For millennia, people have prayed for the “wisdom of Solomon.” Often people remember King Solomon as the “one who messed up”, and so it may seem a bit strange to pray for the wisdom of Solomon. If you are one of the people saying “Why are we praying for HIS wisdom!?” then I encourage you to read the 1 Kings passage today.
It turns out, Solomon started out with his heart in the right place. The passage today is probably one of the most famous of Solomon passages. He prays for wisdom. And it is beautifully crafted, humble, and God-centered.
“And now, O LORD my God, you have made your servant king in place of my father David, although I am only a little child; I do not know how to go out or come in. And your servant is in the midst of the people whom you have chosen, a great people, so numerous they cannot be numbered or counted. Give your servant therefore an understanding mind to govern your people, able to discern between good and evil; for who can govern this your great people?”
Oh, if our leaders in government had this kind of humility. Instead they often showboat and prance around as if they are the only ones who matter. Others like to make it seem that folks on their side of the political fence can do no wrong, but the ones on the other side can do no right. Can you believe there are still people blaming Obama for not responding to Katrina? He wasn’t even President in 2005. George W. Bush was.
Sometimes we can’t even get to talking about wisdom yet; we need a little more common sense! Heck, we are struggling just with facts. When 99% of scientists agree that climate change is real and yet only 96% of scientists can agree that tobacco causes cancer, and yet we have swaths of the electorate that deny climate change, you know we have a problem. It is a sad commentary on our education system, and people’s propensity to believe propaganda “news”. We actually revel in our stupidity sometimes. It baffles the mind.
Now, I am a Presbyterian minister, and that means I know that humanity is, by nature, is a big ol’ MESS! Sin stains us all.
The questions come: Where is our humility?
Where are we as a country praying for the wisdom of Solomon?
Lack of humility is one of the problems in the gospel of Mark today, as well. The scribes and chief priests are looking for a way to arrest Jesus by stealth and kill him. They think they have all the answers. They think they know the truth. And they are going to squelch anyone who thinks otherwise. They know killing is wrong, so they are doing this by stealth.
I wonder how our businesses and churches would change if every meeting we began with a prayer that put us in our place: “Lord, we know that we are broken people. We don’t have all the answers. We are here to come up with some solutions and move into the future, but we acknowledge our inabilities. We need your help. Grant us the wisdom of Solomon and the forbearance of Christ as we endeavor for your will in this situation. Amen.”