I Kings 2:1-3:28
“At Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon during the night in a dream, and God said, “Ask for whatever you want me to give you.” Solomon answered, “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?” ~I Kings 3:5 & 9
If you could ask God for anything, what would that be? Riches? Fame? Power? Those would certainly be temptations, at least they would for me. But there is something far better than wealth, celebrity and position, and in fact, without it, those are at best, short-lived, perhaps even squandered, and at worst, misused to our detriment.
I am talking about wisdom, of course. Wisdom is the ability to discern good from bad, the discipline to choose right from wrong, and the habit of putting truth into practice in every day life, in matters great and small. And wisdom at its most noble, at its greatest impact, at its most enduring, comes from God.
Solomon could have asked God for anything else—wealth, power and fame—but he asked for the wisdom to lead the people over whom God has placed him. Now presumably, since God asked, he would have given Solomon those things. But Solomon asked for wisdom instead, and the Lord was pleased with his request. (I Samuel 3:11)
Greater than all the good things we might want from this world, the best is something not of this world: To please God. For when we sincerely desire that which pleases him, God happily blesses us with his abundance as well:
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 riches and honor—so that in your lifetime you will have no equal among kings. And if you walk in my ways and obey my statutes and commands as David your father did, I will give you a long life.” (I Samuel 3:11-14)
Solomon could have asked for anything, he chose wisdom. Good choice! That’s a good pattern for us to follow. Ask for the things that please God, he may just give you the things that please you.
“Aim at heaven and you’ll get earth thrown in. Aim at earth and you get neither.” ~C.S. Lewis
Reflect and Apply: What are you asking for in prayer? Make sure you’re sincerely asking for the things that please him. He has said that when we “delight in him, he will give us our heart’s desires.” (Psalm 37:4)