Missiology Through Scripture – 1 Kings 3:8-9

“And your servant is in the midst of your people whom you have chosen, a great people, too many to be numbered or counted for multitude. Give your servant therefore an understanding mind to govern your people, that I may discern between good and evil, for who is able to govern this your great people?” – 1 Kings 3:8-9

Solomon is known for his wisdom. His great understanding transcends history and culture. The great 18th Century composer Handel wrote an oratorio to Solomon. Even famed author Mark Twain had his title character in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn debate the wisdom of Solomon with Jim. But, truly, how intelligent was king Solomon and why did he possess such renowned wisdom?

In verse seven Solomon himself makes the reader aware of the natural state of his knowledge. Solomon stated he was, “but a little child.” And, he did not know, “how to go out or come in.” Solomon, on his own, was ignorant and insufficient of that which he needed to govern God’s elect. It is only later (v. 12) it becomes clear it was God who gave Solomon wisdom and discernment. Karl Barth stated, “The wisdom of Solomon is not, then, a private wisdom, but a public, official wisdom of kingship and government.”[1] All which is good in us is given to us by God. Anything profitable is bestowed to us, not to benefit ourselves, but to advance God and his perfect will.

Like Solomon, our blessings of health, wealth, and comfort are provided for us to advance God’s glory. Our modern Western church, and its congregants have not been bestowed with historically unmatchable wealth and resources, so we can lavish ourselves with ease and excess. God has gifted us with the resources we need so, like Solomon, we can serve God and his elect. If we are personally enjoying God’s provision while there are still countless of cultures who do not know the grace and mercy of God, we are not using God’s resources as God intended.

As Solomon did, we also misuse God’s resources for our own benefit. Prayerfully, like Solomon, we will return to the true purpose of our blessings.

[1] Karl Barth, Geoffrey William Bromiley, and Thomas F. Torrance, Church Dogmatics: The Doctrine of God, Part 1, vol. 2 (London; New York: T&T Clark, 2004), 433.

About Mike

Mike, 49, grew up in California and spent 38 years of his life there. He received an undergraduate degree in Political Science, graduated from Reformed Theological Seminary and is pursuing a doctorate from Fuller Theological Seminary. Before accepting God’s call to fulltime missions, Mike worked in the California State Senate for 12 years. He became a Christian at the age of 20.

Mike was a Ruling Elder at Soaring Oaks Presbyterian Church(PCA) for seven years. While at Soaring Oaks, Mike served as the Director of the High School Youth Group, Sunday school teacher, and instructor of evangelism.

His cross-cultural missions experience includes five short term trips to Mexico, Belize, Guatemala and Peru (Lima and Cusco) through Mission to the World (MTW). He has volunteered with World Relief by teaching and counseling international refugees. Mike has also attended cross-cultural church planting conferences in New York and Orlando and completed the Perspectives course on the World Christian Movement.

He attended Bible Study Fellowship for two years. He is a certified instructor through Evangelism Explosion and is a certified trainer of the Darkness to Light child sexual abuse prevention program. He completed MTW‘s Disaster Response Training. Mike is an experienced speaker and author. Over 70 of Mike’s articles on missions have been published and he has written three books. He is a trained and experienced mentor, discipler, leader and a passionate teacher of small groups and Bible studies.

Mike received an undergraduate degree in Political Science, graduated from Reformed Theological Seminary and is currently pursuing a doctorate from Fuller Theological Seminary. Before accepting God’s call to fulltime missions, Mike was a Ruling Elder, Youth Group Leader, adult Sunday school teacher and evangelism instructor at Soaring Oaks Presbyterian Church in Elk Grove, CA. Mike is an experienced speaker and author. Over 70 of Mike’s articles on missions have been published and he has written two books. He is a trained and experienced mentor, discipler, leader and a passionate teacher of small groups and Bible studies.

From 2007 to 2017 Mike served as a fulltime missionary for MTW. Mike served as Team Leader, Church Planter, and Seminary Professor. Mike and his wife Erin served in Honduras in Central America and Equatorial Guinea in Central Africa. Mike currently serves as the Director of the MTW West Coast Hub where he trains and mentors new missionaries from CA, AZ, & NV. Mike is also busy writing his next book.

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