Key verse: 1 Kings 3:9
Big idea: Worship is the heart of wisdom.
Today's text picks up after the death of King David, when his son Solomon began to reign. The Lord came to Solomon in a dream and asked him what he wanted. Solomon could have asked for military might, personal wealth, long life and good health, or ten thousand other things. Every child who has ever seen the movie Aladdin probably has some ideas about what they would ask for if the opportunity arose to have anything their heart desired. But the king's answer was different: he asked for a wise heart to govern the people. The king knew that God had given him an extraordinary task, and his greatest desire was to handle that task well. To do that would require the ability to discern between difficult choices, to find a middle way between bad options, and to represent God well in all that he did.
It is no coincidence that Solomon wrote, "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom," in Proverbs 1:7. At the time that he prayed, we do not have any evidence that Solomon had any extraordinary wisdom beyond his love of God. But the wisdom to put God's will for his life first led to all other wisdom. For you and me, we cannot expect to be visited in a dream and be given unmatched insight into every situation, but we can cling to God's promise in the book of James that if we ask God for wisdom, He will give it to us generously. If wisdom is the practical skill of living, what could be more central to being wise than having the single most important priority of all in place? God was pleased with Solomon's response, and as a reward for his humility, promised to give him all of the things that he did not ask for as well. Jesus put it this way, "Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you." The principle is the same and God is still faithful.
Discussion idea: How does the story that ends this chapter illustrate Solomon's wisdom? How might a lesser king have resolved that same situation?
Prayer focus: Lord, make your Word and Your Spirit a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. Help me to seek Your kingdom first, and know that everything else will be added.