That night the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream, and God said, “What do you want? Ask, and I will give it to you!” Solomon replied, “…O Lord my God, you have made me king instead of my father David, but I am like a little child who doesn’t know his way around. 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?”
Solomon made a great request of God. Being wise is a good thing. We’re called to be wise stewards of the grace God has given us. I’ve heard the sermons about how we’re supposed to be “childlike”, but must avoid becoming “childish”—that we can’t be lazy, whiney, and foolish. And amen, I agree. I know we have to work hard. I know we have to serve faithfully. I know we have to make good plans. I know we have to learn effective methods. I know and I know we have to be smart, stable, realistic, decisive, progressive, efficient, organized, healthy, and mature. I know, I know. And I say amen. I know.
But… It’s interesting though, because I don’t know if David, were he in Solomon’s place, would have made the same request. Solomon wanted to be a good king and to rule well, to make sure he did everything right. But David, he was so unconcerned with how well he performed kingly duties. He didn’t need success, approval, or recognition. There was always only just one thing on his heart:
“Whom have I in heaven but You?
And earth has nothing I desire besides You.”
It was simple. Pure. God never asked David what he wanted, because maybe He didn’t need to. Perhaps for David, just to be in love was enough. Yes, Solomon might’ve been wise to avoid being childish, but David was truly childlike. He was in love. And that’s what made him, in his Father’s eyes, a king like no other.