As Solomon takes over reigning in place of his father, David, it’s understandable that he feels inadequate and overwhelmed. David has been honored by God and revered by God’s people as a wonderful king. David has also reigned for a long time, so Israel is used to having David as a leader and might resist this change of leadership. However, in this passage, Solomon shows great potential because of his self-awareness. As he confesses to God in his dream in 1 Kings 3:7, Solomon knows that he is young and inexperienced. For all these reasons, Solomon marks the beginning of his reign by going to Gibeon to make a sacrifice to God. There, he asks God for wisdom.
Is there a place in your life where you feel unworthy or ill-equipped? Maybe you’re facing a challenge at work, feeling overwhelmed as a parent, or transitioning into a new phase of life. We face new challenges all the time, and they can be especially hard when we have big shoes to fill, as Solomon did. However, from this story we know that God is present in these times of transition and insecurity. God reveals wisdom to us through prayer, scripture, and others around us.
The last piece of God’s promise to Solomon, though, depends on Solomon’s continued faithfulness. God rewards the faithfulness that Solomon has already displayed with the first part of the promise—wisdom, fame, and wealth. God ensures Solomon will continue to be faithful with the second part of the promise—a long life. If Solomon continues to be faithful, God will allow him ample time to produce heirs and form a legacy.
How can you continue to display faithfulness to God, even when you’re facing a challenge?
Promise-maker, you honor our faithfulness. You provide when we are overwhelmed. You meet us in our sacrifice. Guide our dreams, supplement our weakness, fulfill our longings, so that we may be righteous leaders for your people, bringing the completeness of your kingdom to earth. Amen.
If you could ask God for one thing, what would it be? God offered this chance to Solomon, and the king asked for wisdom to rule God’s people well. God honored this request by giving Solomon many other gifts too, as long as the king followed God’s ways. (Later on, unfortunately, Solomon lost his way.) The psalmist tells us that wisdom begins with understanding who we are and who God is. Ephesians addresses practical implications of wise living: follow the will of the Lord, be filled with the Spirit, encourage one another, and be grateful to God. The Gospel passage continues Jesus’ metaphorical description of himself as the Bread of Heaven. Here Jesus anticipates the sacrament of Communion, in which we partake of his body and blood by faith.
Read 1 Kings 2:10-12; 3:3-14. Do you hesitate to ask God to show you your call? Why?
Read Psalm 111. Where have you seen God’s faithful and just actions in your life? In the world?
Read Ephesians 5:15-20. How do you live wisely and make the most of the time?
Read John 6:51-58. What is the significance of Holy Communion in your life of faith? How has your understanding of this sacrament changed over time?
Respond by posting a prayer.
This season, Whitney R. Simpson has given us the gift we must open: a clear, accessible invitation to connect with the divine spark that is within us. This is the best present: being present for Jesus’ birth, God made human.”
Learn more about our newest Advent resource, Fully Human, Fully Divine here.