A PETITION OF POWER
1 Kings 3:9 Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad: for who is able to judge this thy so great a people?
King Solomon is quoted in the verse above. Recognizing the monumental task before him as ruler of God’s people, he knew precisely what to request from God. The verse bares the king’s heart. First, Solomon identifies himself as God’s servant. He then asked for an understanding heart in order to judge God’s people. With a pure heart he desired to hear and obey God from the inner man. Solomon’s mind and will were surrendered to the Majesty on High. The great king not only wanted to govern in a manner that pleased God, but he also understood that God’s judgment is righteous and required His wisdom and power to execute.
Endued with an understanding heart, Solomon could discern between good and bad. Concerning Christ Jesus, a greater than Solomon, Isaiah 7:15 states, "Butter and honey shall he eat, that he may know to refuse the evil, and choose the good." In Jesus Christ’s Revelation it reads, "And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him [was] called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war._ Revelation 19:11." Solomon was destined to mirror the King of kings in the earth.
Solomon asked for a heart that could hear and obey God. God’s answer: "Behold, I have done according to thy words: lo, I have given thee a wise and an understanding heart; so that there was none like thee before thee, neither after thee shall any arise like unto thee.- 1 Kings 3:12." In addition to wisdom, God gave Solomon a discerning and understanding heart that set him apart with distinction that was unmatched or exceeded until the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. Our petitions should seek the benefit of the kingdom at large versus our carnal appetites.