King Solomon is known as one of the wisest people of the Bible. And it’s interesting how he got all the wisdom. In a dream, God spoke to Solomon (1 Kings 3: 5-14 NIV):
“…God said, “Ask for whatever you want me to give you.”
Now, put yourself in Solomon’s shoes. If you had one wish, what would you wish for? Power? A long life? Wealth? Solomon’s response is not what you would have expected…
“Now, Lord my God, you have made your servant king in place of my father David. But I am only a little child and do not know how to carry out my duties. Your servant is here among the people you have chosen, a great people, too numerous to count or number. So give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong. For who is able to govern this great people of yours?”
“A discerning heart?” What is discernment? It’s the ability to judge well. To know the difference between what’s right and what’s wrong. “To govern your people.” He put the people first. Wow. Totally unselfish.
Solomon’s Wealth and Wisdom, as in 1 Kings 3:12-13, illustration from a Bible card published 1896 by the Providence Lithograph Company (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The Lord was pleased that Solomon had asked for this. So God said to him, “Since you have asked for this and not for long life or wealth for yourself, nor have asked for the death of your enemies but for discernment in administering justice, 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. Moreover, I will give you what you have not asked for—both wealth and honor—so that in your lifetime you will have no equal among kings. And if you walk in obedience to me and keep my decrees and commands as David your father did, I will give you a long life.”
So God gave him wisdom AND what he didn’t ask for – wealth, honor and a long life! But he also said that “…there will never have been anyone like you, nor will there ever be… And if you walk in obedience to me and keep my decrees and commands…”
So, can we expect our leaders to be like Solomon? No, but we can pray that they strive to be. We can pray that they govern with “a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong.”
And Solomon was kind enough to share all the wisdom that God gave him in the Book of Proverbs. It’s a gift from God through Solomon. Making foolish decisions is easy for people when they don’t consult God or the Bible. That’s another thing we can pray for.
Soli Deo Gloria!