Leaders Marked by Humility (1 Kings 3:5–14) - Radical

Leaders Marked by Humility (1 Kings 3:5–14)

“At Gibeon, the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream by night, and God said, “Ask what I shall give you.” Solomon said, “You have shown great and steadfast love to your servant, David, my father, because he walked before you in faithfulness, in righteousness and in uprightness of heart toward you. You’ve kept for him this great and steadfast love, and have given him a son to sit on his throne this day. Now, O Lord my God, you have made your servant king in place of David, my father, although I am, but a little child. I do not know how to go out or come in. 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.” It pleased the Lord that Solomon had asked this. God said to him, “Because you have asked this and have not asked for yourself a long life, riches or the life of your enemies, but have asked for yourself understanding to discern what is right. Behold, I now do according to your word. Behold, I give you a wise and discerning mind, so that none like you has been before you and none unlike you shall arise after you. I give you also what you have not asked, both riches and honor, so that no other king shall compare with you all your days. If you walk in my ways, keeping my statutes and my commandments as your father, David walked, then I will lengthen your days.”
-1 Kings 3:5–14

What a picture of humility in a king and a leader of a people, saying to God, “I’m only a child. I don’t know how to go out or come in. I’m in the middle of these great people that you’ve called me to govern.” To realize as king, that he could not lead, govern this people based on his own wisdom, his own abilities.

Rather than leading according to their own ideas, we pray for leaders who are marked by humility.

He needed help from God, and so he asks for one thing, an understanding mind to discern between good and evil as he governs. Here we see one of the greatest needs for any political leader. If not in a sense, the greatest need, wisdom.

Wisdom that flows from humility before God. Wisdom that flows from all of God fear, of God wisdom that knows that the most important thing in governing is discerning between good and evil. This is what we see in the purpose of government.

In Romans 13, God has instituted government for the promotion of good among the people who are governed. For the protection against evil among people who are governed.

For wisdom to govern in a way that promotes good and protects against evil. This is what we must pray for in our leaders, in our leaders now and our leaders in the future.

God, we pray for current political leaders at all levels in the United States. From the white house to governors across states, to people, to men and women and Senate and House of Representatives, and different chambers of government in states and local levels, in courts.

God, we pray for wisdom in all of these leaders. We pray for discernment. God, we pray for many of them to humbly come before you and ask for wisdom. God, we pray for humility in our leaders. We pray for the fear of you in our leaders. God, we pray for that. Bring more and more, and more of our leaders to fear you.

We pray to humbly come before you to seek you for help, when it comes to discerning what is right and good, and to not lead according to their own ideas, definitions about what is right and good. God, we pray for that. We pray that you would work in their hearts, to bring them to humbly fear, seek wisdom from you, find wisdom in you.

God, we pray even for Godless leaders who are rebelling against you. God, we pray that you would change their hearts. God, we pray that you would bring them to humility before you, to see their need for you. God, we pray that until that day, you would grant common grace.

That even though they are not seeking you, God, that you would give them wisdom to discern between what is good and what is evil. God, we pray for your common grace in leaders who are not following you right now, that our governments might be led in good ways, according to your sovereign hand.

God, as we pray for wisdom in our leaders, we pray for wisdom in our lives. God, we pray that as we vote, as we use our voice, particularly as citizens of the United States, in the selection, God, we pray that you would give us wisdom. Give us wisdom to discern between good and evil.

In the part you’ve given us, to govern with a voice and vote you’ve given us, help us to know how to use it best for your glory. In this fallen world, we need your wisdom. We humble ourselves before you. We seek you and we praise you.

We praise you for your promise in every area of our lives. That when we ask for wisdom, you give it to us. We ask for wisdom today in all that we do, even as we pray and plead for that kind of wisdom in our political leaders, in Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Join us in praying God’s Word as we lead up to the presidential election on November 3rd. Download our prayer guide HERE.

David Platt serves as pastor at McLean Bible Church in Washington, D.C. He is the founder and chairman of Radical. He is the author of several books, including Radical, Radical Together, Follow Me, Counter Culture, and Something Needs to Change.

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