King Solomon had the choice of a thousand lifetimes. And he did not ask for long life; he did not ask for riches. He didn’t even ask for the lives of his enemies. Solomon hungered to know God in such a dynamic way that he would be able to be God’s man in any situation.
Solomon was given one wish. And he asked God for wisdom, for an understanding heart, that he could discern between good and evil.
He realized his own insufficiency and his own dependency on God. In a time of crisis, he felt ill equipped. We all feel ill equipped at times for what God has called us to do. I think more so in these days than ever before.
We are facing things we have never faced before. We have to make decisions, often on the spur of the moment, that we used to have days to make, sometimes even months.
What we need is to pray for guidance and wisdom from Almighty God. We need this as a nation, a church, and as individuals.
Solomon was the product of many influences in his life. His father, David, had prayed and asked God to “give my son Solomon a loyal heart to keep Your commandments and Your testimonies and Your statutes, to do all [these things]…” (1 Chronicles 29:19).
And David had charged Solomon to “know the God of your father, and serve Him with a loyal heart and with a willing mind; for the Lord searches all the hearts and understands all the intent of the thoughts. If you seek Him, He will be found by you; but if you forsake Him, He will cast you off forever” (1 Chronicles 28:9-10).
God had set His hand upon this young man before he was born and throughout all the early days of his life. And all that surrounded Solomon was God, moving him toward the maturity to pray the prayer that he prayed at the age of twenty.
As we get alone and look back, we can look at all God has done for us. I had godly parents, and godly men and women of influence who crossed my path at crucial times—in schools, seminary, and early experiences in starting a church and working with young people. All along the way, I see God’s hand in my life.
We owe many folks who have helped us, and most of all Almighty God who has given us the opportunity we have. And we ought to be humbled by that. The reason Solomon was humbled was that he understood that God had blessed him, that God had prepared him.
These are unprecedented times, providing plenty to worry about. But we know Somebody who knows what to do. And when we come to Him with our prayer of wisdom, our prayer of dependence on Him, He will hear us.
In the tenth verse of 1 Kings 3 is the answer to what God did when Solomon prayed for wisdom. The fact that Solomon could have asked for anything but chose to ask for wisdom pleased God.
And God said: “Solomon, because you have asked this thing, and have not asked long life for yourself, nor have asked riches for yourself, nor have asked the life of your enemies, but have asked for yourself understanding to discern justice, behold, I have done according to your words; see, I have given you a wise and understanding heart, so that there has not been anyone like you before you, nor shall any like you arise after you. And I have also given you what you have not asked: both riches and honor, so that there shall not be anyone like you among the kings all your days” (1 Kings 3:10-13).
Then Solomon was “wiser than all men,” and “his fame was in all the surrounding nations.” “Men of all nations . . . came to hear the wisdom of Solomon” (4:29-31, 34). “So Solomon surpassed all the kings of the earth in riches and wisdom” (10:23-24).
“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him” (James 1:5). The same God who heard Solomon’s prayer for wisdom listens to you, cares about you, and knows what you’re dealing with. God wants us to come to Him with our prayer for wisdom.
The Bible says we have a Solomon.
We have Someone to whom we can go. In fact, the One to whom we go is far “greater than Solomon” (Matthew 12:42). And He’s available to you and me. He’s only a breath away. And you can come to Him with all the issues you have, knowing that He cares deeply about you, and He wants to help you deal with the things that are before you.
Jesus Christ is One “in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Colossians 2:3). When we’re facing difficult issues and don’t know what to do, we need to remember that we do know Jesus Christ.
The particulars of our daily decisions may not be found in some specific verse in the Bible, but Christ is found in the Bible and He will give us what we need through His Holy Spirit who brings God’s Word and our hearts together.
I know One who is greater than Solomon—Jesus Christ—and He’s in control. And when we come to Him for wisdom, He will show us how to fit into His plan so that we can make a difference by His grace. This is our prayer of dependence: “Lord God, I ask for wisdom. Show me what to do.” And He will answer.