Useful Bible Studies > 1 Kings Commentary > chapter 3

Solomon asks God for wisdom

1 Kings 3:5-9

God twice appeared to Solomon (11:9). That was reality, even when it happened during a dream. Solomon did not merely dream that God appeared to him. Rather, God used the dream to appear to Solomon. Perhaps that was because Solomon’s mind was so active during the day. When at last he stopped to sleep, he was ready to hear from God.

Solomon had just offered a very large gift to God. Like his father David, Solomon believed that his gifts to God should cost him something (2 Samuel 24:24). So, Solomon had given a gift that was expensive even for him as a rich king (3:4). It was a genuine expression of his love to God. He was truly grateful for all that God had done, both for him and for David.

In the dream, God told Solomon that he (God) also wanted to give a gift to Solomon. Like a great king (compare Esther 7:2), God urged Solomon to request whatever he wanted. God would gladly give Solomon what he desired most.

God’s words astonished Solomon. God had already given Solomon so much; God had even made him the king of a great nation (Genesis 22:17). So, Solomon could only think about his own weakness. He was a young man but, to himself, he seemed like a little child. He certainly did not consider himself able to be a good and wise leader of so many people. So, he asked God to give him the wisdom to rule his nation well. He wanted to be able to distinguish between what is right and wrong.

Next part: Why God approved of Solomon's prayer (1 Kings 3:10-13)


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