1 Kings 3:6–8 (ESV)

6 And 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. And you have kept for him this great and steadfast love and have given him a son to sit on his throne this day.

One matter for which Solomon needs to be commended is that he did not immediately respond to the Lord’s offer. Instead, he acknowledged what the Lord had done for David his father and for Solomon himself in placing him upon the throne.

Gratitude for benefits received from God should always take prominence over benefits requested from him. The fact that Solomon began his response in this manner should prepare the reader of this passage for the good way in which Solomon would respond to the stupendous offer that Yahweh made.

From gratitude, Solomon turned in his response to his awareness of the need in which he stood. Again, this is a commendable manner in which to approach God and his blessings. Solomon stated the case in what may seem to the reader in an exaggerated manner. He said he was a little child. Almost certainly Solomon was an adult in actual years, yet he viewed himself as inexperienced as a small child would be. In comparison to God, who exists from eternity, all mankind are like children before him.

But inexperience is only the first of his perceived needs. Solomon also spoke of the enormity of the task that faced him as king. God had caused Israel to become a populous nation that Solomon said was too numerous to count. That too, at this period of history, was an overstatement, but in a sense it was true, as David had found to his sorrow. The king was forbidden to number the people because such a numbering would suggest doubt about the fulfillment of God’s promise to make Abraham’s descendants an innumerable multitude.

These two areas of need, inexperience and the enormity of the task, were the basis upon which Solomon would respond to God’s promise. These two things narrowed the possibilities of Solomon’s response to the Lord’s promise.

There was a time in America when persons who were elected to high public office would profess the enormity of the task and the need for assistance in which they stood. This, sadly, is no longer the case. Pride and unbounded confidence in their own abilities is now the order of the day.