4 The king went to Gibeon to offer sacrifices, for that was the most important high place, and Solomon offered a thousand burnt offerings on that altar. 5 At Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon during the night in a dream, and God said, “Ask for whatever you want me to give you.”
6 Solomon answered, “You have shown great kindness to your servant, my father David, because he was faithful to you and righteous and upright in heart. You have continued this great kindness to him and have given him a son to sit on his throne this very day.
7 “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.8 Your servant is here among the people you have chosen, a great people, too numerous to count or number. 9 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?”
10 The Lord was pleased that Solomon had asked for this. 11 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,12 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.
I don’t often remember dreams once I am awake. In the dreams I do remember, I don’t necessarily make good decisions, the same way I don’t always act as I should when I’m awake. I am no more heroic or virtuous or wise in my dreams than I act in regular time. Solomon was dreaming, but it was a special dream in that God appeared and asked Solomon to make a request of whatever he wanted and God would grant it. Solomon responded well to what the Lord said, and asked for wisdom.
God was pleased by Solomon’s words. God knew that Solomon could have asked for victory in battle, wealth or honor or long life, or even more wishes than just one. Solomon could have asked for gifts that would benefit him personally – like physical strength, good looks, charisma. Solomon asked for wisdom in order to govern his people well and to make good decisions between right and wrong.
If God were to ask you what gift you wanted, how would you answer? Would you choose wisdom, or honesty or faith or greater love for all people? Or something else? God hasn’t asked us in the same way that God asked Solomon to choose, but in a way, we make choices according to the things we seek. Do you seek power or prestige or recognition? Do you seek to please other people or God? May the choices we make honor God.
Dear God, we seek wisdom like Solomon, to make good choices that benefit not only ourselves, but also those around us. May we listen to your voice in the Holy Spirit, guiding us in right paths. This we pray in Christ’s name. Amen.