Today’s Tasting: 1 Kings 3–4: Solomon, like his father David before him, loved the Lord (1 Kings 3:3). One night the Lord appears to Solomon in a dream and asks Solomon what he wants. Solomon asks for wisdom to judge the people of Israel with an understanding heart. This pleases the Lord and he grants Solomon’s request, and then gives him more than he asked for: “Because you have asked this thing, and have not asked long life for yourself, nor have asked riches for yourself, nor have asked the life of your enemies, but have asked for yourself understanding to discern justice, behold, I have done according to your words; see, I have given you a wise and understanding heart, so that there has not been anyone like you before you, nor shall any like you arise after you. And I have also given you what you have not asked: both riches and honor, so that there shall not be anyone like you among the kings all your days” (1 Kings 3:11–13 NKJV). Under Solomon’s rule Judah and Israel dwelled safely (1 Kings 4:25), “and God gave Solomon wisdom and exceedingly great understanding, and largeness of heart like the sand on the seashore” (1 Kings 4:29).
Today’s Nourishment: The Apostle Paul tells us that God “is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think” (Ephesians 3:20). Throughout His ministry, Jesus tells us to ask the Father for what we want (read Matthew 7:7 and 21:22; Luke 11:9; John 11:22; John 14:14 and John 16:23). In Matthew 7:11, Jesus tells His followers, “If you then, being 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!”
Solomon asks one thing from God and receives far more than he has asked for. However, notice that God commended Solomon for not asking for anything for himself, but asking instead for wisdom to serve God’s people. The scripture says this pleased God, and He gave Solomon “abundantly above” what he asked for. This is a great lesson for us to think about today.
I’m convinced that God cares about our personal needs and does want us to look to Him to meet those needs. However, as much as God is pleased by our dependence on Him for our everyday needs, He also wants us to use the power He has given us through prayer to move heaven and earth on behalf of those who are lost and suffering. He wants us to love our neighbors as much as we love ourselves, and to show this love by asking that their needs be met as well.
I often think of it this way: God is not a genie to be conjured up from a magic lamp, to grant you anything you desire! Do you pray only for God to make your life more comfortable? Solomon requested wisdom from God so he could serve God’s people.
What do you need to ask God for today to equip you to serve the people around you?
Tomorrow’s Delight: 2 Chronicles 1; Psalm 72