A New Year’s Plea
We are told that when Solomon becomes king of Israel, God appears to him in a dream and says, “Ask what I should give you.” [See I Kings 3:3-14] Wow! An open invitation from God. For anything. That beats three wishes from a genie! It would probably take me the rest of my life to figure out what to ask for! What is just the right thing? Is there a trick to this? Can’t you imagine machinating over this endlessly? What would you ask for?
In the story, we are told that Solomon says, “Give your servant therefore an understanding mind to govern your people, able to discern between good and evil; for who can govern this your great people?” An understanding mind, able to discern between good and evil. What an answer! Wouldn’t this benefit anyone not just a king?
As the new year begins, we may be thinking about the proverbial resolutions or intentions for the year ahead. What are we thinking about as this new year begins? A new car? A diet? To be more organized? To get more exercise?
When Solomon asks for a discerning mind, the story includes a comment from God that Solomon has not asked for riches or long life or the heads of his enemies. Because he has asked wisely, his request will be granted. He will be given a wise and discerning mind.
The story about Solomon and his encounter with God may give us some guidance as we think about our desires for the new year. We can begin this new year with a prayer like Solomon’s making our plea: Give to your servant an understanding mind able to discern between good and evil.
Happy New Year!