Scripture: 1 Kings 3:1-15
Key verse: (9) “Give your servant therefore an understanding mind to govern your people, able to discern between good and evil; for who can govern this your great people?”
Reflection: Three years after the death of his father, King David, Solomon settled all accounts with those who had sought him harm. He consolidated his reign and established the kingdom. Solomon married and began to make plans to finish building the house of the LORD in Jerusalem. It says in our passage that “Solomon loved the LORD”. He desired to walk in the ways of God following his father’s example of righteousness and uprightness of heart. So, he prayed and asked God to give him an understanding mind and the ability to discern. Solomon is often referred to as being wise. We are all familiar with the expression “the wisdom of Solomon” in reference to making decisions. However, in this passage the Hebrew word for wisdom isn’t used directly. Instead, Solomon is described as a man of good judgment with an ability to govern well. He has understanding and discernment which are very important aspects of wisdom.
God is pleased with Solomon’s prayer because he asked God to help him do God’s will and follow in God’s ways. Solomon approached God with gratitude and humility. He wasn’t seeking his own agenda. What might happen if we were to pray this way? We aren’t rulers of a nation, but we have responsibilities and obligations to others that are important to fulfill. Will we rely on our own strength seeking our own benefit or will we become more dedicated servants of a living God? Do we pray that we might know better how to serve God or has prayer become our way of asking God to serve us?
Prayer: Eternal God, help us to walk in the ways of justice and truth. May we show the love of Jesus Christ in our actions and decisions as we seek to serve you. Give us understanding minds and the ability to discern good from evil. Give us open hearts like children so that we might learn from you. In Jesus name we pray, amen.
Author: Deborah Conner
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].