“But now ask the beasts, and they will teach you; And the birds of the air, and they will tell you; Or speak to the earth, and it will teach you; And the fish of the sea will explain to you. Who among all these does not know That the hand of the Lord has done this, In whose hand is the life of every living thing, And the breath of all mankind? Does not the ear test words And the mouth taste its food? Wisdom is with aged men, And with length of days, understanding. “With Him are wisdom and strength, He has counsel and understanding. If He breaks a thing down, it cannot be rebuilt; If He imprisons a man, there can be no release. If He withholds the waters, they dry up; If He sends them out, they overwhelm the earth. With Him are strength and prudence. The deceived and the deceiver are His. He leads counselors away plundered, And makes fools of the judges. He loosens the bonds of kings, And binds their waist with a belt. He leads princes away plundered, And overthrows the mighty. He deprives the trusted ones of speech, And takes away the discernment of the elders. He pours contempt on princes, And disarms the mighty. He uncovers deep things out of darkness, And brings the shadow of death to light. He makes nations great, and destroys them; He enlarges nations, and guides them. He takes away the understanding of the chiefs of the people of the earth, And makes them wander in a pathless wilderness. They grope in the dark without light, And He makes them stagger like a drunken man. Job 12:7-25 NKJV
Solomon, a king of many people, is concerned that he lacks the experience to lead. His father, King David left rather large shoes to fill. In a dream, Solomon asks the Lord for an understanding heart. Solomon is looking for the ability to discern between good and evil. The Lord is pleased with Solomon’s request because he did not ask for personal things like long life, riches or the life of enemies. Solomon was looking to understand justice from the Lord’s perspective.
I enjoyed reading Solomon’s words because he appreciated what the Lord God had given him and his father David. He knew where his blessings came from. I think that is the reason his heart was in the right place to ask God for discernment, over anything else.
Now, O Lord my God, You have made Your servant king instead of my father David, but I am a little child; I do not know how to go out or come in. And Your servant is in the midst of Your people whom You have chosen, a great people, too numerous to be numbered or counted. Therefore give to Your servant an understanding heart to judge Your people, that I may discern between good and evil. For who is able to judge this great people of Yours?” The speech pleased the Lord, that Solomon had asked this thing. Then God said to him: “Because you have asked this thing, and have not asked long life for yourself, nor have asked riches for yourself, nor have asked the life of your enemies, but have asked for yourself understanding to discern justice… 1 Kings 3:7-11 KNJV