So what did Solomon really ask for?
Wisdom, right? That’s what we all learned as children and, in addition when G-d responded to his request in 1 Kings 3:12, He said, “Behold, I have given you a wise and discerning heart.”
הנה, נתתי לך לב חכם ונבון.
But what did Solomon really ask for? The original Hebrew in 1 Kings 3:9 says:
ונתת לעבדך לב שמע, לשפט את-עמך, להבין בין טוב לרע.
“So give Your servant an understanding or a listening heart to judge Your people to discern between good and evil.”
So the Hebrew says that Solomon’s request, when he could have asked for worldly treasures was a listening heart!
I grew up in a Jewish home where everyone was speaking at the same time and no one was listening because we were too busy thinking about what we’d say next. (This drives my husband crazy and it could explain why we have so many Jewish lawyers.)
Yet the watchword of the Jewish faith is the Sh’ma from Deuteronomy 6:4:
“Hear O Israel, the L-rd our G-d, the L-rd is one.”
שמע ישראל, יהוה אלהינו יהוה אחד.
There’s that word again – Sh’ma. The first letter of this proclamation is found on the outside of most mezuzah boxes and the mezuzah scroll within begins with – Sh’ma! Perhaps this is why G-d created us with one mouth and two ears, so we’d spend more time listening and less time speaking.
We’ve been learning more about listening during our prayer time from a ministry called LK10.com. So now often when praying with my husband and our children who are followers of Yeshua, we present our requests to G-d but then we take time to Sh’ma – to listen and then we journal what we hear. We do this because we believe that G-d is still speaking today and it’s vital to hear what He has to say about situations in our lives.
A listening heart is considered a wise and discerning heart in the eyes of the L-rd, so let’s talk less and listen more to what G-d is saying and also to what our loved ones are saying.
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Carolyn Margolin-Hyde was raised in an Orthodox Jewish synagogue near Chicago. She graduated from University of Illinois and as an RN she practiced nursing for many years. After making Aliyah Carolyn served as worship leader at K’tsir Asher, The Harvest of Asher Congregation, in Akko, and then led worship at Kehilat Poriya, a congregation near Tiberius. She has written and recorded many worship songs in English and Hebrew and her worship CD’s include “Just Like Joseph” and “The Latter Rain”- contemporary worship CDs; “Deep Calls to Deep” – a soaking CD; and “Fine Linen” – worship with a touch of the blues.