If you could have one wish, anything in the world you wanted, what would it be?
God, the One with the power to fulfill it, posed the question to Solomon, son of David. Was it money? Fame? Power? Women? What did Solomon deem most important in life?
Given the opportunity to dream big, Solomon’s thoughts turned to the people he ruled. He knew his father had left him a mighty legacy, but the responsibility for leading God’s people now rested on his shoulders. What good is leadership without the knowledge and insight needed to rule well? He surmised. So He asked God for the gift of wisdom.
With resounding approval, God crowned the king with more wisdom than anyone else in the world. Everyone in Solomon’s kingdom—and even those abroad—marveled at his amazing insight. As a result, he soon also reaped great wealth, fame, power, and a finally peaceful kingdom as he sat on Israel’s throne. Seeking God’s glory as his father David had done, he sought to build a permanent home for God’s dwelling. David organized and prepared, but Solomon executed the construction of the grandest Temple in Israel’s history. Descending on it like He did in the Tabernacle, God confirmed His pleasure in the effort and with His people who invited Him to dwell with them once more.
So did Solomon’s story end happily-ever-after? Sadly, the real world effects of his blessings wreaked havoc in Solomon’s heart. Pride and indiscretion with women who worshipped other gods weakened his faith. Over time, he corrupted Israel’s worship of the One true God, catering to the pagan women, instead. In his great gifts, he forgot to give credit to the God who gave them. Pride grew, cracking the solid foundation of faith with which he’d started. Though God remained faithful throughout his reign, Solomon’s compromise broke wide the doors for Israel’s ensuing rebellion, idol worship, and wicked leadership that followed.
Solomon’s life begs the question. Is wisdom the one thing we need? God blessed his choice and it was a good gift—as long as God stayed the source and center of it. But beware! Blessings received without continual recognition and worship of the One who gave them gives way to self-centeredness, pride and destruction.
Let us delight not just in the gifts, but more in the One from whom all blessings flow.