The Bible tells us that “Solomon loved the LORD, walking in the statutes of David his father” (1 Kings 3:3). So, the Lord appeared to him in a dream by night; and said, “Ask! What shall I give you?” (verse 5). The Lord already knew what his servant needed most, but He urged him to ask. This was a test to the king. By the kind of his request, the king would show what was in his heart.
The king responded, “Give your servant therefore an understanding mind to govern your people, that I may discern between good and evil, for who is able to govern this your great people?” (verse 9). The king asked for the most important thing in life – wisdom. Man’s greatest need is an understanding heart that can know its own weakness and be able to differentiate between right and wrong. Jesus gave the same truth: “Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you” (Matthew 6:33).
The Gift of Wisdom
The Lord was pleased with what this king asked (1 Kings 3:10). And He said to him “I now do according to your word. Behold, I give you a wise and discerning mind, so that none like you has been before you and none like you shall arise after you” (verse 12). The son of David was given the gift of great wisdom (1 Kings 3:28) – both moral and intellectual. So, he praised God for His blessing and offered sacrifices of Joy (1 Kings 3:13).
And the Lord added: “I give you also what you have not asked, both riches and honor, so that no other king shall compare with you, all your days” (1 Kings 3:13). But the gift of long life was conditional on his obedience to God, “And if you will walk in my ways, keeping my statutes and my commandments, as your father David walked, then I will lengthen your days” (1 Kings 3:14).
The Benefits of God’s Blessing
The son of David valued wisdom so much that he wrote, “Happy is the man who finds wisdom, and the man who gains understanding” (Proverbs 3:13). “Her (wisdom) ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace. She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her, and happy are all who retain her” (Proverbs 3:17; 8:35, 36).
The Bible records how the Lord blessed him: “And God gave Solomon wisdom and understanding beyond measure, and breadth of mind like the sand on the seashore, so that Solomon’s wisdom surpassed the wisdom of all the people of the east and all the wisdom of Egypt. For he was wiser than all other men…” (1 Kings 4:29-34). And the king reigned for 40 years (1 Kings 11:42).
The Whole Duty of Man
Sadly, the king’s success, riches, and many wives, turned his heart away from God. So, the Lord said to him, “Because you have done this, and have not kept My covenant and My statutes, which I have commanded you, I will surely tear the kingdom away from you and give it to your servant. Nevertheless I will not do it in your days, for the sake of your father David; I will tear it out of the hand of your son” (1 Kings 11:11–12).
But at the end of his life, he repented and turned his life around for he saw that “all is vanity” and meaningless without God (Ecclesiastes 1:14). And he admonished his nation to fear God and keep His statutes saying, “Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is man’s all” (Ecclesiastes 12:13).
In His service,