Wisdom over Provision
If God was like a genie and you were able to make one wish, what would it be?
I wonder if the author of, Aladdin, was inspired by the story of King Solomon. This was the third king of Israel. The first known was King Saul and the second, Solomon’s father David. David left a profound legacy for the Israelites. He was a famous and very skilled warrior to all the nations in and surrounding Israel. He passionately loved the Lord, being known as, “a man after God’s own heart” (1 Samuel 13:14). He reigned for 40 years. He had many sons, but chose Solomon to be the next heir to the throne.
The land was at peace when Solomon became king because David and his men had defeated the enemies of Israel. This in turn allowed Solomon to take time to build the Lord a temple to dwell in among the Israelites.
The Lord loved Solomon since birth (and probably long before that!). 2 Samuel 12:24-25 says, “Then David comforted his wife Bathsheba; he went and slept with her. She gave birth to a son and named him Solomon (sounds like peace). The LORD loved him, and He sent a message through Nathan the prophet, who named him Jedidiah (beloved of the Lord), because of the LORD.”
King Solomon went to Gibeon early in his reign to offer sacrifices to the Lord. God met him in a dream at night and asked him, “What should I give you?”
6 And Solomon replied, “You have shown great and faithful love to your servant, my father David, because he walked before you in faithfulness, righteousness, and integrity. You have continued this great and faithful love for him by giving him a son to sit on his throne, as it is today.
7 “Lord my God, you have now made your servant king in my father David’s place. Yet I am just a youth with no experience in leadership. 8 Your servant is among your people you have chosen, a people too many to be numbered or counted. 9 So give your servant a receptive heart to judge your people and to discern between good and evil. For who is able to judge this great people of yours?”
10 Now it pleased the Lord that Solomon had requested this. 11 So God said to him, “Because you have requested this and did not ask for long life or riches for yourself, or the death of your enemies, but you asked discernment for yourself to administer justice, 12 I will therefore do what you have asked. I will give you a wise and understanding heart, so that there has never been anyone like you before and never will be again. 13 In addition, I will give you what you did not ask for: both riches and honor, so that no king will be your equal during your entire life. 14 If you walk in my ways and keep my statutes and commands just as your father David did, I will give you a long life.” 1 Kings 3:5-14
This story intrigued me when I read it recently. The Lord was pleased that Solomon asked for discernment to administer justice, and gave him a wise and understanding heart. He didn’t ask for a long life, riches, or selfish gain. He wanted something useful that would help serve his people well. He looked outwards and gave a selfless request.
In turn, the Lord also blessed him with everything he didn’t ask for: riches and honour. And, if Solomon committed to walking in the Lord’s ways and following His commands and Law, he would experience a long life too.
This story isn’t saying that if you ask for wisdom, you’ll get riches with it. But I think it is giving us some direction towards the heart of God. He isn’t concerned with provisions and wealth. It is important to be a good and faithful steward of your money. You should be smart and take care of your family. However, the Lord says that He will provide all of your needs in the Bible. So, what if you put more attention in prayer towards seeking the character of God versus the provisions from Him?
James 1:5-7 says, “Now if any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God—who gives to all generously and ungrudgingly—and it will be given to him. 6 But let him ask in faith without doubting. For the doubter is like the surging sea, driven and tossed by the wind. 7 That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord, 8 being double-minded and unstable in all his ways.”
The Lord will give wisdom to anyone who asks for it. It’s yours for the taking. If you focus more on the wisdom that He offers, you can guarantee that He’ll give you wisdom with your finances too. This is where being faithful with your money begins.
Also note that the Lord gives wisdom “generously and ungrudgingly.” This is also an important attribute to learn. If He gives you wisdom in this way, you should also give to others in the same manner. Enjoy drawing closer to Jesus and seeing the fruit of His wisdom grow in all aspects of your life as you follow after Him, and the peace that comes knowing He’s got everything else taken care of.