1 Kings 3:5-14
3:5 At Gibeon [located eight miles northwest of Jerusalem; tabernacle located there at that time (2 Chron. 1:3) though ark of covenant in Jerusalem (2 Sam. 6:1-17)] the LORD appeared to Solomon [second son born to David and Bathsheba (2 Sam. 12:14-24)] during the night in a dream [God occasionally revealed His will or word to people through dreams (cf. Gen. 40:5-19; Matt. 1:20-21; 2:12-13)], and God said [note that God voluntarily offered to bless Solomon], “Ask for whatever you want me to give you.”
Note: What would you have asked for if you were in Solomon’s shoes? At this point in your life, what is the blessing from God you desire most?
3:6 Solomon answered, “You have shown great kindness to your servant, my father David, because he was faithful to you and righteous and upright in heart. You have continued this great kindness to him and have given him a son to sit on his throne this very day.
3:7 “Now, O LORD my God, you [Solomon recognized that God was responsible for giving him the throne] have made your servant [Solomon recognized that he was a servant] king in place of my father David. But I am only a little child [indicates sense of subservience to a superior and an understanding of his lack of experience] and [note that Solomon knew he needed help] do not know how to carry out my duties [involved ruling “a great people” (3:8)].
3:8 Your servant is here among the people you have chosen, a great people, too numerous to count or number [in fulfillment of His promise to Abraham].
3:9 So give your servant a discerning heart [literally “a heart that listens”; an obedient heart; heart a metaphor for the mind and will] to govern [cf. Deut. 17:18-20 re: how kings were to govern] your people and to distinguish [required a sharp mind] between right and wrong. For who is able to govern this great people of yours? [reveals Solomon’s humility and desire to depend on God]
Note: What was Solomon’s request and why was God pleased with it? Who would benefit from Solomon’s prayer and why?
3:10 The Lord was pleased that Solomon had asked for this [instead of the kinds of things most people would have asked for, such as money, a long life, success, popularity, etc.].
3:11 So God said to him, “Since you have asked for this [wisdom (essential for a ruler); Solomon put first things first; Solomon had his priorities in order] and not [God was impressed by what Solomon did not ask for] for long life or wealth for yourself, nor have asked for the death of your enemies but for discernment in administering justice,
Note: God is as interested in what we do not ask for as in what we do ask for when we approach Him in prayer.
3:12 I will do what you have asked [God granted Solomon’s petition]. I will give you a wise and discerning heart [essential for judging and ruling well], so that there will never have been anyone like you [in wisdom and understanding, also in riches and honor], nor will there ever be.
3:13 Moreover, I will give [in addition to what Solomon asked for] you what you have not asked for—both riches and honor—so that in your lifetime you will have no equal among kings.
3:14 And if [note the condition] you walk in my ways [walk in accordance with God’s will] and obey my statutes and commands as David your father did, [this was dependent on whether Solomon walked in God’s ways and obeyed His Word] I will give you a long life.”