July 18, 2023
“At Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream by night; and God said, 'Ask! What shall I give you?' And Solomon said: 'You have shown great mercy to Your servant David...'”
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“At Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream by night; and God said, ‘Ask! What shall I give you?’ And Solomon said: ‘You have shown great mercy to Your servant David my father, because he walked before You in truth, in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart with You; You have continued this great kindness for him, and You have given him a son to sit on his throne, as it is this day. Now, O Lord my God, You have made Your servant king instead of my father David, but I am a little child; I do not know how to go out or come in. And Your servant is in the midst of Your people whom You have chosen, a great people, too numerous to be numbered or counted. Therefore give to Your servant an understanding heart to judge Your people, that I may discern between good and evil. For who is able to judge this great people of Yours.’ The speech pleased the Lord, that Solomon had asked this thing.” 1 Kings 3:5-10 (NKJV)
The theme of this chapter is “wisdom.” Solomon’s request for wisdom is also a pattern of prayer for us.
1) The true incentive to prayer: The generosity of God. (5b, 13-14) We respond to God’s offer to “ask what I should give you” because we know He is generous. While we were yet sinners, Jesus died for us; that’s about as generous as it gets!
2) The true foundation of prayer: The faithfulness of God (6-7a, 8). God can be trusted. He is faithful, and His faithfulness is the foundation of our prayers. Why would we spend our time praying if God was not faithful to hear our prayers and was unable to answer them within His predictable articulated character?
3) The true anxiety of prayer: The people of God (7b-9) Solomon asked not for himself, exclusively. He counted himself among the people…not elevated as some demi-god/king. Solomon realized he had been chosen to serve the people, and his request was solely to that end: that he could fulfill his obligation to the kingdom.
4) The true goal of prayer: The pleasure of God (10-14). There is something so pleasing about the pleasure of someone you want to please! The goal of our prayer should not be simply for our pleasure. We should always be aware that it is God’s pleasure that we are created for. Part of reading God’s Word is learning what pleases Him and aligning our lives with His requirements…which truly pleases Him!