January 26, 2009
“If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you.”
James 1:5a (NLT)
I have a tween-age daughter. She told me the other day she wants to begin babysitting for others. She is quite good with young kids, and a natural born leader, but I’m not certain she is ready for this. It’s a lot of responsibility to be totally in charge, even if only for a few hours.
Solomon was the son of King David. Born nearly a thousand years before Christ, Solomon was installed as king just before his father’s death. He was a tween-ager at the time. Only twelve years-old and now in charge of an entire nation – can you imagine? Makes babysitting for a few hours sound simple.
A while after Solomon’s ordination, God appeared to the young king in a dream and invited him to make any request. “God said, ‘What do you want? Ask, and I will give it to you!’” (1 Kings 3:5b NLT). Imagine your tween-aged or even teen-aged self from years ago. Now imagine God – in almost genie-like fashion, though God is most certainly not a genie – asking you to make a request. What would you ask for? My young self might have asked for a pony, new roller skates, a little sister, a car, or maybe a date with singer Shawn Cassidy.
However, none of this is what Solomon asked for. He replied:
“Now, O Lord my God, you have made me king instead of my father, David, but I am like a little child who doesn’t know his way around. And here I am in the midst of your own chosen people; a nation so great and numerous they cannot be counted! Give me an understanding heart so that I can govern your people well and know the difference between right and wrong. For who by himself is able to govern this great people of yours?” (2 Kings 3:7-9, NLT)
Good choice! Feeling the weight of his responsibilities, Solomon asked God for the knowledge he would need to fulfill his purpose – to lead the people and judge fairly between them. Approving of Solomon’s request, God answered:
“Because you have asked for wisdom in governing my people with justice and have not asked for a long life or wealth or the death of your enemies — I will give you what you asked for! I will give you a wise and understanding heart such as no one else has had or ever will have! And I will also give you what you did not ask for — riches and fame! No other king in all the world will be compared to you for the rest of your life! And if you follow me and obey my decrees and my commands as your father, David, did, I will give you a long life.” (1 Kings 3:11-14, NLT)
Solomon was granted wisdom from God, and as he followed it, all God promised came true. In short order, Solomon’s wealth grew tremendously. In today’s market, he would be a multi-millionaire, or even a trillionarie. He owned property, livestock, and mines. He had 12,000 horsemen alone on his payroll, to drive his 4,000 chariots.
His reputation was renowned. Kings from all over the world came to listen and learn from Solomon. Indeed Solomon still holds the title of the wisest man that ever lived. (Jesus not included in a list of mere men.)
Solomon’s wisdom – flowing from the throne of God – brought the nation peace and prosperity like it had never known before. The forty years that Solomon sat as king were the best years in all of
My purpose on this earth isn’t to lead my nation like Solomon, but nonetheless I have a purpose. And I have people I‘ll lead. And responsibilities. And you do too! So, we need to make good choices. Let’s take our cue from the wisest man to ever live and ask God today for the knowledge we’ll need to fulfill our purposes well.
Dear Lord, today I eagerly ask You for wisdom for my life. Please give me knowledge, understanding, discernment, and the heart-set needed to follow it. May I rightly fulfill Your purposes for me today, and each day. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
God’s Purpose for Every Woman: A P31 Devotional Gen Eds. Lysa TerKeurst & Rachel Olsen
Perplexing Proverbs for Women by Susanne Scheppmann
Visit Rachel’s blog
Choose any chapter of Proverbs (written by Solomon) and read it. Take notes on the wisdom for living recorded there.
Then choose a different chapter tomorrow and do likewise.
Do I seek the wisdom of God? Do I believe He will grant it to me?
Do I follow the God-given wisdom I have gained? How might my life look different if I answered that differently?
Proverbs 2:2-3, “Tune your ears to wisdom, and concentrate on understanding. Cry out for insight, and ask for understanding.” (NLT)
© 2009 by Rachel Olsen. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries
Matthews, NC 28105
Originally published Monday, 26 January 2009.