READ: 1 Kings 3-4
THINK: Reading 1 Kings 3 always forces me to have a gut-check moment. I read about Solomon and then ask myself the question: what would I ask for if God told me he’d give me anything? I’d like to think that the answer is wisdom – especially given the Biblical hindsight that I have the privilege of enjoying – but in my more honest moments I wonder if the allure of fame, success, financial security, comfort, or earthly pleasures might win out. How about you – if you’re being honest, what would you ask for right now if God told you he would give you anything?
When Solomon was given the choice he asked for wisdom so that he could discern good from evil and be the leader that God had called him to be. The actual Hebrew word that gets translated “understanding” in this passage is shimo which is an adjective that literally translates “listening” or “hearing.” Solomon asked for a hearing heart. He knew that the single greatest ability he could have as king would be a heart that could hear his people and, most importantly, hear God. And God knew that too! That’s why he was so honored by Solomon’s request and why he promised to honor Solomon in return.
Do you have a hearing heart? Too often I don’t. I have a heart that is too busy speaking and seeking – too concerned with my own issues, my own aspirations, my own selfish desires – to really, genuinely listen to others. Too often my heart is out in pursuit of “all these things” without “seeking first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness.” (Matthew 6:33) But as you read Matthew 6 it becomes clear – God is making us the same offer that he made Solomon. If we seek we will find. And if we ask it will be given. The only question is what we’ll seek and what we’ll ask for.
God built us to serve and love one another. We are created in his image and he is a God who serves and loves. But our sinful hearts are oriented toward serving ourselves at the expense of others. It’s easy to have a heart that speaks and seeks. It is good to have a heart that hears!
PRAY: Commit to seeking God’s kingdom (the world is desperate for us to do that)! Ask God to give you a heart that hears – a heart that truly hears others and, most importantly, hears him.