I was about 8 years old when I first read Aladdin and the magic lamp. Since then, at different stages of my life I have attempted to answer this magical question –
If you would be granted one wish, what would that wish be?
I’m sure many of you have attempted to do this too and have come out with some really innovative ideas, including asking for a ‘million wishes’. With our ever-changing desires, you probably would ask for wealth, fame, travel, or even be the best athlete /singer/dancer, etc.
One man was asked the same question by God, and he found himself receiving more than what he asked for – Solomon, better known as King Solomon. He is known as the wisest man who ever lived on earth. Kings and queens from far-off nations would visit him to hear his words of wisdom. Yet, the more significant message is the reason behind this great wisdom of Solomon.
Humility is one of the key qualities a true Christian ought to have, it is also one of the most difficult to consistently live out in life.
“Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up” – James 4:10
“Humble” in this verse comes from the Greek word ‘tapeinoó’ which means to make low or dismissing reliance upon self (self-government) and emptying carnal ego. In essence, this means to exalt the Lord as our all-in-all and prompts the gift of His fullness in us.
“Ask! What shall I give you?” – 1 Kings 3:5
This was God, the Almighty, presenting Solomon with an incredible offer. I can’t imagine what went through his mind then, but of all the things he could have asked, he asked for wisdom.
In 1 Kings 3:6-9 there is a deep sense of humility in every word Solomon speaks. Here are some vital principles that Solomon followed that we should adopt:
To humble is to acknowledge God as the reason for who we are and what we are.
“ And Solomon said: “You have shown great mercy to Your servant David my father, because he walked before You in truth, in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart with You; You have continued this great kindness for him, and You have given him a son to sit on his throne, as it is this day.” – 1 Kings 3:6
Solomon knew his father David quite well. He had observed his lifestyle and his daily walk with God. Moreover, he understood that the reason behind this blessing was David’s blameless walk before God. He recalls God’s kindness to David in the past and gives complete credit to God for his position as king.
To humble is to acknowledge ourselves to be nothing before God.
“Now, O Lord my God, You have made Your servant king instead of my father David, but I am a little child; I do not know how to go out or come in.”- 1 Kings 3:7
Bible scholars say that Solomon was between 20-25 years of age when he ascended the throne. Without even a speck of pride in his words, he confesses his lack of wisdom and experience to do business as a king. He lays bare his weakness before God. Such honest confessions come only when one trusts the other completely.
To humble is to acknowledge that our resources and blessings belong to God
“And here I am in the midst of your own chosen people, a nation so great and numerous they cannot be counted! Give me an understanding heart so that I can govern your people well and know the difference between right and wrong. For who by himself is able to govern this great people of yours?”- 1 Kings 3:8,9 NLT
Without a hint of expressing superiority over his people, he surrendered the kingdom and the people back into the hands of God. He confesses that the people of his kingdom belong to God. When the moment came for him to ask, he sought a discerning heart. He asked for wisdom – to lead God’s people, to discern right from wrong, and to judge God’s people.
To humble is to have a (selfless) heart to serve others with what we’ve been given
Solomon asked for wisdom to serve the kingdom, God’s own people and not for himself. He dismissed any essence of self-reliance and putting God ahead of himself.
God honors such selfless prayers. This is an example of prayers coupled with humility.
More often, we find ourselves praying for ourselves more than others. We ask for wisdom to excel in school or at work, with the intention of being successful. This, in turn, brings glory or fame to us. We live in a time where ‘Me’ ‘Myself’ and ‘I’ are amplified, more than others. This young man shows us that an attitude of service is a much-needed trait.
In response to Solomon’s request, God not only granted him wisdom but wealth and honor as well.
Humility positions you to receive God’s gifts freely and abundantly
What are you praying for today? Seek God’s intervention and wisdom, pray for a discerning heart so you will fulfill God’s desires in your life. When God is exalted above all, He picks you from your humble state and exalts you along with Him.
May you grow in prayer to express total submission, honest confessions and act on the principles of God with all your heart and He will lift you up in due time.
Now to Him who is able to [carry out His purpose and] do superabundantly more than all that we dare ask or think [infinitely beyond our greatest prayers, hopes, or dreams], according to His power that is at work within us – Ephesians 3:20 AMP