“Give me an understanding heart …” (1 Kings 3:8)
Because Solomon asked for the gift of wisdom to serve God and his people, God granted him wisdom and understanding. These gifts are among those listed in Is 11:2 and known as “The Gifts of the Holy Spirit.” With whatever gifts we are entrusted by God…discernment, intelligence, personal talents, wealth, position…they are not given to us as personal possessions. We receive them not as owners but as stewards.
It is extremely tempting, however, to lose the perspective of being stewards and begin to consider our gifts as personal possessions. This can be a recipe for disaster as one’s gifts can become twisted into instruments for self-aggrandizement to the detriment of those who should be the beneficiaries of our gifts. Take Solomon, for example. Enamored of his wisdom, he turned a deaf ear to God’s guidance through the prophet Nathan (1 Kings 11). Solomon believed he was wise enough to form a better plan than what the prophet offered. He was not to marry outside of his own Jewish faith, but Solomon thought it wise to form alliances with other countries… alliances cemented by marriage. In the process, Solomon married many a non-Jewish woman and then further offended God by building temples to their gods in the hills surrounding Jerusalem. At the end of his life, Solomon was rejected both by God and the people he ruled.
Thank God for the gifts you have received. Remember they are entrusted to you as a steward, not as the owner, and you will share in greater blessings.