What is Pleasing to God?
Solomon was indeed wise, even before he asked God for an understanding mind. David gave his some good counsel about walking in God’s ways, but Solomon knew that to do this, he must know what God’s way was and how to do this justly. Solomon looked past the obvious possessions that a king could have and prayed for something better than riches and stature—wisdom. But the prayer for wisdom also brought the pleasure of God and the promises of being a great king with riches and honor unmeasured.
In this day, with daily life becoming more and more complicated, we too need to ask God for an understanding mind. At the very least, we will receive that wisdom to discern good from evil. But more than that, we will be asking for something that is pleasing to God. Although people today generally lift up wealthy as those who hold the power, they still do hold up wise people as role models for young persons, as people who deserve respect and a voice in decision making, as examples for all people to emulate.
—Rev. Elinor Swindle Brown
- If you had been in Solomon’s place, what would have asked God to give you? Wisdom? Why or why not?
- Who do you know that has the gift of an understanding, discerning mind?
- Why did God promise to give Solomon riches and honor in addition to wisdom?
- List some examples of how Solomon later used this wisdom for justice. Did he always use it?
How Do I Act?
- Write to some of your political officials sharing with them places that you feel they are or are not using their gift of understand and discernment. They probably don’t receive many positive letters so your letter may be especially appreciated.
- Begin or join a support or care-giving group at your church. Stress good counsel in the group and emphasize listening skills as a major part of helping develop wisdom to work out problems/concerns. It may help to have a professional counselor and/or pastoral counselor in the group to approach sensitive issues soundly. Know your own limitations and those of the group.
- Pray for wisdom for those with whom you come in contact. Pray that your children and others will grow in wisdom as they see it lived out in you.
- Donate several new books to your church’s library or begin a library with your donations. These books could simply be general or you may want to get some that deal with wisdom, learning, counseling, or Solomon himself. Encourage the use of the library and the participation of others to donate books also.