1 Kings 4:29-34 (KJV) And God gave Solomon wisdom and understanding exceeding much, and largeness of heart, even as the sand that is on the seashore…34 And there came of all people to hear the wisdom of Solomon, from all kings of the earth, which had heard of his wisdom.
Many of us love to receive gifts from others. In most cases, it is a symbol of their love and affection for us. In other cases, the gift is often sometimes linked to the underlying motive of the giver. Therefore, it casts gray onto a palette containing only black and white. It makes it less easier to distinguish between pure and wrong motives.
But such is not the case when we receive a gift from the Giver of every good and perfect gift (Jam. 1:17). When we receive anything from His benevolent hand, we can be assured that His only motive is because He loves us (Jn. 3:16). So, how we can show our gratitude and appreciation for His goodness towards us?
Understanding The Text
In the text, we last observed Solomon rendering judgment in the case of the two women and establishing his royal and geopolitical administration (1 Kgs. 3:16-4:28). The Nation of Israel was finally experiencing ‘shalom’ after hundreds of years of nomadic living, captivity, and life among a people group whose existence could threaten all of it. There was much hinging upon Solomon’s ability to function as an able administrator of God’s people. David was aware of this and prepared his son as best as possible with the last charge prior to his death (1 Kgs. 2:1-4).
The time would finally arrive when God would appear to Solomon and grant him the opportunity of a lifetime. God asks Solomon what he desired from Him, to which Solomon responds appropriately, “Give therefore Your servant an understanding heart to judge Your people, that I may discern between good and bad: for who is able to judge this so great a people” (1 Kgs. 3:9). In the following verse, we are told that God was pleased with Solomon and granted him his desire and beyond what he asked (i.e, riches, honor and long life).
In today’s text, we observe the vastness of God’s fulfilling His promise to both David and Solomon (1 Kgs. 4:29-34). The wisdom with which Solomon governed the kingdom surpassed all of his contemporaries, so much that people traveled great distances to hold court with him (v. 34). The Scripture teaches that Solomon’s “fame was in all nations round about” (v. 31).
As Believers, we must ensure that we are bringing glory and honor to God through all of our words and actions because the unbelieving world is watching us.
Why Is This Important To Us?
This is important to us because this narrative causes us to consider and deal with issues of the heart. In our introduction, we briefly discussed the motive of the giver, but we did not discuss the reciprocating attitude of the receiver. Human nature has the propensity to receive gifts in one season and forget about the giver of the gift soon thereafter. There is this little thing within some of us that tends to feel entitled and projects the attitude of being owed something or even deserving what others have given us out of the kindness of their hearts. We even sometimes make the mistake of taking this attitude with God as well.
The gifts that our Heavenly Father graciously lavishes upon us are never deserved by us nor can be they ever be earned by any of our actions (Eph. 2:4-9). Staying within the context of our study, the wisdom and understanding heart that we desire from God is His way of ensuring that we are able “to discern between good and bad” (1 Kgs. 3:9). We demonstrate the proper execution and administration of God’s good and perfect gifts within our horizontal relationships once we have the proper understanding of its value and the motive of its Source (2 Cor. 5:17-21).
Therefore, we honor God not only in our private spaces, but within the public sector when we: 1) show our gratitude because He did not give us what we truly deserve, and 2) use the gift in the manner God initially intended. When we abuse (or, abnormally use) the gifts of God, we remove the atmosphere of peace and order and pave the way for chaos and disorder to enter into the narrative. When we dishonor God through the misuse of His gifts for selfish reasons, we are opening the door for the unbelieving world to continue to reject Him. The end result is that, by our actions and attitudes, we too are rejecting His right to rule here on earth as He does in Heaven (Mt. 6:10).
In the Kingdom of God, the gift and the Giver cannot be received separately from one another. To receive the gift, you must also receive the Giver. Many of us have a history of honoring God with our mouths, by disowning and dishonoring Him with our actions and attitudes.
Whether we realize it or not, the unbelieving world is observing everything we, as Believers, are doing. We provide them with the ammunition necessary to undergird and bolster their rejection of God’s generous gift of salvation. How can we reverse the current situation? By removing our personal agendas and opinions from each scenario and employing the wisdom of God in everything we say and do both for His honor and for His glory.