In several verses in chapter 22 David is preparing his son Solomon to build the temple. He gives reasons why he cannot do this job and how his son should proceed. David reminded Solomon that God had chosen him to do the job and while at it, he would rule in peace, and so David told Solomon to be confident, determined, and not to be afraid, to use the wisdom and understanding God provides.
The scripture that grabbed my friend's attention was chapter 22 verse 12a. The "Living Word" jumped off the pages and into her heart, as it so often does when you are reading with a searching mind. So, her prayer was started and concluded in this short phrase "May the LORD give you discretion and understanding" as read in NIV. It is a prayer I have prayed almost daily for my family and myself.
This is scripture, in part, portraying the act of intimate intercession, and countless children of God have prayed these words through the millenniums since God put it in David's heart and passed it through his lips to bless his Solomon.
I have a fondness for words. To me, they are not just flat letters, or squiggles, they have layers of sound, meaning and emotions. They are fleshed out; reflect hurts, healing, and so much more within the arrangement of vowels and constants. I love to study scriptures in the many trusted versions that exist today. A nuance (the use or awareness of subtle shades of meaning or feeling) in the use of a word that keeps the true and original meaning may expand my thinking about the subject and provide me a time of deep study. It takes me on a journey to dig into the full and complete meaning of the precious and holy word.
Here are several versions of the First Chronicles reading and the way in which they speak to me:
In the Holman Christian Standard, it is stated this way "Above all, may the Lord give you insight and understanding." "Above all," of most importance…"Insight, and understanding," speaks to me of the ability to look deep within a person, situation, or qualities and see with clarity through God's eyes.
Reading King James I find this; "Only the LORD give thee wisdom and understanding." I will go "only" to the Lord concerning this need in my life.
New International Readers says "May the LORD give you good sense. May he give you understanding." This seems to imply that there is secondary emphasis on the word "may," that even in this request we are expected to ask God's permission. He certainly wants us to have wisdom, but even more, He wants us to recognize His preeminence.