Solomon asks God for wisdom
Sunday 27 July 2014: First Reading 1 Kings 3:5,7-12:
'The Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream and said, ‘Ask what you would like me to give you.’ Solomon replied, ‘O Lord my God, you have made your servant king in succession to David my father. But I am a very young man, unskilled in leadership. Your servant finds himself in the midst of this people of yours that you have chosen, a people so many its number cannot be counted or reckoned. Give your servant a heart to understand how to discern between good and evil, for who could govern this people of yours that is so great?’ It pleased the Lord that Solomon should have asked for this. ‘Since you have asked for this’ the Lord said ‘and not asked for long life for yourself or riches or the lives of your enemies, but have asked for a discerning judgement for yourself, here and now I do what you ask. I give you a heart wise and shrewd as none before you has had and none will have after you.’'
Isn’t it incredible that Solomon, when God asks what he can give him, should ask only for a heart to discern between good and evil? He didn’t desire great wealth, numerous servants, or a long life. He had no desires to gain great power or honour. No, this man simply wanted the wisdom to be able to tell the difference between good and evil, so that he could always choose right over wrong.
If God were to ask us today what we wanted Him to give us, what would we ask for? Would our first thought be a selfish one, thinking only of ourselves and what we could get from God’s great offer? Or would we, like Solomon, consider the bigger picture and think about the wellbeing of others by being granted the wisdom to always do the right thing?
And by doing the right thing, we mean the right thing by God, not the right thing by man. This point is crucial if we are to fully understand this passage.
Perhaps today we should challenge ourselves to be more like Solomon; to ask God in our prayers for a heart of wisdom. Ask God for a heart that knows and understands His Will. Ask for a heart that is willing to do whatever is necessary to carry out our part in God’s divine plan.