“What have I gotten myself into? “Have you ever asked yourself this question? It is one of those moments in life when you know you are into something, and it is way over your head. You feel like you have lost control and you are considering a long run into the hills. I took on a project once that sent me into this particular state of frenzy. I remember the sluggish sinking feeling that seemed to consume all my energy and to be honest I can’t remember how I made it through. I know I did because there was a finished product to show for my efforts.
I believe Solomon had a similar experience. Listen to his confession before the Lord, “I am only a little child and do not know how to carry out my duties. Your servant is here among the people you have chosen, a great people, too numerous to count or number.” (1Kings 3:7-8) It is said that Solomon was around the age of twenty when he became king and had already established a certain stature of wisdom according to his father (2:6,9). We might consider the words “a little child” an expression of inexperience, trepidation or even humility. As a young man Solomon had the privilege of growing up with the example of His father David as king, he was married to Pharaoh’s daughter, he had a son but he knew that this next stage would take him in over his head.
I have to wonder what Solomon’s dream would have been like when the Lord appeared to him for the first time? There was a question, a conversation, an exchange of epic proportions and then, he woke up realizing it had been a dream. The narrative that continues through the next number of chapters in 1 Kings proves that the Solomon’s dream was in fact a new reality for him. He lived on to make decisions that made an impact throughout history, decisions that allow us to gain wisdom into our own leadership. Solomon’s request, his heart’s desire for wisdom to discern between right and wrong and lead the nation in obedience to God’s will should inspire us all. Eventually this story of wisdom and inspiration take us to a place where the forces of darkness take a hold of Solomon’s life, an unfortunate scene we see all too often in today’s world. These lessons both positive and hard are recorded for us so that we might learn and live a life pleasing to our God, so that we might lead with integrity and love.