If you could have one wish, just one, what would you wish for? An iPod? A pony? A year’s supply of ice cream? Solomon was asked this same question – what do you think he asked for?
Solomon – who was he?
Well, David is finishing up his time on earth, and as King, and is looking for someone to take over his place. Solomon is next in line, but these are big shoes to fill, so David gives him some advice on what he needs to remember when being a king:
“Walk in obedience to him, and keep his decrees and commands, his laws and regulations as written in the Law of Moses. Do this so that you may prosper in all you do and wherever you go and that the Lord may keep his promise to me, “if your descendants watch how they live, and if they walk faithfully before me with all their heart and soul, you will never fail to have a successor on the throne of Israel”.”
Note the reason why Solomon was called to follow the laws and commandments – it’s not so that God can control his every move. It’s not so that he can never make a choice of his own. It’s not so that he doesn’t have any fun. No, it’s so that he can prosper in all he does – be the best he can be – and that God will bless not only him, but his kids, and his grand kids, and his great grand kids.
So Solomon accepts this responsibility willingly, so God appears to Solomon. He asks him, if he could have one thing from God, what would it be? God would have given Solomon anything – if he wanted riches, he’d have it. If he wanted a wife or 2, he’d have it. If he wanted fancy clothes or popularity, or an iPod or a pony, he could have it. So with all this choice, what did Solomon choose?
Solomon asks God for a “discerning heart to govern [God’s] people, and determine right from wrong.” Solomon has one wish, and he asks God for wisdom. Wow, if that’s not a show of his character, what is? God is very happy that he chose this, so not only does he bless him with what he did ask for, but everything he didn’t ask for – wealth and honour (and maybe a pony).
So Solomon was wise and respected. His wisdom was tested when he was approached by 2 women carrying one baby. Basically, one of the women’s babies had died, but now there was speculation as to who’s baby was alive, and who’s had died. Solomon, in his wisdom, suggests that they simply cut the baby in half, so they can have half each! Great! The woman whose baby it isn’t thinks that’s a fabulous idea, and he should go for it. But the woman is really related to the baby begs him to not, and says the other woman can just have her baby. This shows that she clearly loves the baby more, and it is her child. Solomon used his wisdom to discern right from wrong here!
Solomon and the people lavish God with expensive gifts, and all together they praise God. Solomon’s wealth is huge, and he honours God through these blessings, building temples, making sacrifices, praising God.
But despite his heart for God, and his anointing as king, Solomon is still able to be led astray. He has heaps and heaps of wives, which is common for that time, but still not endorsed by God, and they lead him to worship other God’s. Soon, God isn’t happy with Solomon anymore, and warns that his blessings won’t continue if Solomon’s faithfulness won’t.
Here’s some reflection questions for you to consider:
If you were posed with the same question as Solomon, what would you ask for? Would you ask for things of the world, or would you even think to ask for a Godly blessing such as wisdom?
What is the importance of wisdom in our faiths? Do you think it’s the same as knowledge or intellect? I encourage you to research the bible further into wisdom!
Solomon was pulled away from God by his own pride and lust – how can you protect yourself from these things, and other sins, pulling you away from your life with God?