That night God appeared to Solomon, and said to him, “Ask what I should give you.”
Let’s come back to that…but in case you tune out before I get back to you…God asks this question of each of us, every day. “Ask and it will be given to you, seek and you shall find, knock and the door will be opened to you.”
So Solomon has the presence of mind (and as anointed King of Israel, the covering of the Holy Spirit, I might add) responds:
“You have shown great and steadfast love to my father David, and have made me succeed him as king. O Lord God, let your promise to my father David now be fulfilled, for you have made me king over a people as numerous as the dust of the earth. Give me now wisdom and knowledge to go out and come in before this people, for who can rule this great people of yours?”
No sometimes if we ask for things that not will produce God’s will for our lives, God is not inclined to answer those prayers. And we may think what we ask for is perfect for us…why wouldn’t God agree?!? Because our view is limited, because we ask not knowing the end, because God isn’t just giving us what’s good, God is giving us what’s best.
But if by grace, we desire the same thing that God desires for us, then the outcome sounds something like this…
God answered Solomon, “Because this was in your heart, and you have not asked for possessions, wealth, honor, or death for those who hate you, and have not even asked for long life, but have asked for wisdom and knowledge for yourself that you may rule my people over whom I have made you kin, wisdom and knowledge are granted to you.”
Instead of treating God like the Genie in the lamp, Solomon understands that God has invited him into a very special partnership. And Solomon realizes that the only key to playing his roll successfully is to somehow tap into God’s great wisdom.
“I will also give you riches, possessions, and honor, such as none of the kings had who were before you, and none after you shall have the like.”
Blessed. Solomon is blessed. Blessed are the poor in spirit, blessed are those who hunger and thirst, blessed are those desire what God desires for their lives. Blessed. Not a charmed life, not a life without difficulty. But blessed.
And we are too. “What can I give you?” Life. Mercy. Forgiveness. Love. Peace. Joy. Grace. Salvation. “And because you didn’t just ask me to charm this temporary life, I will give you this great thing you ask for. Your sins are forgiven. Love and joy and peace are yours. Life eternal.” And because you have faith in me for salvation, I will also give you the kingdom…more riches than you can even imagine are yours, because you are mine and I am yours.