If Money is Everything, Why Did Solomon Ask for Wisdom?

God offered Solomon anything he wanted. So why did Solomon ask God for wisdom and yet in Ecclesiastes 10:19 he said, “…money is the answer to everything”?
Where in the bible do we ever see God’s people praying for money, or worldly riches? Well, we might say they didn’t have bills in biblical times. I have to argue that they had financial responsibilities because they had economies. They were using gold and silver to buy fields. They brought treasures into the house of God. Slaves were bought and sold. There was currency, as well as trade by barter, and a need for it. So what has changed? God is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

God’s provision has never been in question.

  • Manna fell from heaven for the Israelites in the wilderness (Exodus 16 NIV).
  • 5 loaves of bread and 2 fishes were used to feed over 5,000 people who had come to hear Jesus (Matthew 14:13-21 NIV).
  • Elijah and the widow at Zarephath had enough to eat in the drought until the rains came (1 Kings 17:14 NIV).
  • Psalms 23 begins, the Lord is my shepherd, I shall not lack anything.
  • The apostle Paul reassures us that God shall supply all our needs (Philippians 4:1-9 NIV).

Then where does money come in? What is going on with us?

If we don’t read and understand the manual (Bible), how can we make use of the machine. Back to our scripture, Solomon didn’t ask for riches, he asked for wisdom. 2 Chronicles 1:7-12 NIV says, That night God appeared to Solomon and said to him, “Ask for whatever you want me to give you.” Solomon answered God, “You have shown great kindness to David my father and have made me king in his place. Now, Lord God, let your promise to my father David be confirmed, for you have made me king over a people who are as numerous as the dust of the earth. Give me wisdom and knowledge, that I may lead this people, for who is able to govern this great people of yours?”

God said to Solomon, “Since this is your heart’s desire and you have not asked for wealth, possessions or honor, nor for the death of your enemies, and since you have not asked for a long life but for wisdom and knowledge to govern my people over whom I have made you king, therefore wisdom and knowledge will be given to you. And I will also give you wealth, possessions and honor, such as no king who was before you ever had and none after you will have.”

Solomon’s strongest desire was to do God’s work right.

He wanted to govern God’s people in a way that would be pleasing to God. That’s all. The book of Proverbs urges us to stop being simple and receive wisdom. But what is wisdom? Job 28:28 NIV says, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom. Reverence for God is wisdom. What would our lives look like if we had reverence for God?

There are so many verses that describe the choice that Solomon made. Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be given to you as well (Matthew 6:33 NIV). Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart (Psalms 37:4 NIV). When we truly honor God with all of our lives, he grants us the desires of our hearts. The hard question to continually ask oneself is, am I truly honoring God?

The beauty and majesty of God is He is always waiting on us to turn away from living according to the world and in faith obey Him. Like the prodigal son, our return is celebrated in the kingdom. What a merciful God!

So what will you ask of God today?

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Top Story: Wisdom or Gold? What Was King Solomon’s Wealth?

Solomon was the son of David the King. After David’s death, he became the ruler of Israel. When the Lord asked young Solomon what he would like to have above everything else in the world, the king chose wisdom.

The Lord appreciated this wish a lot. The man did not want gold or fame, he did not ask God to kill his enemies or make him live forever. He made the right choice because this smartness allowed him to gain everything he had in his life.

He was a peaceful lord and within his rule (that lasted for about 40 years) there were no big wars. He inherited a big and strong state and did everything to support and reinforce it. At the very beginning of his reign, he married a daughter of an Egyptian pharaoh in order to protect the southern border of his kingdom. Later, he took other wives from other nations in order to be a good neighbor to all the surrounding states.

King Solomon possessed a perfect sense of diplomacy. He was a great builder and trader. He turned the agricultural land into a strong, economically powerful state that had a lot of influence in its part of the world. He raised Jerusalem and other cities within his state, erected the first temple in Jerusalem, introduced horsemen and chariots as a part of Israel’s army, created a trading fleet, developed crafts and supported trading with other countries.

During the reign of Solomon the King, Jerusalem valued gold and silver as cheap as plain cobblestones. Ambassadors from different foreign countries arrived at Jerusalem to offer the king rich gifts and make peace with Israel.

However, in spite of the streams of riches that ran towards Israel, wisdom was the chief of king Solomon wealth and without it, he would have never gained such glory and prosperity.