I was reading through the story of King Solomon when he first became king. You can find the story in 1 Kings chapter 3. Maybe some of you are familiar with the story. So the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream and He asked, "What can I do for you, Solomon?" And we know that Solomon had asked not for wealth, fame, nor long life, but for 'wisdom.' Well, that's what I thought all this time: that he asked for ‘wisdom.’ But this is what Solomon really asks for. "Therefore give to Your servant an understanding heart to judge Your people that I may discern between good and evil. For who is able to judge this great people of Yours?" 1 Kings 3:9.
Yes, you can read this text as asking for wisdom, but this phrase caught my eyes: ‘discernment between good and evil.’ It appeared to me that Solomon had hit the core of the central message of the Bible, the great controversy between good and evil. We need to learn to discern what good is, and what evil is. We need to understand what being godly and ungodly is. Above all, we need to know God, our Father and Creator, closely. I know that King Solomon was asking for wisdom to be a good ruler of a kingdom. But I believe that deep inside, the king also wanted to know God better and get to know Him more.
I believe we need this today in our lives as well: the discernment between good and evil. As Christians, we need to seek what is godly and practice to live that way, and learn to cut ourselves off from the ungodly ways of life.
Then God answers Solomon that he will receive what he asked for. But God does not stop there, but says: "And I have also given you what you have not asked: both riches and honor, so that there shall not be anyone like you among the kings all your days. So if you walk in My ways, to keep My statutes and My commandments, as your father David walked, then I will lengthen your days." 1 Kings 3:13,14.
It is interesting to see what God told Solomon. He told Solomon to keep God's commandments. It's very simple. The Bible says that God is love. And it also tells us that the love of God is embedded in His commandments. In other words, the commandments of God reveal the character of God, which is love. And as we keep the commandments of God, He will give us the wisdom for us to be prosperous, but also the wisdom to discern between good and evil, AND for us to get to know God better and get closer to Him!