I AM BUT A LITTLE CHILD
“And now, O LORD my God, thou hast made thy servant king instead of David my father: and I am but a little child: I know not how to go out or come in.” I Kings 3:7
Solomon, the newly anointed king of Israel, had gone to Gibeon to offer sacrifices unto the Lord. While he was there, the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream and said to him, “Ask what I shall give thee” (I Kings 3:5). After some thought, Solomon greatly pleased the Lord by asking for “an understanding heart” (I Kings 3:9, 10). Solomon knew how desperately he needed God’s wisdom and discernment. In deciding what to ask for, he gave this personal assessment of his need by saying, “I am but a little child: I know not how to go out or come in.”
In Solomon’s mind, he felt his great inadequacy as far as his responsibilities were concerned. He knew that in himself he was not capable of doing what needed to be done. He felt small and insufficient when facing the monumental task of governing God’s people. Solomon needed God’s help. He needed wisdom and discernment. God gloriously answered his request. Solomon’s name became synonymous with wisdom, and people traveled from afar to hear the wisdom of Solomon. Because he asked for the thing that so pleased the Lord, God gave Solomon much that he did not request. God gave him great riches, and honor, and length of days.
It is not a good thing when we feel like we are so well equipped that we do not need God’s help. Like Solomon, we need divine wisdom and guidance. We learn from Solomon the importance of putting a premium on wisdom. He felt that he needed wisdom more than anything else he could request.
Sometimes when we survey our responsibilities, we also see that in ourselves we are so insufficient. We need God’s help. It may be that you have prayed the same words to God that Solomon did, “I am but a little child.” That does not mean you are literally an infant or young child. It means that you are aware of your needs and your inadequacies. It describes how we feel very small compared to all that we need to know and do. It means that we know how much we need to depend on God and rely on His wisdom. We are cautioned in the New Testament that man is not to “think of himself more highly than he ought to think” (Romans 12:3). God will help us as we humbly depend on Him.