I have a One Year Bible that I have been diligently reading this year and it was during my Old Testament reading this morning that I came across something amazing. See if you find it surprising as well.
We are all familiar with the story of King Solomon requesting wisdom from God, how this made God so happy that he not only granted the wish but also made Solomon the wisest man in history. However, have you ever noticed in the story why Solomon asked for wisdom and not something else? I think this must be a key part of the dialogue between Solomon and God. Here is the passage:
That night God appeared to Solomon and said to him, “Ask for whatever you want me to give you.”
Solomon answered God, “You have shown great kindness to David my father and have made me king in his place. Now, Lord God, let your promise to my father David be confirmed, for you have made me king over a people who are as numerous as the dust of the earth. Give me wisdom and knowledge, that I may rule them properly, for who is able to govern by himself this great people of yours?”
God replied, “Because your greatest desire is to help your people, and you haven’t asked for personal wealth and honor, and you haven’t asked me to curse your enemies, and you haven’t asked for a long life, but for wisdom and knowledge to properly guide my people—yes, I am giving you the wisdom and knowledge you asked for. And I am also giving you such riches, wealth, and honor as no other king has ever had before you! And there will never again be a so great a king in all the world!”
Did you catch it? Why did Solomon want wisdom? So he could rule the people properly. He had such a servant’s heart that when asked for one wish, he asks for something that would enrich the lives of others. He doesn’t ask for himself. He asks for wisdom so that he could help others.
When he was asked, “Why are we here?” Albert Einstein said, “To serve others.” Seems like he and King Solomon were on the same page. Our greatest desire, our greatest purpose, our greatest mission in life ought to be to serve others. What happens when we follow this path? Look and see what God told Solomon…”And I am also giving you such riches, wealth, and honor as no other king has ever had before you!” So often we get these two things confused and backward. We strive for money, honor, status and recognition when if we would first strive to serve others, our other desires would follow naturally. What about you? Why are you here?
Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave—just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many. Matthew 20:28