“That night the LORD appeared to him in a dream and asked him, ‘What would you like me to give you?'” 1 Kings 3:5
It is a time for new beginnings, and young Solomon, beginning his reign as King in the shadows of his warrior-king father David, asks for a gift to guide him in his fresh start – the gift of shama labe (Hebrew). Shama labe can be translated as a ‘discerning wisdom’ or an ‘understanding heart.’ Solomon does not ask for the usual tools used by rulers to stay in power. Instead he asks for wisdom.
Here is an example for all of us who dream of new beginnings: are we going to just do what was done before us – or will we have the courage to pray for wisdom to find a new way? It is always easier to fall back into the ways we have always known, but the story of Solomon opens us up to the possibilities of new ways of doing things.
Many thanks to Rev. Dr. Peter Grassow and the Brookings United Methodist Church for sharing these further reflections with us.