ron Wise and is the mother of four children.