1 Kings 3:10–14
It pleased the Lord that Solomon had asked this. God said to him, ‘Because you have asked this, and have not asked for yourself long life or riches, or for the life of your enemies, but have asked for yourself understanding to discern what is right, I now do according to your word. Indeed I give you a wise and discerning mind; no one like you has been before you and no one like you shall arise after you. I give you also what you have not asked, both riches and honour all your life; no other king shall compare with you. If you will walk in my ways, keeping my statutes and my commandments, as your father David walked, then I will lengthen your life.’
Reflection by Janet Derby
God has told Solomon that he will be given anything he asks for. It’s an age-old question and one that I think is difficult to answer. We know we shouldn’t ask for riches or other selfish desires. (I imagine that not asking for wealth is a bit easier when you are a king with a lot of wealth already, but Solomon gets credit for not asking for more.) What else to request? Good health, long life, contentment? Solomon instead asks for understanding and discernment or as we usually characterize it – wisdom. It seems to me that in doing so, he is showing that he is already wise. God tells Solomon that he will give him what he asks, but I find it similar to the Wizard of Oz giving the scarecrow a brain, the tin man a heart, and the lion courage. They simply needed to recognize that those attributes were already present. Could it be that we too already possess the capability for the gifts we wish we had? If we don’t, perhaps we need to accept and use the abilities we have for God’s glory. Through prayer, we can learn to understand our gifts.
God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.