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  • Gwen Diaz

124 - Solomon Asks for Wisdom and Understanding

In order to demonstrate how much, he wanted to obey God, Solomon went to Gibeon to offer sacrifices. Although David had moved the Ark of God to Jerusalem, the Tabernacle was still there with its bronze altar. Solomon offered 1,000 burnt offerings on the altar. That night God appeared to him in a dream and said, “Ask me for whatever you want, and I will give it to you.” Without hesitation Solomon replied, “My father was a faithful and righteous king, but I feel like a child who doesn’t know what to do. Yet, it is my job to lead this huge nation. Please give me wisdom and understanding so that I can rule them well. The Lord was pleased with Solomon’s request. He told him, “I will give you wisdom and understanding. And since you have not asked for wealth or possessions or honor or a long life, I will give these to you as well. No one on earth will equal you—as long as you continue to obey my commandments.” With his new wisdom, Solomon realized that he should offer sacrifices in Jerusalem in front of the Ark where God lived. He wanted his sacrifices to be an act of worship—not a ritual or a show. Not long after this, two prostitutes came before the king in the judgment hall. One of them said, “This woman and I live in the same house. Each of us gave birth to a son. During the night, she accidentally rolled over on her son and killed him. When she realized this, she switched the babies. So, when I woke up the next morning, I thought my son was dead. Soon I realized that this was not my son at all. It was hers! But now she won’t give me my child. The other woman disputed her claim, “No, the living child is mine!” They began to argue in front of the king. After listening to them for a while, Solomon called for a sword. He ordered the guard to cut the living child in two and give half to one mother and half to the other. The woman who had first spoken immediately cried out, “No, don’t kill him! Just give her the living baby!” while the other woman said, “That is a good solution. Neither of us should have the baby.” The king turned to the guard and said, “Give the child to the first woman. She is obviously the true mother.” This story was shared all over Israel, and people began to realize that God had given their king special wisdom to administer justice. Solomon gained knowledge about many different subjects. He learned about plants and animals and birds and reptiles and fish. He spoke 3,000 proverbs (many of them are recorded for us in the book of Proverbs), and he wrote 1,005 songs. Kings from all over the world sent people to seek wise answers from Solomon on how to handle difficult situations. During his reign, Solomon also accumulated great wealth. He planted cedar trees until they became as plentiful as fig trees. Silver and gold became as common as stones. In addition, he collected 1400 chariots and 12,000 horses and built special cities to warehouse them. Soon Solomon’s kingdom spread from the Euphrates River in the northeast, to the land of the Philistines in the west and Egypt in the south. There were so many people in Israel that they were like the sand on the seashore. Their lives were happy, and they lived in peace.

When you are feeling uncertain or inadequate do you ask God to give you wisdom? Or do you try to figure things out on your own? God wants us to come to Him for wisdom, just as Solomon did. God’s wisdom is always best!

124 - Solomon Asks for Wisdom and Understanding
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