“At Gibeon the LORD appeared to Solomon in a dream by night; and God said, ‘Ask! What shall I give you?’ ” I Kings 3:5.
Shortly after Solomon was made King God appeared to him and asked him what he desired. Solomon, acknowledging his inexperience, asked for wisdom, “an understanding heart”, to judge the people, that he could distinguish between good and evil. This was a request that pleased God. God not only made Solomon the wisest man in the world (I Kings 4:30) but also gave him riches and honor, making him the greatest and most powerful King in the world. The word translated as “understanding” can also be translated “hearing” or “obedient”. Solomon was asking for the ability to obey what God had said in the law, to be able to distinguish between good and evil, and to be able to judge the people accordingly.
What a humble request from Solomon. Not surprising as it was noted in I Kings 3:3 that he was already a man that loved the Lord, walking in His statutes. The exciting news is that we can also pray for wisdom from God above and He promises to give it as long as we ask in faith without doubting (James 1:5-8). We may not receive wisdom at Solomon’s level but we will receive wisdom sufficient to distinguish between good and evil, obey God’s Word and live a godly, fruitful life as we persevere through the ups and downs of life. We will also be given discernment to judge God’s Word appropriately and avoiding being taken in by false doctrines. This is a great gift at any time but especially in this day and age where many, even in churches, are being led astray to foolish doctrines counter to God’s Word.
The wisdom God gives, “drawn from above” is described in James 3:17 as pure, peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality (consistent, unwavering person undivided in his commitment and conviction), and without hypocrisy (sincere, genuine person). These characteristics are fruits of a life led by the Holy Spirit with wisdom drawn from above.