Have you ever considered the pressure the leader of a nation is under? It has to be immense! Every decision they make impacts millions of lives, affects the economy, environment, and national defense. King Solomon knew what this pressure was like. He felt the weight of it when he became the king of Israel! This pressure caused him to turn to God because he knew he wasn’t capable of effectively leading Israel in his own ability.
When Solomon became king, God appeared to him in a dream and asked Solomon what he could give him. Solomon had a very interesting response:
1 Kings 3:9 Therefore give to Your servant an understanding heart to judge Your people, that I may discern between good and evil.
The word understanding in this verse is the Hebrew word shâma, which means to hear. Solomon asked God for a hearing heart so he could lead the people and make good decisions. We know that Solomon was the wisest king that ever lived. This wisdom came from his ability to hear God clearly and on a regular basis.
I bring this up because we often reduce wisdom to a series of principles about how to do life instead of realizing that true wisdom comes from the source of life, Jesus. We have to look to Him daily and not just a set of principles that have worked for us in the past or a teaching series some famous minister made. We have to hear His voice – Present Tense – in every decision we make. I’m not against good principles, but when we look to principles instead of the principle giver for wisdom, we will always come up lacking. This is illustrated in Deuteronomy 4.
12 And the Lord spoke to you out of the midst of the fire. You heard the sound of the words, but saw no form; you only heard a voice. 13 So He declared to you His covenant which He commanded you to perform, the Ten Commandments; and He wrote them on two tablets of stone. 14 And the Lord commanded me at that time to teach you statutes and judgments, that you might observe them in the land which you cross over to possess. 15 “Take careful heed to yourselves, for you saw no form when the Lord spoke to you at Horeb out of the midst of the fire, 16 lest you act corruptly and make for yourselves a carved image in the form of any figure.
Verse 12 says the people heard a voice, but didn’t see a form. We get our word formula from the word form. A formula is a set pattern or routine for doing something. Keep that in mind as we look at why verse 16 says God didn’t show His form to the children of Israel. He said he didn’t show His form because they would make a carved image or idol out of it.
Think about this for a minute. God didn’t show Israel His form because they would have copied it and made an idol out of it. I believe many Christians unintentionally do that with God today. For example, we see a way God has moved for us previously and we use our natural reasoning and expect He will move the same way again to bring a breakthrough. We effectively put Him into a box. Subconsciously we reduce God to a set of principles instead of a living, breathing person who wants us to seek His face above all else. As one minister says, “When we pursue kingdom principles above His presence, we are looking for the kingdom without a king.”
When we study the ministry of Jesus, we find that He always brought the breakthrough, but He did it in a variety of ways. For example, one time He would heal by speaking the word, another time He would spit in mud and make clay, and yet another time the anointing would pass through cloth. Jesus couldn’t be reduced to a formula. Why? He only did what He saw His father doing. He ministered out of a present tense relationship and not a formula He learned in a ministry textbook. You can learn more here.
Going back to Solomon, I believe the reason he had so much wisdom was because of His ability to hear God’s voice. A great example of this is in 1 Kings 3:16-28 when two women came to Solomon and claimed to be the be the mother of the same child. There wasn’t a formula Solomon could look to in order to determine who the mother was. Solomon had to look to God.
Because Solomon requested a hearing heart, he heard God’s divine strategy to reveal the true mother. Solomon told the women to cut the child in half. The woman who wasn’t really the mother approved of this idea while the true mother begged Solomon to spare the child’s life and offered the child to the other woman. The response of the two women made it possible for Solomon to discern the real mother.
To bring the story of Solomon in modern day terms, I believe we need to pray for President Trump to have a hearing heart right now. He needs the wisdom of God to lead our country though this Covid-19 crisis. He said last week the decision he has to make in the next few days about whether to reopen the economy or to keep the country quarantined is probably the biggest decision of his life. He needs God’s voice. Agree with me that President Trump seeks God’s face, hears His voice clearly, and then has the boldness to act on what he hears.
If you would like to learn more about how to hear the voice of God, check out this series I did in 2018 called “Hearing God.” You will learn how God’s speaks, characteristics of His voice, and His language. Ashley and I love you and are praying for you.