A Righteous Turn
1 Kings 3:4-15 :
The king went to Gibeon to sacrifice there; for that was the great high place. Solomon offered a thousand burnt offerings on that altar.
In Gibeon, Yahweh appeared to Solomon in a dream by night; and God said, “Ask for what I should give you.”
Solomon said, “You have shown to your servant David my father great loving kindness, because he walked before you in truth, in righteousness,
and in uprightness of heart with you. You have kept for him this great loving kindness, that you have given him a son to sit on his throne,
as it is today. Now, Yahweh my God, you have made your servant king instead of David my father. I am just a little child.
I don’t know how to go out or come in. Your servant is among your people which you have chosen, a great people,
that can’t be numbered or counted for multitude. Give your servant therefore 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?”
This request pleased the Lord, that Solomon had asked this thing. God said to him, “Because you have asked this thing,
and have not asked for yourself long life, nor have you asked for riches for yourself, nor have you asked for the life of your enemies,
but have asked for yourself understanding to discern justice; behold, I have done according to your word. Behold,
I have given you a wise and understanding heart; so that there has been no one like you before you, and after you none will arise like you.
I have also given you that which you have not asked, both riches and honor, so that there will not be any among the kings like you for all your days.
If you will walk in my ways, to keep my statutes and my commandments, as your father David walked, then I will lengthen your days.”
Solomon awoke; and behold, it was a dream. Then he came to Jerusalem, and stood before the ark of Yahweh’s covenant, and offered up burnt offerings,
offered peace offerings, and made a feast for all his servants.
Even though Solomon's relationship with God wasn't where it should have been, he had been gifted with something that held great potential,
and that was humility. Solomon may not have been willing to sacrifice where he was supposed to sacrifice yet, but he knew for sure that he
wasn't wise enough to rule God's Nation properly. Notice how Solomon spoke about himself. He said that he was "just a little child."
God didn't disagree with him either.
God asked Solomon what he would ask for if he could have anything. That's a pretty amazing thing don't you think? What would you ask for?
Solomon's answer was the kind of answer that makes God pleased. Pleasing God is actually the only worth-while occupation, and Solomon's great
life was now on a pathway that would lead him to this discovery. God willing, we will be able to follow his
journey when we
get to the books of the Bible that he wrote. For now, we can learn something from Solomon's request.
God loves it when we ask for what Solomon asked for, and am happy to tell you that God is ready to answer you when you ask for it too. This
is what James tells us as Christians:
James 1:5 :
But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach; and it will be given to him.
There's a good chance that James was considering Solomon when he wrote this verse. Solomon wasn't even worshiping God in the right place
when he made his request for wisdom. God was pleased and gave him wisdom anyway. James tells us that God is still in the business of giving
wisdom "liberally and without reproach." That means he's not blaming you when you ask. Instead, he gives us what we need to think
differently and go in the right direction. That's what Solomon did. Notice that when he woke up from his dream, he went to Jerusalem and
offered appropriate sacrifices in the appropriate place. I think that James knows what we might be thinking though. Listen to what he said to
us a little later:
James 4:3 :
You ask, and don’t receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it for your pleasures.
God will give us what we need and more, but He expects us to ask with good motives like Solomon did. Are we just trying to please
ourselves? If so, God can tell. He wants us to ask for the right reasons, that we can love God and others with what we