Lent Reflections on Bible Prayers 1 – Solomon

Lent Reflections on Bible Prayers 1 – Solomon

1 Kings 3:5-9

Here is Solomon, son of the great king David now himself king of God’s chosen people.  Under him the Temple was built in Jerusalem and nation of Israel reached the height of its power.  “King Solomon was greater in riches and wisdom than all the other kings of the earth. The whole world sought audience with Solomon.” (10:23)  Jesus used Solomon as an example of the best dressed man in history, and God said there never was nor will there ever be anyone like him. (3:12)  So not just a good king but a great king – right?

Here is Solomon – born out of an adulterous and murderous – at Gibeon (3:5) “for that was the most important high place” (v.4), making sacrifices to other gods.  Solomon had just married the Pharaoh’s daughter (v.1) in direct contravention of God’s command not to intermarry with other nations “because they will surely turn your hearts after their gods” (11:2).  He went on to take a total of 700 wives and 300 concubines, as a result of which the Kingdom of Israel was divided and would never again fully recover.  So not just a bad king but a disastrous king – right? 

Solomon recognises both that all he has is an undeserved gift from God, and that he is inadequate in the face of the responsibilities he has.  And that is the same for all of us, whether we have a lot or a little, whether our responsibilities seem great or small.  Solomon sees that his life – like ours – will be a myriad of day to day choices, few of them black and white.  In his prayer, Solomon shows us the desperate need to continually ask God for wisdom – and by his life he warns us of the dangers of failing to exercise the discernment God gives.

Suggestions for prayer and praise

  • Thank God for the role He has given you and all the resources He has provided you with.
  • Acknowledge your frailty and dependence on Him.
  • Pray that He will enable you to make good choices day by day, in the small things as well as the big.