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The Foundation for Discernment (1 Kings 3:5-12)

Introductory Thoughts

This passage from First Kings offers the reader keen insights into one of the most enlightening prayer requests found in the Bible. King Solomon’s prayer was in response to God’s offer in advance to supernaturally answer his requests. Solomon knew that he would be completely dependent upon God’s help to be the right type of king. His humility greatly pleased the Lord and God lovingly answered his request and more. Solomon’s prayer demonstrated his recognition concerning the importance of discernment as he asked for an understanding heart to discern matters of judgment. Without this understanding concerning proper discernment, Solomon would fall short as king. Where could the king find such help? Psalm 119:104 says that understanding comes through God’s precepts (His teachings found in scripture). Psalm 119:130 teaches that the entrance of God’s word into the heart provides understanding to even those who are “simple.” Proverbs 2:6 further reveals that knowledge and understanding come from God’s mouth.

Devotional Thoughts

  • (For children): As a child, God wants you to learn to choose good and also refuse evil. What is the book that teaches us the difference of right and wrong? Who on earth can help you learn this? On whom do they depend to teach them how to teach you?
  • (For everyone): Are you able to discern right and wrong? Do you have understanding? If not, what steps are you taking to help you make wiser choices in the future?
  • Are you spending quality time in the word of God? Are you spending quality time in prayer? If not, do not expect to have understanding. Do not expect to consistently discern the right things in your life.

Prayer Thoughts

  • Ask God to help you evaluate your walk with Him. Ask Him to help you realistically examine your Bible study and prayer life.
  • Pray that God will give you understanding in His word as you read. Ask Him to open your eyes to any evil within your own heart.