NASHVILLE (BP) — This weekly Bible study appears in Baptist Press in a partnership with LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention. Through its Leadership and Adult Publishing team, LifeWay publishes Sunday School curricula and additional resources for all age groups.
This week’s Bible study is adapted from The Gospel Project curriculum.
Bible Passages: 1 Kings 3:5-15, 23-28
— Why is humility necessary to request wisdom from the Lord?
— Why do you think God wants us to ask Him for wisdom instead of just giving it to us?
— How do you treat the authorities above you? What about those you are in authority over?
Food for Thought:
Read 1 Kings 3:5-15. In humility before the Lord, Solomon asked for a receptive heart to lead his people well and discern between good and evil. Solomon received instant feedback from the Lord that He was pleased with Solomon’s request. But we cannot detach Solomon’s request from his motive behind that request.
Had Solomon asked for long life, riches or the death of his enemies, these would have indicated that Solomon’s chief preoccupation was himself. Instead, Solomon sought wisdom so he could administer justice for God’s people. Solomon cared more about God’s people than himself. That is the heart posture of a person in whom God delights.
God answered Solomon’s request; He made him the wisest human being in all of history. And more than that, God was so pleased that Solomon asked for wisdom that He also blessed him with honor, riches and the potential for a long life. Giving generously to His children is at the center of God’s heart. He is our loving Father Who delights in giving good gifts to His children (Matthew 7:11).
Verse 15 shows us that Solomon recognized both the authority above him as well as the authority he held over others. Every leader has 360 degrees of accountability. Even the mightiest earthly ruler must acknowledge that his or her authority is given by God (Romans 13:1) and that Jesus Christ is the ultimate authority. In Him, all things hold together (Colossians 1:15-17). As the risen Messiah, all authority in heaven and on earth belongs to Him (Matthew 28:18).
Godly leaders must also remember that the same Jesus who has had everything placed under His feet (Ephesians 1:22) was the One who washed the feet of His disciples (John 13:1-17). This same Jesus said, “The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45). This is the model of leadership we are to follow. We are to be servant-leaders who follow Christ Jesus in total dependency, while simultaneously leading others in total humility.
The Gospel Project
The Gospel Project is a chronological, Christ-centered study for kids, students and adults. The Bible is not a collection of stories. It is one story of God’s plan to rescue His people from sin and death. It is the story of redemption, the gospel message of Jesus Christ. More information can be found at LifeWay.com/gospelproject .