It is extra remarkable when someone who is known for his wisdom, makes a very stupid move. Sometimes this move can have major consequences, because the person who possessed much wisdom had been entrusted with much responsibility .
In the life of Solomon, we learn three types of wisdom.
5 At Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon during the night in a dream, and God said, “Ask for whatever you want me to give you.”
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.
7 “Now, Lord my God, you have made your servant king in place of my father David. But I am only a little child and do not know how to carry out my duties.8 Your servant is here among the people you have chosen, a great people, too numerous to count or number. 9 So give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong. For who is able to govern this great people of yours?”
10 The Lord was pleased that Solomon had asked for this. 11 So God said to him, “Since you have asked for this and not for long life or wealth for yourself, nor have asked for the death of your enemies but for discernment in administering justice, 12 I will do what you have asked. I will give you a wise and discerning heart, so that there will never have been anyone like you, nor will there ever be. 13 Moreover, I will give you what you have not asked for—both wealth and honor—so that in your lifetime you will have no equal among kings. 14 And if you walk in obedience to me and keep my decrees and commands as David your father did, I will give you a long life.”
1 Kings 3:5-14 (NIV)
Solomon gets the question we all would like to hear , "Ask whatever you want, and I will give it to you." Solomon could have asked for wealth, power and health. Instead, Solomon thinks of the people, for which he is responsible. Therefore, he asks for wisdom, for an understanding heart so that he can govern the people and will know the difference between good and evil (verse 9). Solomon made this choice even before God asked him that question. His choice and his answer were wise.
This wisdom has to do with focusing on others. He doesn’t make himself a priority, his own wealth and prosperity, but he makes his people, for which he is responsible, his priority.
Do we possess such wisdom? Is our gaze focused enough on others and do we handle our own affairs rightly?
God is very pleased with Solomon’s answer (verse 10). That's why God gives Solomon what he asks for. Solomon will receive wisdom from God that will surpass the wisdom of all men before and after him (verse 12). This wisdom is supernatural. God gives wisdom to Solomon as an answer to his prayer.
We can also receive this wisdom from God in our lives. James 1:5 says that we may always ask for wisdom. God will give wisdom generously and without reproach. Take advantage of this wisdom. We do not have to make all decisions alone. When we ask God, we receive wisdom from above, just as His Word promises.
The third lesson about the wisdom of Solomon is a sad lesson. It is also a serious warning. True wisdom begins with knowing God and obeying His Word. In our Bible passage we read that God sets a requirement immediately for Solomon (verse 14). God has forbidden Solomon to serve idols. When Solomon does this anyway, God gets angry and takes the kingdom from Solomon. Solomon has left this source of wisdom.
It is written in many places in the Bible (Job 28:28, Psalm 111:10 and, for example, Proverbs 1:7). “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of all understanding.” When we fear the Lord, obey Him and try to do His will, we will grow in wisdom. With this wisdom, we can be a blessing to many people, to the glory of God.
So let us be wise. First of all, by not living solely for ourselves. Then ask God for wisdom and use this wisdom. Finally, in awe, remain obedient to God and receive from the Source of Wisdom .