God will not likely give you all that he gave Solomon in the same amounts, but he desires to give you more wisdom, knowledge and impact than you have and more than you expect. So boldly ask for it, then ruthlessly align your life to nurture what the Lord provides.
Going Deep // Focus: 1 Kings 4:29-34
God gave Solomon very great wisdom and understanding, and knowledge as vast as the sands of the seashore. In fact, his wisdom exceeded that of all the wise men of the East and the wise men of Egypt. He was wiser than anyone else… His fame spread throughout all the surrounding nations. He composed some 3,000 proverbs and wrote 1,005 songs. He could speak with authority about all kinds of plants, from the great cedar of Lebanon to the tiny hyssop that grows from cracks in a wall. He could also speak about animals, birds, small creatures, and fish. And kings from every nation sent their ambassadors to listen to the wisdom of Solomon.
In the previous chapter, God told Solomon that he would grant him any wish, and Solomon wisely asked for wisdom to rule well. And we are told, “The Lord was pleased that Solomon had asked for wisdom.” (1 Samuel 3:10)
As a result, the Lord not only granted Solomon’s wish, he promised to give him all the things lesser than human beings usually ask for instead: “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.” (1 Samuel 3:12-13)
Now we see God’s promise for Solomon’s noble request played out in 1 Kings 4. The Lord opens his treasury of kingdom favors and begins to rain them down upon the king. He gets a mind like no other—an overflowing reservoir of brilliance; he gets fame—important people from around the world begin to seek him out; he gets the ability to shape the thoughts of mankind through song writing, scientific observation, and leadership philosophy. What a guy!
So where did all that come from? Solomon was just a primitive man in an ancient, albeit developing country. He didn’t go to college, He grew up under a flawed father whose kingly reign was consumed with warfare externally and conflict management internally. When did Solomon find the time and place to become so brilliant?
Or course, we know it came from the Lord. That is the best way to grow brilliant, powerful, famous and rich. And there is certainly nothing wrong with any of those, if they come through the blessings of God’s rich grace. But Solomon had to give effort to what God granted. We know from Ecclesiastes 1:13 that Solomon of himself, “I applied my mind to study and to explore by wisdom all that is done under the heavens.” Perhaps it all came easy for him—we don’t really know. For sure, the good life that his father turned over to him didn’t hurt; it was conducive to intellectual growth. But for certain, Solomon leveraged what he had and who he was to produce what God had provided.
Maybe we will never be as comparatively wise and wealthy as Solomon—that’s not likely. But I do believe that God desires to loan us healthy measures of those same things—wisdom, knowledge and influence—if we humbly ask him and be passionately committed to nurturing them. Doubt what I am saying? Well, take wisdom for example. James 1:4 says that if you allow both the good and especially the bad in life to shape you by persevering through them, then “perseverance will finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. So then, if you lack wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.”
Of course down the road, Solomon stumbled because he didn’t nurture the internal character that made him so blessable, but for a time, he had it all. Again, God will not likely give you all that he gave Solomon in the same amounts, but he desires to give you more wisdom, knowledge and impact than you have and more than you expect.
So ask for it, then ruthlessly align your life to nurture what the Lord provides. Who knows, maybe people will begin to seek you out for your Solomon-like mind. It is possible, you know!