1 Kings 3:5-10 (KJV) In Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream by night: and God said, Ask what I shall give thee. And Solomon said, Thou hast shewed unto thy servant David my father great mercy, according as he walked before thee in truth, and in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart with thee; and thou hast kept for him this great kindness, that thou hast given him a son to sit on his throne, as it is this day. And now, O Lord my God, thou hast made thy servant king instead of David my father: and I am but a little child: I know not how to go out or come in. And thy servant is in the midst of thy people which thou hast chosen, a great people, that cannot be numbered nor counted for multitude. Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad: for who is able to judge this thy so great a people? And the speech pleased the Lord, that Solomon had asked this thing.
As we live life within this world as Believers, there are certain expectations placed upon us by many different people. Based on their understanding of what it means to be a Believer, our lifestyle should be different from theirs because the Bible gives us a bunch of rules to follow. These rules, in their eyes, prohibit us from enjoying life and having fun. Nothing could be further from the truth. While we are “called out” (ekklesia) of the world, we are still expected to live within the world (Jn. 17). So how do we live as citizens of the Kingdom of God while living in this world?
Understanding The Text
In the text, Solomon has consolidated power and the kingdom has been established within his hand. He was given a charge by his father, David, prior to his death “to walk in His (God’s) ways, to keep His statutes, and His commandments, and His judgments, and His testimonies, as it is written in the law of Moses, that you may prosper in all that you do, whithersoever you turn yourself…” (1 Kgs. 2:3). This was supposed to be representative of life within God’s Kingdom according to Kingdom principles to the surrounding nations. What does this mean?
This means that the kingdom was not intended to be for Solomon’s pleasure to do as he pleased. The Nation of Israel belonged to God as He was Israel’s True King (1 Sam. 8:5-8). The kingship was the means through which God would usher in a preview of what true Kingdom living means. The kingship would execute righteousness, justice, and mercy among the people in the earth according to God’s commandments, which means that the kingship was an office of service to the people under God. It was not intended to rule over the people as we observe it in the latter end of the divided kingdom.
In today’s text, Solomon is visited by the Lord in a dream, in which God asks him what he desires. Solomon’s response is one of the greatest moments in recorded Scripture because his answer is not for personal gain. Solomon earnestly desired to know how to govern (or judge) God’s people. He understood that the ultimate goal of the kingship was the welfare of God’s people, and he placed that above His own. It was not an attempt to manipulate God into giving him riches and long life. Solomon was able to do this because he had witnessed the faithfulness of God in his father’s life and knew that if he would embark on the same path of following God wholeheartedly, God would be pleased to honor the covenant with him as well.
Life in the Kingdom provides an example to the unbelieving world of the way God intends for all of His creation to relate to one another.
Why Is This Important To Us?
This is important to us in our contemporary context because it provides an example of how we should govern our homes. As citizens of God’s Kingdom, we are the examples within the world today of how life is intended to be lived according to God’s Kingdom principles and agenda. As parents, or even as single Believers, our home life should reflect a daily transformation through the empowering of the Holy Spirit as we surrender to living according to the inspired Word of God.
As Solomon, we should ask for an understanding (or hearing) heart and discernment so we can make the best decisions for the welfare of those for whom we are responsible and to whom we are in service. Although we may carry the position of being the “heads of household” we are, in fact, the servants of the household (Mt. 20:25-28). As we yield to God’s way of doing things, the world around us will take notice of how God honors our lives because we have elected to honor Him with our lives (1 Kgs. 3:11-14).
Life in the Kingdom requires that we employ an “others before self” perspective and approach to daily living. When we begin to place our selfish agendas above God’s Kingdom agenda, we will continue to fail at fulfilling our ultimate purpose in life, which is to honor God. Seeking God’s way on a daily basis before we engage with the horizontal relationships within our lives will bring guaranteed success and covenant blessings to all. God does not change and will be true and faithful to His covenant promises if we abide in covenant faithfully to Him (Mal. 3:6).