“Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, who with his own hand has fulfilled what he promised” (1 Kings 8:15).
Just imagine that God came to you and offered to give you whatever you asked. What would it be? What would God want me to ask Him for? If only I had the wisdom to know what would please Him! That’s it – I could ask Him for the wisdom to know what to ask for! But then it would be too late to use that wisdom to ask for anything else…
Solomon demonstrates considerable wisdom already by asking God for a “discerning heart.” He wants to do God’s will, so he asks for the ability to know and understand what God’s will is. He passes up the usual requests of an ancient mid-eastern ruler – great wealth, long life, death to his enemies, and so forth – in order to honor God by being the kind of king that will walk in His precepts. God is so pleased with Solomon’s request that He also grants Solomon the things he passed up out of his desire to walk with God.
So what do you want out of life? Do you, like Solomon, want above all else to please and honor God with a heart that can discern His will? Because if you do, it’s ready and available to you right this moment! God’s will for your life and your every thought, word, and deed can be found in His Holy Word. By daily spending time reading Scripture and meditating on what God is telling you, you can attain true Godly wisdom. And you can also be sure that God will bless you and meet your other needs as well – things that we are tempted to rather spend our time on. “For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well” (Matthew 6:32-33).
While the Bible teaches us many, many ways to live a happy, healthy, honorable life, the most important part of God’s will for us that is revealed in Scripture is this: “[God] wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:4). This salvation is found in Christ alone, the Son of God who came and lived a perfect life on our behalf and died as the perfect sacrifice for our sins. His triumphant resurrection is the fulfillment of God’s plan for salvation that was worked through Solomon and all his ancestors and descendants; in fact, every hero of the faith found in the Bible.
Despite his great wisdom, Solomon wasn’t perfect. His own prayer at the dedication of the temple in Jerusalem shows his understanding of mankind’s bondage to sin, death, and the Devil: “When they sin against you – for there is no one who does not sin…” (1 Kings 8:46). But God also gave him the wisdom to know that the cure for sin rested with forgiveness and redemption by faith: “…then from heaven, your dwelling place, hear their prayer and their plea, and uphold their cause. And forgive your people, who have sinned against you; forgive all the offenses they have committed against you” (1 Kings 8:49-50).
God made many promises to Solomon, and He kept them all. But the best promise of all would be fulfilled long after Solomon’s death, though through faith he was already reaping the benefits of that promise – the long awaited Messiah who would reconcile the world to the Father. This is the greatest promise of the Scriptures, and the pinnacle of wisdom found in God’s Word!
“Praise be to the Lord, who has given rest to his people Israel just as he promised. Not one word has failed of all the good promises he gave through his servant Moses. May the Lord God be with us as he was with our fathers; may he never leave us nor forsake us. May he turn our hearts to him, to walk in all his ways” (1 Kings 8:56-58).
Prayer: God, give me the wisdom to put Your Gospel first in my life at all times. Increase my faith, and teach me to walk with more closely with You. Forgive my many sins, according to Your gracious promise, through Jesus Christ, Your Son, my Lord. Amen.