Week 22 Tuesday

A Wise Choice

Today’s scripture selection: First Kings 1-4

Key verses: First Kings 3:7-9

     When King David came to the end of his life – when he was, in his own words, about to “go the way of all the earth,” he appointed his son Solomon as king.  You might imagine Solomon was excited to step up to such a lofty position.  But there was one “small” problem.  Solomon was only twelve years old at the time.

     Obviously, he wasn’t quite ready to rule an entire kingdom.  Can you imagine any pre-teen you know undertaking such a grand responsibility?  When I was twelve, I could barely keep my room clean, much less rule a nation.  To put it mildly, Solomon had his work cut out for him.

     But God had a plan – for the boy – and his nation.

     When faced with such an awesome responsibility, what does Solomon request of God?  Top notch advisors?  Riches to buy his way out of any dilemma?  Toys to play with so he could just ignore the problem and hope it went away?  Nope.

     He asks for one thing – wisdom.

     He asks for “an understanding heart to judge your people.”

     God grants that request.  And the result?

Solomon rules as king for 40 years – the best years in all of Israel’s history – filled with peace and prosperity.

To this day, Solomon’s reputation is that of being the “wisest” of all men.

     I can’t help but wonder what I would have been tempted to ask of God if I were in the same circumstances.

     And I can’t help but be reminded that when I am faced with a task that seems too large – there is one, and only one thing, I need to seek first – God’s guidance.

That’s just playing it smart.

Prayer: Lord, grant me a discerning heart, that I may always seek your guidance.  AMEN.




By Paul Simrell

The Reverend Paul W. Simrell has served for over thirty years in a variety of congregational and institutional settings. He is a recognized minister with standing in the Virginia region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada and is nationally endorsed by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) for specialized ministry in both pastoral counseling and chaplaincy. Ordained in 1982, he has served congregations in Kentucky, Texas, Florida, and Virginia. He currently serves as the pastor of Elpis Christian Church, a small, historic congregation located just a few miles west of Richmond, Virginia. Elpis is the Greek word meaning “expectant hope.” He also serves on the associate clinical staff of the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care, Richmond, Virginia, both as a pastoral counselor and a ministerial assessment specialist, specializing in executive, clergy and relationship coaching. He is a graduate of the University of Florida and Lexington Theological Seminary and has done advanced clinical training in chaplaincy and pastoral counseling at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky, Children’s Medical Center and Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas and the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care in Richmond, Virginia. He is a Certified Pastoral Counselor, an ACPE Practitioner, and a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors. He is a Certified Facilitator of the Prepare-Enrich relationship assessment and skills-building program and served as a volunteer chaplain for over twenty years with the CJW Medical Center campuses in Richmond, Virginia. His avocational interests include playing the piano and drawing. He is very happily married to his wife Elizabeth Yeamans Simrell, a free-lance writer, who is also a Certified Facilitator for the Prepare-Enrich program. Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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