Give to Your Servant an Understanding Heart
If you were given the opportunity to ask for any one thing and knew you would receive it, what would it be? Would you ask for riches, fame, or power? How about excellent health or long life? Would you ask for great physical strength or perhaps vast knowledge?

In the third chapter of I Kings, we read of an individual who had such an opportunity: Solomon.

Solomon was the king over all of Israel, "and Solomon loved the Lord, walking in the statutes of his father David, except that he sacrificed and burned incense at the high places" (I Kings 3:3). When Solomon went to Gibeon, the greatest of the high places, to sacrifice there, the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream and said, "Ask! What shall I give you?" (I Kings 3:5).

Pay attention to Solomon's response in verses 6 through 9: "You have shown great mercy to Your servant David my father, because he walked before You in truth, in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart with You; You have continued this great kindness for him, and You have given him a son to sit on his throne, as it is this day. Now, O Lord my God, You have made Your servant king instead of my father David, but I am a little child; I do not know how to go out or come in. And Your servant is in the midst of Your people whom You have chosen, a great people, too numerous to be numbered or counted. Therefore give to Your servant an understanding heart to judge Your people, that I may discern between good and evil. For who is able to judge this great people of Yours?"

It's probably safe to say that Solomon did better with that question than most in his day (or even ours) would. Where some would have undoubtedly asked for tremendous riches, power, or fame, Solomon asked for "an understanding heart." Where some would have been motivated by selfish ambitions, Solomon's request was motivated by a desire to "discern between good and evil" ; Solomon wanted to do right by the people of Israel and by God. What did the Lord think of Solomon's request? In verse 10 of that chapter, we read, "the speech pleased the Lord, that Solomon had asked this thing." In fact, Solomon's request pleased God so much that He blessed Solomon with riches and honor as well as understanding and wisdom (I Kings 3:13).

Friends, like Solomon, we would do well to desire "an understanding heart" so that we may "discern between good and evil". We can receive an understanding heart by studying, meditating upon, and applying God's word to our life. Take note of the following passages:

Yes friends, we too can have an understanding heart, knowing that desiring and pursuing such is pleasing to God. Through God's word we can receive understanding that will allow us to discern between good and evil. Through God's word we can receive wisdom for salvation (II Tim. 3:15). Therefore, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths. Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the Lord and depart from evil" (Prov. 3:5-7).