Sunday, February 5, 2012

Running a Nation

Running a Nation
Feb 6, 2012
1 Kings 3:9 "So give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong. For who is able to govern this great people of yours?"

When King Solomon took over his father's throne, he was inexperienced. King David had left his son a great kingdom to rule, to manage, and to govern. I imagine it was an ominous task, frightening at times, considering the large responsibility Solomon had in filling his dad's shoes. Growing up a king's son, Solomon had a comfortable life, probably not lacking in an easy lifestyle. Surely there were those who might have even called him a spoiled brat at times growing up. But now, thrust into the seat of the throne, Solomon had to man up and run an entire nation. Solomon even recognized his own lacking, confessing to the Lord in a dream that his inexperience might hinder his success as a king. He recognized the task was important and was honest with himself that it would take a great man to rule such a large nation.

Solomon prayed to the Lord, asking for wisdom and discernment in ruling the nation entrusted to his care. The Lord, when Solomon requested wisdom, was impressed with the request. Others might have asked the Lord for riches and power, but not Solomon. Solomon's prayer tells us a great deal about himself, also shining a light into being an effective leader. Solomon requested wisdom. But why? Why did Solomon ask for wisdom in ruling the great nation? Why would it matter? Solomon was already king, he could have done anything he wanted with no one to stop him. What inspired him to request wisdom? The answer to this question is revealed when you read a portion of Solomon's prayer. Solomon said, "so give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people . . . who is able to govern this great people of yours?"

Solomon did not request wisdom in ruling a nation or a country, he asked for a heart to lead the Lord's people. He recognized that they were individuals who had mothers, fathers, brothers, and sisters. It wasn't a country to Solomon, they were people. He put faces to his task. And they weren't just any people, they were the Lord's people. Solomon feared the Lord. He recognized the Israelites, akin to the Lord's sheep, were simply entrusted to his care. He knew that if he failed in being diligent with their lives, then he would have to answer to God Himself. He knew that the individuals who made up the great nation were counted as important to the Lord. The Lord knew each person by name; Solomon wasn't running a nation, he was leading people.

You and I, though we aren't a king or queen, still have individual lives entrusted to our care by the Lord. We aren't managing a household or a classroom or a business or a soccer team, we are leading the Lord's people. They aren't just a group, they are individuals who are loved by the Lord. And they aren't yours for your benefit, they are there for the Lord's glory. You do have influence over people's lives and it is important to ask the Lord for wisdom in leading them His way. Be inspired by the Lord to care for His people. Ask Him for wisdom; ask Him how you should be diligent with those who are watching you. You will have to answer to the Lord Himself for how you managed others. You will also answer for the things you didn't do in managing others.

Don't take my word for it; look it up: 1 Kings 3, Dan 12:3, Matt 25:40 & 45, John 10:3, Rom 12:8, Rom 14:19, 1 Thes 4:11-12, Heb 13:17

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