Solomon says, part two

In the last post I started a look at Solomon’s encounter with God in a dream. God gives Solomon the golden ticket, the chance to ask for anything. So what did Solomon choose? Something pretty smart.

1 Kings 3:7-9 And 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. 8 And 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. 9 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?”

Today I want to look at what God’s response to this was. Because Solomon could’ve asked for anything. Riches, power, influence, the ability to teleport, I mean, he could’ve asked for some major stuff! But he chose to ask for wisdom. He knew himself, knew that he had a deficit in his life. He was king and didn’t know how best to rule his people. So with a chance at anything, he asks for the wisdom to be a good king. Here’s God’s response.

1 Kings 3:10-14 It pleased the Lord that Solomon had asked this. 11 And God said to him, “Because you have asked this, and have not asked for yourself long life or riches or the life of your enemies, but have asked for yourself understanding to discern what is right, 12 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 like you shall arise after you. 13 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. 14 And if you will walk in my ways, keeping my statutes and my commandments, as your father David walked, then I will lengthen your days.”

God’s like that sometimes, and I find it both awesome and hilarious. For some reason it just puts a smile on my face to read this because it’s just so cool. Solomon might’ve lacked the wisdom to rule over Israel, but he had enough sense to make a smart ask of God, didn’t he? And because he asked for something so pure and good and selfless, God grants it to him AND grants to him all the other stuff that most people would’ve asked for. Because Solomon had the strength of character not to ask for riches or influence or long life, God blesses him and gives him those very things.

In the last post I asked a question and it seems fitting to ask it again. What are you praying for? Don’t get me wrong here, it’s not somehow wrong to ask for God to meet our needs. That’s a biblical principle backed up by tons of scripture.

Philippians 4:4-6 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

Matthew 7:11 If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!

But you have to also remember that God knows our hearts.

James 4:2-3 You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask. 3 You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.

I bring my needs and my desires before God constantly. But I try to be pure in my intentions. Because if I’m not, then God knows it. So while it’s clearly not wrong to bring your needs to the Lord, I do know that wisdom goes a long way. Solomon proved that. He asked for something, but he asked that God fulfill a need, not a want. It reminds me of a time in my not too distant past. This is back when I used to make decent money. When I had extra money, I was terrible with it. It was here and then it was gone and I was fat with food and my computer was filled with games and my bookshelf was filled with books and I was broke constantly. Sure, I could’ve prayed for more money. Lord, give me more money because I spent all the money I had and now I can’t pay a bill. That’s something I could’ve prayed, but I just don’t know that it’s a request that has a high chance of getting answered. But what if I prayed this instead? Lord, I’m broke again. You provide me with these great jobs, and I continue to squander my money. I spend and spend on things I don’t need, leaving nothing leftover to meet my actual needs. So Lord, I ask you today to give me restraint when it comes to buying things. Grant me the wisdom to know the difference between something I want and something I need. Let me have the strength to know when to stop, to know when the spending money is gone and the money needed for living is all that’s left over.

Which of those prayers do you feel like has a higher chance of being granted by God? Now look, God’s God, and He does God things, so I could be a dummy with my money and then pray for more money and He could fill my bank account with a billion dollars. I’m not ever going to make the mistake of limiting God. But I know He values wisdom, and just in my heart I have to say that the second prayer, the one that asks for the wisdom to be better with money, is going to line up with the will of God way more often than the whole “drop money into my life” prayer.

Wisdom is such a big word in the Bible. It’s so important. Solomon knew that. He was just wise enough to know that he lacked wisdom. I want to believe that’s me, too. I want to be just wise enough to know to ask God for more wisdom. Wisdom is spiritual penicillin. It cures a lot of things and can be used to help in a lot of situations. The best thing about wisdom? It’s promised to us as long as we ask for it with the right intentions.

James 1:5-6 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. 6 But let him ask in faith,with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind.

Ask God for wisdom, and ask for it with confidence, full of faith that it will be granted unto you. We could all use more wisdom in our lives, and praise God, it’s there for the taking. I love the example Solomon set in 1 Kings. That blank check of the Lord held out before him, and Solomon asked for the perfect thing. And not only did God honor the request, but He blessed Solomon for using the blank check in a selfless manner.

PRAYER AND CLOSING

Father God, today I come before you and ask for wisdom. I ask not just for myself, but I ask that you bestow deep wisdom on your people in this day.  We are faced with so much, and the landscape of society and culture is shifting so quickly all around us.  Things that were safe are now dangerous.  This is a time where we’re facing hard choices and difficult dilemmas, and I ask right now for more wisdom for your people.  Help us answer these challenges not in anger and not in our own power, because our own power is nothing, Lord, you and I both know that.  But with you, we’re so mighty.  Who can stand against a wise man of God who is walking in his Father’s will?  Make us those wise men and women today, Lord.  Your book tells me that wisdom is there for the taking, you told me that if we lack wisdom and ask for it in faith you give.  Well, Lord, the lack is there.  I speak for myself here and freely admit, the lack is there.  And God, the faith I have in you is massive.  I’m not even done with this prayer yet and I know that a fresh influx of wisdom has been given to me.  Because I trust you, and because your word does not lie.  You’re my provider, and my savior, and my king, and I love the way you love me, God.  Stir us to battle in this modern age, whip us into fighting shape, and let us war for the things of God.  Let our weapons be truth and love, and let our message be one of salvation and not damnation.  Work through me, Lord, work through those I know, work through my church and my family and my friends.  Put us where we’re needed, and provide the opportunities to do your work.  I love you, Lord, and I thank you for the confidence you’ve built in me.  Thank you for the overhaul of my life that you’ve done and that you continue to do.  I regret a lot of lost time in my life, but I don’t regret a single second I’ve spent with you.  I pray all of these things in the name of Jesus, for the glory of God, amen.

Well, the week is coming to a close and I hope you all are doing great.  I feel really blessed and excited that I’m able to write these blogs.  I’ve been working on future entries and I love what I’m learning and seeing in the word of God as I study.  I want to encourage you, keep reading your Bible.  It’s never wasted time.  I love you guys, and God loves you, too.  If you need prayer for anything please reach out to me, I’d love to lift your need or situation up in prayer.

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