I KINGS 3:4-5: “The king went to Gibeon to sacrifice there because it was the most famous high place. He offered a thousand burnt offerings on that altar. At Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream at night. God said, “Ask. What should I give you?” CSB
OBSERVATION: What do I want out of life? Solomon was faced with this question. However, the question that the Lord posed to Solomon was quite unique. It was open ended. The Lord commanded Solomon – “Ask, What should I give you?” What would I answer if the Lord of all creation asked me this question?
It is amazing how our desires in life change with the times. When I was a boy I can remember that the only thing in life I needed or wanted was a five speed bicycle. All my friends had bikes with speeds, and I was still stuck riding a single speed bike. Then Christmas came and under the tree was a wonderful Schwinn five speed bike. My dreams had come true. I would never want anything else in my life…that is, until I discovered the ten speed bike!
This is the problem when we set our goals in life on temporal things. We think that they will make us happy, until they are quickly replaced by the next great thing. I remember when I got my first iPhone. It was a thing of beauty to hold in my hand. It could do so much, for about 6 months, until the promise of the next iPhone was released. Suddenly, what I held in my hand was only second best. And to be honest, it did have a couple of scratches to boot!
Solomon could have asked for riches and honor, kingdoms and lands, or fame and power. Yet, he did not ask for any of these.
- “And Solomon replied, “You have shown great and faithful love to your servant, my father David, because he walked before you in faithfulness, righteousness, and integrity. You have continued this great and faithful love for him by giving him a son to sit on his throne, as it is today. “ Lord my God, you have now made your servant king in my father David’s place. Yet I am just a youth with no experience in leadership. Your servant is among your people you have chosen, a people too many to be numbered or counted. So give your servant a receptive heart to judge your people and to discern between good and evil. For who is able to judge this great people of yours?” 1 Kings 3:6-9 CSB
Solomon asked for the intangibles that he knew he did not possess, and that time and trends could not take away. Solomon asked for a discerning heart and wisdom to lead God’s people. Solomon’s request was directed more for the benefit of others than it was for himself. Overwhelmed with his responsibility of being King, Solomon knew that he did not have the capacity to govern God’s people. He needed God’s wisdom, strength, and discernment. It is in this request that we discover something wonderful about the heart of God.
Our God is the exceedingly, abundantly, above all we are able to ask or think God. He delights in blessing His children. Yet, He cannot bless a selfish or proud heart. The Lord blesses a humble heart, a repentant heart, a heart that looks to the needs of others more than to its own needs. This was the heart of Solomon when he made this request. And God’s response to Solomon’s humble and unselfish heart released the exceedingly, abundantly heart of the Father!
- “Now it pleased the Lord that Solomon had requested this. So God said to him, “Because you have requested this and did not ask for long life or riches for yourself, or the death of your enemies, but you asked discernment for yourself to administer justice, I will therefore do what you have asked. I will give you a wise and understanding heart, so that there has never been anyone like you before and never will be again. In addition, I will give you what you did not ask for: both riches and honor, so that no king will be your equal during your entire life. If you walk in my ways and keep my statutes and commands just as your father David did, I will give you a long life.” 1 Kings 3:10-14 CSB
Now, before you dismiss this as just an isolated story about Solomon, with no personal application for our lives, consider this. When the rich young ruler left Jesus sorrowful because he was unwilling to part with his riches and follow Jesus, Peter posed a question to Jesus.
- “Peter began to tell him, “Look, we have left everything and followed you.” “Truly I tell you,” Jesus said, “there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for my sake and for the sake of the gospel, who will not receive a hundred times more, now at this time — houses, brothers and sisters, mothers and children, and fields, with persecutions — and eternal life in the age to come. But many who are first will be last, and the last first.” Mark 10:28-31 CSB
I think I could write a book on the times the Lord has surprised me with His exceedingly, abundantly nature in response to the cry of my heart in humility and prayer. I have learned that seeking first the Kingdom of God is the key to living the abundant life. The blessings of God are not always tangible, but they are always abundant. When I put the Kingdom within above the world without, wonderful things happen. Exceedingly, abundantly things happen. God truly delights in blessing His children when they are willing to lay everything at the foot of the cross for Him!
Lord, this morning I am not seeking a ten speed bike. I don’t need another “thing” to add to my collection. This morning, I humble myself before You and seek You. I seek Your face and not Your hand. I seek Your heart and not Your provision. Like Solomon, I seek a discerning heart and wisdom to live an obedient life that gives glory to You!
In Jesus Name!