I Kings 3:7-10a “O LORD my God—now you have made me king instead of my father, David, but I am like a little child who doesn’t know his way around. And here I am among your own chosen people, a nation so great they are too numerous to count! Give me an understanding mind so that I can govern your people well and know the difference between right and wrong. For who by himself is able to govern this great nation of yours?” The Lord was pleased with Solomon’s reply and was glad that he had asked for wisdom.
Solomon had just ascended to the throne. He was overwhelmed by the enormity of the task. He was the son of David, so he was familiar with the life of a king. He probably had not given much thought to it as he grew up; it was the only life he had known. But it’s one thing to know about something and another thing to experience it for yourself. Solomon knew enough about himself to know that he needed a lot of help if he was going to be able to do it. So, he did the right thing. He went to the Lord and prayed.
I am struck by Solomon’s humble attitude. He wasn’t arrogant and didn’t take advantage of his opportunity. He saw himself as a little child who didn’t have a clue what to do. He sought help from the only one who could really help him—God.
Solomon asked the Lord for two things: an understanding mind so that he could govern the people properly and the ability to know the difference between right and wrong. Solomon asked for the only things that could enable him to be a successful king. An understanding mind and wisdom, knowing the difference between right and wrong, are essential for any successful living.
Issues come up that confuse us. We often struggle to know what to do. We hear many voices that try to steer us in certain directions. We can’t see beyond our noses and do not know what the ramifications of our decisions might be. We, like Solomon, need to ask the Lord for understanding and wisdom. He alone knows the right path for us to take and He is more than willing to show us what to do if we were to but ask Him. He doesn’t want us to be confused about life. He wants us to always do that which is right.
When we seek guidance from the Lord He clears up our thinking and helps us to make decisions that are good for us and others. Ask the Lord for understanding and wisdom and He will freely give them.