May 2 | Daily Devotion

Lectio Continua: a continuous reading of every verse

Lectio Semi-continua: shorter reading selections from the passages

Lectio Divina

“So give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong. For who is able to govern this great people of yours?”
~1 Kings 3:9

King Solomon comes to the throne of Israel in strength but also in humility. He is around twenty-years-old when he becomes king, and he certainly has the moxie to take care of rival claimants. However, Solomon recognizes that his greatest need is for wisdom to govern the people. Already, he has demonstrated a flair for international diplomacy, taking in marriage the daughter of the king of Egypt. (Most of Solomon’s marriages were political alliances.) The instincts were there, probably derived from his father, but he needed divine wisdom in order to lead the people well.

When God appears to Solomon and says, “Ask for anything you want,” the young king chooses wisdom as a gift! What a wise choice! Of course, it takes a wise person, and a humble one, to know how much he needs wisdom. Most people would ask to be rich, or famous, or to live to be one hundred. But Solomon asks for none of these things, and God honors his discerning choice by throwing in riches, fame, and a long life. Perhaps one of the reasons God blesses Solomon so greatly is because the king requested wisdom not for himself, but so that he could serve his people well and pass his blessings on to them. Indeed, under his rule, the people “ate, they drank and they were happy” (1 Kings 4:20). The era of Solomon’s reign was characterized by expansion, prosperity, and peace.

While salvation is our greatest need, wisdom ranks a very close second. Solomon said, in one of his 3, 000 proverbs (some of which are recorded in the book of Proverbs), “wisdom is supreme” (Prov. 4:7). It is the most important thing in this world you can acquire! It is better than riches, or honor, or long life. A person with a “wise and discerning heart” (2 Kings 3:12) knows how to use and manage any other blessings God grants, like the wealth, power, and longevity so many people would choose first. How many times have you seen someone hit the jackpot (literally or figuratively) only to destroy their lives because they didn’t now how to handle the blessing?! Success has destroyed many a life, but if you get wisdom, then you get all-around blessing!

So make the acquisition of wisdom a priority. Pray for God to give you wisdom (Jas. 1:5). Read the Scriptures. Spend time with wise people. Seek out wise counsel. Listen to a godly mentor. Learn from those who have lived before you. What I am saying is this: Get wisdom and get blessed! And when you get wisdom and the blessing that comes with it, use God’s blessings to bless others.


Lectio Divina is written by F. Lionel Young III, who serves as the senior pastor of Calvary Church in Valparaiso, Indiana. He is the author of A New Kind of Missionary, a popular introduction to global Christianity.