God had been very specific to Moses on where and how to sacrifice offerings to Him. (Leviticus 17:3-5) But the people had fallen into the habit of worshiping at the high places of false gods instead…and it became Israel’s pitfall. Even King Solomon became too comfortable and apathetic about where he worshiped God…for it tells us in I Kings 3:3, “Solomon showed his love for the Lord by walking according to the statutes of his father David, except that he offered sacrifices and burned incense on the high places.” By using the altars of false gods, the Jewish people were unwittingly incorporating and melding deceptive ideology into their worship of the one true God.
Solomon asked God for a discerning heart and the wisdom to distinguish between right and wrong and God was pleased. (I Kings 3:9-10) For Solomon wasn’t asking for the superficial or trivial, or things that had no eternal significance…he was asking for wisdom. I once worked with a Doctor who started calling me Prudence. When I asked why, he stated it was how I conducted myself dealing with patients and that he appreciated my common sense and prudent approach. When you ask God for wisdom, understanding, discretion, and His Will in your life… He happily will oblige. (James 1:5)
In this prayer, King David was acknowledging that it was only from God – the source of everything – that he possessed abilities and achievements. David was also acknowledging the sovereignty and authorship of God as he viewed the world around him. Later, his son Solomon would write in Ecclesiastes 5:19-20, ” When God gives any man wealth and possessions,and enables him to enjoy them, to accept his lot and be happy in his work – this is a gift of God. He seldom reflects on the days of his life, because God keeps him occupied with gladness of heart.” Recognizing and thanking God for His benevolence in our lives gives rise to one of the greatest gifts we can ever receive…it’s peace and contentment.
I once worked for a Doctor who gave me the nickname, Prudence…of which I was very happy with! For I’d much rather be known for my good judgment rather than careless and unwise decisions. All wisdom and abilities we have, find their source in God…and a reverent attitude towards Him is the start of all discernment and discretion…for all understanding resides in our hearts.
King Solomon had not followed the laws of God that commanded the Israelites not to intermarry with foreigners. Of his 700 wives and 300 concubines, numerous were foreign women who worshiped many gods. Instead of remaining fully committed and totally obedient…Solomon acquiesced and compromised his devotion to the Lord.
From the very start, Solomon knew he would need God-inspired intelligence and insight to maintain law and order over the Israelite Nation. When the Lord appeared, Solomon wisely asked for spiritual perception and enlightenment. God was so pleased with his choices that He not only gave Solomon those gifts, but also wealth, riches, and honor…”Such as no King who was before you ever had and none after you will have.” Down through history Solomon was known for many things…but the wisdom God placed in his heart was, and still is, the most important.