The Wisest Man
One of the kings of Israel was a man named Solomon. He was the son of David, who is well known in the Bible. When King David died, 1 Kings 2:12 tells us, “Solomon became king and sat on the throne of David his father, and his kingdom was firmly established.”
King Solomon has quite a reputation—some of it good, and some of it not so good. The good is that he really did love God and worship Him. The not-so-good is that he still worshiped false gods and ended up having 700 wives and concubines. But, despite the imperfections of this king, he did something so memorable that it earned him the title of the wisest man.
In 1 Kings 3, there’s a story about King Solomon and a dream he had. In this dream, the LORD appeared to Him and asked, “What do you want? Ask, I will give it to you!” (1 Kings 3:5 NLT)
The God of the universe asked Solomon what he wanted, and clearly, he could’ve responded in many ways. But his response was anything but typical. He began by praising God and showing Him honor. After that, he made a surprising request in 1 Kings 3:7-9:
“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…”
Solomon’s heart was truly postured to lead the country, but he knew he needed wisdom from God to do it effectively. God was pleased with Solomon’s response because he could’ve requested a variety of things like power, money, and fame. But, he didn’t. Because of that, not only did God grant him wisdom beyond what anyone had ever had before, God also granted him riches and fame. Can you even imagine?
This story is a great example of how valuable and necessary wisdom is. A king who ruled an entire nation could have asked God for anything, and the one thing he chose was wisdom. He saw that wisdom would enrich not only his life, but the lives of the people he led. In a world where good and bad seem to be mixed up, walking in the wisdom of God will help us make decisions that will protect and sustain us.
Think about your life and what you consider important. Is it the treasures of this world, or is it having godly wisdom so that you can live a victorious life here on earth? Just be honest with God, and if you don’t see the value in having wisdom in your life, ask God to reveal His truth to you.
Solomon made an alliance with Pharaoh king of Egypt and married his daughter. He brought her to the City of David until he finished building his palace and the temple of the Lord, and the wall around Jerusalem. The people, however, were still sacrificing at the high places, because a temple had not yet been built for the Name of the Lord. Solomon showed his love for the Lord by walking according to the instructions given him by his father David, except that he offered sacrifices and burned incense on the high places.
The king went to Gibeon to offer sacrifices, for that was the most important high place, and Solomon offered a thousand burnt offerings on that altar. 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.”
“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?”
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.”1 Kings 3:1-14