1 Kings 3:5-12 (NRSV)
Verse 5At Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream by night; and God said, "Ask what I should give you." Verse 6And Solomon said, "You have shown great and steadfast love to your servant my father David, because he walked before you in faithfulness, in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart toward you; and you have kept for him this great and steadfast love, and have given him a son to sit on his throne today. Verse 7And now, O Lord my God, you have made your servant king in place of my father David, although I am only a little child; I do not know how to go out or come in. Verse 8And your servant is in the midst of the people whom you have chosen, a great people, so numerous they cannot be numbered or counted. Verse 9Give 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?" Verse 10It pleased the Lord that Solomon had asked this. Verse 11God said to him, "Because you have asked this, and have not asked for yourself long life or riches, or for the life of your enemies, but have asked for yourself understanding to discern what is right, Verse 12I now do according to your word. Indeed I give you a wise and discerning mind; no one like you has been before you and no one like you shall arise after you.
My spouse co-teaches a classroom of twenty 3- to 5-year-olds. As one can imagine, there is rarely a quiet moment. As a volunteer reader in the class, I have heard the teachers lower the noise level by chanting, “OKA-AY,” to which the class responds, “OKAY BA-ACK.” It may take more than once but eventually there is quiet and they are ready to listen for instructions on what is to happen next.
Solomon was preparing to lead God’s beloved people. Since by his own admission he was “only a little child,” I suspect many voices were more than eager to give him advice and direction. Yet in the midst of all those competing voices God speaks to Solomon: “OKA-AY, Solomon, ask what I should give you.” Solomon responds, “OKAY BA-ACK,” and then wisely asks for “a God-listening heart” (v. 9, The Message). In doing so, Solomon would come to know the path forward in leading God’s beloved people.
When and where has God’s Spirit given you “a God-listening heart” for stepping forward into this day?
Spirit of God, calm the voices attracting our attention and open our God-listening hearts to discern the way forward this day. Amen.