Solomon was appointed king at a very early age. Most commentators agree that he was around 20 years of age, give or take a year or two. He realized that he was very young to have such responsibility, and when offered the chance to have anything he wanted by God, he chose wisdom so that he might be able to fulfill his duties well. When he could have had all the wealth or earthly things he wanted, he simply asked for the skill necessary to lead the great nation of Israel. God was pleased with his request and answered him in 2 Chronicles 1:11-13. It says, “God answered Solomon, ‘Because this was in your heart, and you have not asked for possessions, wealth, honor, or the life of those who hate you and have not even asked for long life, but have asked for wisdom and knowledge for yourself that you may govern my people over whom I have made you king, wisdom, and knowledge are granted to you. I will also give you riches, possessions, and honor, such as none of the kings had who were before you, and none after you shall have the like.’ So, Solomon came from the high place at Gibeon, from before the tent of meeting, to Jerusalem. And he reigned over Israel.”

 Solomon became famous for wise sayings. One of the most important of those sayings is found in the first chapter of Proverbs, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” It wasn’t so much that Solomon wanted wisdom over wealth that God approved of his request. It was because, as the text says, what was in his heart. A humble and contrite heart is what God approves of. Jesus said that it is this attitude of heart that will inherit the earth (Matthew 5:5). One website records the ten most important things in life.[1] They are, in order: 1) Health, 2) Self-development, 3) Connections, and relationships, 4) Goals and dreams, 5) A joyous and happy life, 6) Contribution and service, 7) Financial security, 8) Quality of life, 9) Spiritual enlightenment, and 10) Gratitude. The thing that bothers me about this list is that it is all about “Me.” One commentator observed, “While our culture sometimes admires and advances people who are full of themselves, God operates a very different type of economy. God requires his appointed leaders to empty themselves of pride and privilege. God seeks a humble and contrite heart and hates a prideful heart. God calls us to empty ourselves of ourselves. “[2]

Solomon knew that he couldn’t do what he was called to do on his own. He needed God’s help. He humbled himself before God, and it was this that won the approval of God. “Because of the humility of the young king and the fact he placed his own people above himself, God promised him not only wisdom and knowledge but all the things he could have chosen but foreswore.”[3] Jesus taught his disciples the same principle when they were stressed out over the details of their lives. They were concerned with where they would live, what they would eat, where they would get clothes to wear, and other earthly issues of daily living. Jesus said to them in Matthew 6:33, “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” Yep, God promises that it is the “meek” who will inherit the earth.

[1] 10 Most Important Things in Life (

[2] Selvaggio, Anthony T. 2014. From Bondage to Liberty: The Gospel according to Moses. Edited by Iain M. Duguid. The Gospel according to the Old Testament. Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R Publishing.

[3] Merrill, Eugene H. 2015. A Commentary on 1 & 2 Chronicles: Commentary. Kregel Exegetical Library. Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Academic.