Truth be told, Solomon was feeling a little in over his head. It’s one thing to watch your father, the king, “do his thing.” It’s quite another to actually be king! In our last reading, we saw Solomon following through with what his father had instructed. Solomon’s kingdom is now firmly sealed. Now it was time for Solomon to venture out on his own.
Unfortunately, there wasn’t a manual setting out performance expectations or rules for being king. What Solomon knew to be true from watching David was to rely on the LORD and follow the LORD’s leading. “Solomon loved the Lord and followed all the decrees of his father, David, except that Solomon, too, offered sacrifices and burned incense at the local places of worship.”
There’s wisdom in that for us as well. How do we choose to live? Do we make Jesus our Lord and King, or do we rely on our own strength? Thankfully, we do have a manual for life. We have the Word of God to reference, to digest, to help mold us into who God designed us to be. We get a glimpse at the intentions of our creator. It pleases the Lord when we worship him and trust him with our lives.
What a great dream Solomon had! Can you imagine being asked such a thing by God? On my first read through, I pictured the big blue genie from the animated film, Aladdin. But God is no genie. This was a serious question. And it’s good for us to remember that our life is not a magic carpet ride! What would you have asked for?
Solomon’s humble response pleased the LORD when he selflessly asked for wisdom and discernment to lead the people well. As a result, Solomon received way more than he asked for. God’s benefits overflowed. I think there is a message there for us, too. While there isn’t anything that God can’t do, what is the motivation behind our asking?
There’s an interesting twist at the end of this encounter with the Lord. Solomon is also promised long life “if” he remains obedient. God said, “And if you follow me and obey my decrees and my commands as your father, David, did, I will give you a long life.” God has set a condition or expectation upon Solomon.
Matthew 6:33 says, “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.” For me, Jesus’ words sum up beautifully how we should live. There’s a bit of a “condition” for us here, too!
So let me ask you again. “What would you ask for?” God is listening, you know. He may not have come to you in a dream like he did Solomon, but he is aware of your struggles and your joys. What would really move the needle for you right now in your life? Does it benefit God’s kingdom or just you?
What should you be asking for?
Let’s pray …
Lord, thank you for always listening and providing just what I need. Help me to come with a humble heart, earnestly seeking you and your will for my life! Your mercy and grace overwhelm my soul. Use me to share your truth. In Jesus’ name. Amen.