The Wisdom of Solomon – 1 Kings 3

In 1 Kings Chapter 3, Solomon received a word from the Lord in his dream. When the Lord asked what He could give Solomon, Solomon asked for wisdom.

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.” 1 Kings 3:11-14 NKJV

King David was now dead, and his young son Solomon, born of Bathsheba, had been anointed as God’s and David’s choice to take over the throne of Israel.  This was a large task for a young person, to rule and reign as king over several million subjects.

David had given Solomon much instruction about his coming reign and also towards the construction of God’s temple.  The temple was to be built on the spot where God had sent fire upon David’s offering, ending the plague on Israel.  David had already assembled all the materials for the temple’s construction, including vast amounts of gold and silver for the holy articles.  But God had decreed that his son, Solomon, rather than David, would be the one to build it, as David had been a man of war and had spilled much blood in his life.

A second prophecy within God’s instruction to David about who should build the temple refers to another future temple and another “Son” of David, the coming Messiah, Jesus Christ.  Matthew’s genealogy refers to Jesus as the Son of David, born in the kingdom line of Judah.  Christ would later build a heavenly temple, His global Church, where God’s Spirit will live not within a building made with human hands, but within the hearts of Christ’s redeemed believers worldwide.  Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross and subsequent resurrection from the dead replaced the need for or purpose of any future temple sacrifices – the blood of Christ is sufficient to cover all sin for those who seek it.

Solomon loved the Lord and sought His guidance to help him run the nation wisely.  He offered a thousand burnt offerings for the sins of himself and the people, and the Lord spoke to him in dream that night:

At Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream by night; and God said, “Ask! What shall I give you?”

Solomon had taken a step of faith towards the Lord, and the Lord responded by giving him a word.  This is sometimes the way that the Lord has worked in my life and in the lives of some others that I know.

Like Solomon, the Lord wants us to ask Him for what we need.  Or even for what we want.  It is up to Him to decide what to give us and the timing for us to receive it.  It may come long after we even remembered we prayed about it.  For instance, I heard a person say that he did not believe in God because he had prayed for a bicycle when was little and did not get it.  Yet, he is driving around in a fancy car today.  We are told to ask, but God decides the answer – yes or no, now or later.

In Solomon’s case, he responded to God’s generous offer by putting the needs of the people of his kingdom before his own comforts.  Instead of asking for riches or power, he asked for divine wisdom and knowledge to help guide his decisions towards the best outcome for the people of Israel.

God was incredibly pleased with Solomon’s choice, as this reflected the very character of God.  Thinking and acting for the benefit of others over ourselves is living out our creation in the image of God.

As a reward for Solomon’s choice, God decided to pour out an abundance of gifts upon him – wisdom and knowledge greater than any other person in history, along with riches, honor, and peace for the nation.  And, if Solomon continued to follow the Lord throughout his life, God would lengthen his days.

Reflection

If the Lord were to speak to you today through a dream or a prophetic word, and asked you what He should give you, what would you ask for? Money? Health?  A love relationship?  Long life?  Power or fame?  What is important for you to receive today?

God does encourage us to approach Him in prayer with our needs and wants.  He is always listening.  He will respond to us, although that response may be a “No” or a “Not now”.  He may have something much better in store for us later.

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