"Solomon answered,...Give your servant, therefore, an understanding heart to judge your people and to distinguish right from wrong. For who is able to govern this vast people of yours?” I Kgs 3:9
Solomon's desire to live the Torah as a wise servant of God's people always gets our attention. In conversation with God, Solomon could have asked for anything: power, wealth, property, good health and all the gifts usually associated with living the Torah faithfully. That he asked for wisdom makes us stop and think about our own priorities.
Talking with a friend recently, he insisted wisdom is o.k. but he agreed with Sophie Tucker's famous maxim, "I've been rich and I've been poor. Rich is better." Humorous, but scary. Many, if not most people who identify as Christians, subscribe to sayings like this even when Oxfam reports that the 85 richest people in the world have more wealth than the 3.5 billion poorest. More important for Americans, Oxfam also tells us that in the US, the wealthiest one percent captured 95 percent of post-financial crisis growth since 2009, while the bottom 90 percent became poorer.(The Guardian)
Imagine what these statistics would look like if Christians chose the wisdom of Solomon rather than wealth and power over others. Wise believers would seek a path to justice for all, a way to use the earth's resources to address the AIDS pandemic, a world that attacked poverty instead of people. Why not dream? Solomon did and changed how we view the world and our place in it.
Today, pray for the wisdom to be the Christian God needs you to be.
What gift would you ask of God?