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Today's Devotion

» Devotion - August 20, 2014

At Gibeon the LORD appeared to Solomon during the night in a dream, and God said, “Ask for whatever you want me to give you.” Solomon answered, … “Give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong…” The Lord was pleased that Solomon had asked for this. So God said to him, “Since you have asked for this and not for long life or wealth for yourself, nor have asked for the death of your enemies but for discernment in administering justice, I will do what you have asked. I will give you a wise and discerning heart, so that there will never have been anyone like you, nor will there ever be.

1 Kings 3:5-6, 9-12

We’ve seen it depicted in so many different ways. A man finds a lamp or a bottle. He rubs the bottle and out pops a genie. “I’ll grant you one wish, whatever you want.” How many times haven’t we thought, “I’d wish for more wishes!”

King Solomon was presented with a similar situation, only it wasn’t a genie in a bottle offering to grant a wish, it was God himself. Imagine being in Solomon’s place! “Whatever you want…” God said. How would you have answered?

We’d all like to think we would have answered honorably. Truthfully, though, we likely would have answered the way that God describes in verse 11. Our sinful nature would have asked for unlimited wealth or a long life or that someone who has hurt us gets hurt just as badly. Yet, all of those things are selfish. They only seek to serve us and not serve God.

Solomon realized the great responsibility placed before him as the king God chose for his people. So he asked God for the wisdom to choose between right and wrong. Solomon knew that he would choose poorly if left to himself. So he asked for God’s blessing to choose wisely. And God was pleased.

Each and every day we face a battle. We battle between choosing what God wants and what our sinful nature wants. If left to ourselves, our sinful nature would always win. But we are not left to ourselves. Because of Jesus’ saving work, we have been given the Holy Spirit. He works in us through his Word to help us choose what God wants, to discern between right and wrong. He strengthens us by the power of the gospel so that we can show our thankfulness to God for all that he’s done for us. And there’s nothing better we could ask for!


Gracious Savior, thank you for giving us your Spirit that we might distinguish between right and wrong and in so doing, serve you in thankfulness. Amen.

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