Solomon Asks for Wisdom
1 Kings 3
1Solomon made an agreement with the king of Egypt by marrying his
daughter and bringing her to Jerusalem. At this time Solomon was still building
his palace and the Temple of the LORD, as well as a wall around Jerusalem. 2The
Temple for the worship of the LORD had not yet been finished, so people were
still sacrificing at altars in many places of worship. 3Solomon showed he loved
the LORD by following the commands his father David had given him, except
many other places of worship were still used to offer sacrifices and to burn
4King Solomon went to Gibeon to offer a sacrifice, because it was the most
important place of worship. He offered a thousand burnt offerings on that altar.
5While he was at Gibeon, the LORD appeared to him in a dream during the night.
God said, “Ask for whatever you want me to give you.”
6Solomon answered, “You were very kind to your servant, my father David.
He obeyed you, and he was honest and lived right. You showed great kindness to
him when you allowed his son to be king after him. 7LORD my God, now you
have made me, your servant, king in my father’s place. But I am like a little
child; I don’t know how to do what must be done. 8I, your servant, am here
among your chosen people, and there are too many of them to count. 9I ask that
you give me an obedient heart so I can rule the people in the right way and will
know the difference between right and wrong. Otherwise, it is impossible to rule
this great people of yours.”
10The Lord was pleased that Solomon had asked this. 11So God said to him,
“You did not ask for a long life, or riches for yourself, or the death of your
enemies. Since you asked for wisdom to make the right decisions, 12I will do
what you asked. I will give you wisdom and understanding that is greater than
anyone has had in the past or will have in the future. 13I will also give you what
you did not ask for: riches and honor. During your life no other king will be as
great as you. 14If you follow me and obey my laws and commands, as your father
David did, I will also give you a long life.”
15After Solomon woke up from the dream, he went to Jerusalem. He stood
before the Ark of the Agreement with the Lord, where he made burnt offerings
and fellowship offerings. After that, he gave a feast for all his leaders and
Solomon Makes a Wise Decision
16One day two women who were prostitutes came to Solomon. As they stood
before him, 17one of the women said, “My master, this woman and I live in the
same house. I gave birth to a baby while she was there with me. 18Three days
later this woman also gave birth to a baby. No one else was in the house with us;
it was just the two of us. 19One night this woman rolled over on her baby, and he
died. 20So she took my son from my bed during the night while I was asleep, and
she carried him to her bed. Then she put the dead baby in my bed. 21The next
morning when I got up to feed my baby, I saw that he was dead! When I looked
at him more closely, I realized he was not my son.”
22“No!” the other woman cried. “The living baby is my son, and the dead
baby is yours!”
But the first woman said, “No! The dead baby is yours, and the living one is
mine!” So the two women argued before the king.
23Then King Solomon said, “One of you says, ‘My son is alive and your son
is dead.’ Then the other one says, ‘No! Your son is dead and my son is alive.’”
24The king sent his servants to get a sword. When they brought it to him, 25he
said, “Cut the living baby into two pieces, and give each woman half.”
26The real mother of the living child was full of love for her son. So she said
to the king, “Please, my master, don’t kill him! Give the baby to her!”
But the other woman said, “Neither of us will have him. Cut him into two
27Then King Solomon said, “Don’t kill him. Give the baby to the first
woman, because she is the real mother.”
28When the people of Israel heard about King Solomon’s decision, they
respected him very much. They saw he had wisdom from God to make the right
The Holy Bible, New Century Version
Solomon carefully lived by God's rules, and God gave him success. Solomon asked God for wisdom, and with it, God gave him economic prosperity and fame.
God expects all people to use their gifts to do his will. When they do, everyone else benefits.
The enemy emphasizes the past, with its mistakes and heartaches; the Comforter exalts the present help of our Lord (Psalm 46:1). The devil delights in taunting us with our weaknesses, and the Lord reminds us of the wealth of His riches in grace. Condemnation concerns itself with our failures; conviction shows us the faithfulness of God. The tempter teases us with immediate gain, at any cost; the Trustworthy One tells us of eternal gain, and reminds us of Passion and Patience in Bunyan's House of the Interpreter. The father of lies magnifies our problems, by showing their hopelessness, impossibility, and pain; the God of all grace reminds us of the promises, whereby we can hope against hope; for "suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope; and hope does not disappoint us" (Romans 5:3-5). Thus we know that pain can mean gain.
The false angel of light would have us walk by sight and earthly wisdom ("the counsel of the ungodly;” Psalm 1:1); the Lord of life, who sees the end from the beginning, would have us walk by faith (2 Corinthians 5:7), and thereby please our heavenly Father (Hebrews 11:6). The enemy would have us see the hosts of evil against us rather than the hillsides covered with ministering spirits (2 Kings 6:15-17). He would keep us dwelling upon the injuries from others, until we become ineffective in service, rather than forgetting the things that are behind and pressing forward (Philippians 3:13, 14) in the spirit of Him who said, "Father, forgive them:' The Vanquished would have us feel the nails and the thorns, the Victor would have us see the triumph of Calvary's tree.
The discipline of discernment requires that we follow the tenets of divine revelation, lest we fall before the wrath of the tempter. We are to meet his subtlety, selfishness and sophistry in the same way as did the Captain of our salvation, with the unequivocal statement, "it is written" (Matthew 4:4, 7, 10). We also are to live by the Word of God, are not to tempt the Lord our God, and are to worship Him only. We are to believe that as we commit our way .unto the Lord and trust also in Him, He brings to pass His will (Psalm 37:5). We are to trust that He is able to fill us with the knowledge of His will (Colossians 1:9), and to protect us from ways of the destroyer. "When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him" (Isaiah 59:19). As we submit ourselves without reservation unto God, and resist the devil, the latter will flee from us (James 4:7).
By the Word, by the Spirit, by faith, by submission to the divine will, and by resistance to any appeal to self and sin we discern between the way of God and the path of the destroyer. (From The Disciplines of Life by V. Raymond Edman)
If you were given Solomon's opportunity to ask for anything, what· would you choose? Would your requests benefit others if God granted them? In your prayers today, ask God for your heart's desire. Trust in God's generosity to you.
Wisdom-Job 28:13; Psalm 119:97-104; Proverbs 1:7-9, 20-28; 2:9-10; Ecclesiastes 8:1.