Like Solomon we have all been young, uncertain and in need of guidance at some point in our lives. We have probably had to deal with tasks that we don’t feel fully equipped for (that still happens to some of us, regardless of our age). As if that wasn’t hard enough, many of us also had to live up to the high standards set by our parents. Solomon lists his earthly father’s virtues, a hard act to follow.
Our parents have however been there before us, had the same doubts, the same fears and made their own mistakes. King David is a perfect case in point, he was not always so faithful, righteous and upright in heart.
Crosby, Stills and Nash touch on this in their song 'Teach your Children', we all have our dreams and our hells as described in the lyrics. Did David feed Solomon on his dreams and did Solomon learn from his father’s hell?
The song describes how important it is to have “a code that you can live by”, a Christian life offers us this code. Solomon’s love of the Lord was perhaps one of the things that David passed on to his son. Faith is a blessing that many of us received in part through the example of our parents and one that we in turn can share with others.
When asked for he wanted, Solomon did not request land or riches, he lived up to what would become his reputation for wisdom by asking for a discerning heart and the ability to distinguish right and wrong. That was his first step along the path of knowing how to carry out his duties.
Lord, thank you for the blessing of having a clear code that we can live by
Thank you for the inner spark that helps us to distinguish right from wrong,
Grant us the courage to do always what is right rather than what is expedient
Make us conscious incompetents so that, like Solomon, we ask you for the right things
The things that please you and serve your Kingdom
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.