“‘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. Your servant is here among the people you have chosen, a great people, too numerous to count or number. 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?’ The Lord was pleased that Solomon had asked for this. So God said to him, ‘Since you have asked for this and not for long life or wealth for yourself, nor have asked for the death of your enemies but for discernment in administering justice, I will do what you have asked. I will give you a wise and discerning heart, so that there will never have been anyone like you, nor will there ever be. Moreover, I will give you what you have not asked for – both wealth and honor – so that in your lifetime you will have no equal among kings.’” – 1 Kings 3:7-13
During this new year, 2020, what tools do you need to take you through the year? What will your response be to God? What will you ask for this year?
Like the young King Solomon, let us think less about our personal needs but rather about the needs of others, the people around us. Let us be a light to the world, pointing others to Christ.
In the text, God visited the young king in a dream and told him to make a request of him. The king could have asked for many things for himself; long life, wealth for himself, or the death of his enemies. Instead, he sought that which would make him a good king. He asked God for discernment in administering justice.
Having a discerning heart means to be able to determine right from wrong. To be able to choose between a right thing and the best thing. It also means that if a wrong thing is getting in the way of our service to God that we can make a choice to let it go and serve God.
When God asked Solomon to request something of Him, the king displayed a childlike spirit, a prerequisite to enter the kingdom of heaven. He acknowledged his inadequacy before God. His request was simple, yet meaningful and useful for him to function as the young and inexperienced king of Israel.
What will we ask of God this year? Will we seek revenge against our enemies? Will we look out for number one, ourselves, or will we seek God’s grace and mercy for our neighbor?
This year, let us put aside our personal agenda and seek God’s direction for our lives. Let us use our God given talents to build God’s kingdom here on earth.
God was pleased with Solomon’s response. Consequently, God gave Solomon even more than that which he requested or imagined.
There is always abundance for those who serve God. Will we enjoy this abundance in 2020? Can God count on us to do the right thing?
Solomon was king. He had all the conveniences of a king; money, servants, an army and power. Yet, he felt that his life was useless without God’s intervention.
The king had gone to the Gibeon, the high place of God. There, he offered sacrifices to God. For this, God rewarded him. It was not that God owed him anything, but God was pleased with his offering and wanted to show him that his gifts were accepted.
When we go to the place where God is, the place of His presence, He blesses us. Where is the place of His presence? For us, the place of His presence is the church, at His holy altar.
In the place of His presence, at His altar, we receive Holy Communion. There, we commune with all the saints, living and dead. At the altar, we are blessed. We receive God’s grace and mercy, which He lavishes upon us in Christ Jesus our Lord and Savior.
Like Solomon, let us also be a blessing to the people around us. Let us see the needs of others and try to help.
We don’t have to be rich or have much to give. Let us give from the little that we have. Someone said that Mother Theresa once delivered food to a poor family. While she was still there, the mother of the house divided the food into two portions and took one portion to another family, which was in need. This poor lady did not have much, but she shared the little that she did have. We too, in 2020, can share that with which the Lord has blessed us. Amen.
• Rev. Samuel M. Boodle, pastor at The Lutheran Church of Nassau, 119 John F. Kennedy Drive, can be reached at P.O. Box N 4794, Nassau, Bahamas; or telephone: 426-9084; E-mail: email@example.com; website: www.Nassaulutheranchurch.org.