Solomon made a marriage alliance with Pharaoh king of Egypt; he took Pharaoh’s daughter and brought her into the city of David until he had finished building his own house and the house of the Lordand the wall around Jerusalem. The people were sacrificing at the high places, however, because no house had yet been built for the name of the Lord.
Solomon loved the Lord, walking in the statutes of his father David, except that he sacrificed and offered incense at the high places. The king went to Gibeon to sacrifice there, for that was the principal high place; Solomon used to offer a thousand burnt offerings on that altar.
At Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream by night, and God said, “Ask what I should give you.” And Solomon said, “You have shown great and steadfast love to your servant my father David because he walked before you in faithfulness, in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart toward you, and you have kept for him this great and steadfast love and have given him a son to sit on his throne today. And now, O Lord my God, you have made your servant king in place of my father David, although I am only a little child; I do not know how to go out or come in. And your servant is in the midst of the people whom you have chosen, a great people so numerous they cannot be numbered or counted. Give your servant, therefore, an understanding mind to govern your people, able to discern between good and evil, for who can govern this great people of yours?”
We spend a lot of time and money trying to fix our outer selves, from make-up to the gym to the doctor, the pursuit of physical health is an important and vital (and necessary at times) part of our lives. Solomon’s defining moment came in the context of worship, when he heard God in a dream. God offered him whatever he wanted, and Solomon had the wisdom to choose a discerning heart – focusing on the inside of himself, the part which makes us really and truly healthy. As David learned before him, our physical selves will eventually fail, but a true listening heart is always with us, able to discern the good. Solomon recognized the higher one’s authority and power, the deeper need there is for good development of character and discipline, with a discerning heart.
Solomon loved the Lord, but there were times when he failed to follow through on that love. What are some of the exceptions we sometimes demonstrate in relation to our love of the Lord?
Put yourself in Solomon’s place. What would you have asked for if the Lord had promised to give you whatever you wanted?
Generous God, you promised Solomon whatever he wanted, and he asked you only for the wisdom to serve you. Grant us that same wisdom, that we might work for your justice in the world. Amen.