Aristotle is quoted as saying, “Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.” However, better advice came from King Solomon, who wrote centuries earlier: “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom” (Prov.
9:10). In our text today, we see that Solomon knew he deeply needed wisdom from God because he knew himself and he feared the Lord.
Solomon was now king of Israel but had not yet finished building the Temple. Solomon, like other Israelites at the time, went to the most important high place in Gibeon to make sacrifices to the Lord (v.4). While there, the Lord came to Solomon in a dream, saying, “Ask for whatever you want me to give you”(v. 5). Can you imagine what your reaction would be if God asked you that question? What would you ask for? Wealth? Healing? Longevity?
Solomon began his response by praising God: “You have shown great kindness to your servant, my father David.” Then he acknowledged the continued kindness God had shown to him (v. 6). Solomon acknowledged the Davidic covenant was continuing to be fulfilled through him. But he also recognized his youthfulness and inexperience (v. 7). He was barely out of his teens when he took the throne so it is no surprise that he felt overwhelmed with the responsibilities of governing the nation.
Solomon continued and did not ask for wealth or a happy life but rather he gave a mature request, “Give your servant a discerning heart” (v. 9). The word discerning can also be translated “hearing” or “obedient.” Solomon was asking for the capacity to obey God’s law and distinguish between right and wrong (v. 9). He recognized that the best thing for him to do was to stay in step with the law of God. In return, God richly blessed him for humbling himself and seeking wisdom.
>> We all need a little reminding to stay in step with the Spirit. So here is your reminder today, take this moment to pray and ask God for His wisdom and an obedient heart.
Grant us your wisdom, Lord, to discern the false wisdom of the world. Give us hearts that follow you, love your Word, and delight in obeying you.