Imagine being on a cruise in the middle of an ocean when a furious storm appears and the ships engine fails. Your ship is tossed and turned, taking on much water. Some people jump ship with no hope of survival. Your ship is about to go under, but you grab on to a piece of the wreckage to keep you afloat in the ocean. You pass out, only to wake up the next morning lying on the shoreline, barely conscious but happy to be alive. You walk on the sand to observe your environment, and there you see a very strange looking bottle that is corked. You uncork the bottle, hoping for something to fresh to drink, and out pops… a genie.
Of course, the genie thanks you for freeing him from thousands of years of captivity in a bottle. And then he introduces himself to grant you three wishes, except unable to wish for more wishes and there are 3 rules
- Can’t kill anyone.
- Can’t make anybody fall in love.
- Can’t bring back anyone from the dead. “It’s not a pretty picture.” And besides, the Genie isn’t God!
So, what would you choose?
In a sense, Solomon has just graduated and he’s become king with the opportunity to wish for anything. And what does he choose?
EXAMINE 1 Kings 3 God’s Will To Be Wise
1 Kings 3:3-28
3 Solomon loved the LORD, walking in the statutes of David his father, only he sacrificed and made offerings at the high places.
4 And the king went to Gibeon to sacrifice there, for that was the great high place. Solomon used to offer a thousand burnt offerings on that altar.
5 At Gibeon the LORD appeared to Solomon in a dream by night, and God said, “Ask what I shall give you.”
6 And Solomon said, “You have shown great and steadfast love to your servant David my father, because he walked before you in faithfulness, in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart toward you. And you have kept for him this great and steadfast love and have given him a son to sit on his throne this day.
7 And now, O LORD my God, you have made your servant king in place of David my father, although I am but a little child. I do not know how to go out or come in.
8 And your servant is in the midst of your people whom you have chosen, a great people, too many to be numbered or counted for multitude.
9 Give your servant therefore an understanding mind to govern your people, that I may discern between good and evil, for who is able to govern this your great people?”
10 It pleased the Lord that Solomon had asked this.
11 And God said to him, “Because you have asked this, and have not asked for yourself long life or riches or the life of your enemies, but have asked for yourself understanding to discern what is right,
12 behold, I now do according to your word. Behold, I give you a wise and discerning mind, so that none like you has been before you and none like you shall arise after you.
13 I give you also what you have not asked, both riches and honor, so that no other king shall compare with you, all your days.
14 And if you will walk in my ways, keeping my statutes and my commandments, as your father David walked, then I will lengthen your days.”
15 And Solomon awoke, and behold, it was a dream. Then he came to Jerusalem and stood before the ark of the covenant of the Lord, and offered up burnt offerings and peace offerings, and made a feast for all his servants.
1 Kings 4:29-34
29 And God gave Solomon wisdom and understanding beyond measure, and breadth of mind like the sand on the seashore,
30 so that Solomon’s wisdom surpassed the wisdom of all the people of the east and all the wisdom of Egypt.
31 For he was wiser than all other men, wiser than Ethan the Ezrahite, and Heman, Calcol, and Darda, the sons of Mahol, and his fame was in all the surrounding nations.
32 He also spoke 3,000 proverbs, and his songs were 1,005.
33 He spoke of trees, from the cedar that is in Lebanon to the hyssop that grows out of the wall. He spoke also of beasts, and of birds, and of reptiles, and of fish.
34 And people of all nations came to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and from all the kings of the earth, who had heard of his wisdom.
Realizations to being blessed by God:
God’s will is to work with sinners.
- Solomon comes from dysfunctional family.
- Solomon is son of David & Bathsheba. She’s the woman David committed adultery with, had her husband killed by sending him to front lines of war so he could cover up her pregnancy. Eventually that baby would die, but they would have another child – Solomon.
- David’s other and prior older children
- Amnon, oldest brother, raped half sister Tamar (2Sam 13)
- Absalom, revenge murdered Amnon and isolates away from David for multiple years. Later, Absalom conspires against his father David by stealing the hearts of Israel and seeking to become king (2Sam 14-15). However, Absalom ends up dying in battle against David’s men, but David is greatly grieved.
- Adonijah, sought to assume the throne as father David neared end of life (1Ki 1). However, David anointed Solomon king over Adonijah.
- The Lord appears to Solomon and offers blessing (1Ki 3:5). God shows great and steadfast love to His servants. God is greater than a genie in a bottle, He’s superior to wishing on a star, and He’s better than blowing on a dandelion. He is the Father in Heaven and the source of every good & perfect gift (Ja 1:17).
- Genesis 1:28 God blesses creation to flourish.
- Genesis 12 God blesses Abram to have descendants as numerous as stars & sand, and to be a blessing to all nations.
- Matthew 5 Sermon On Mount – Blessed are…
- Matt 7; John 14:13-14 Jesus invites bold praying. If God gave this invitation to David and Solomon, certainly He offers it to us as well through the Son of David in Jesus Christ… P-R-A-Y BIG!
- If God blesses His children,
- Why would you not pray? Jer 33:3 “Call to me & I will answer you & tell you great & hidden things”
- Why would isolate from His family?
- Blessing starts with fearing the Lord.
Psalm 31:19 “How abundant are the good things that you have stored up for those who fear you and take refuge in you.”
Psalm 112:1 “Blessed is the man who fears the Lord, who greatly delights in His commandments.”
- Blessing is hindered by unconfessed sin, unforgiveness, discontentment in Christ, and disobedience.
God’s will is wisdom for the saints.
What he prays for?
- Solomon prays for wisdom.
- “give me an understanding mind to discern between good and evil”
- “understanding mind” = “hearing heart” What spouses desire/parents pursue/teachers want??
- Wisdom includes intelligence (head), understanding/intuition (heart), and insight & skill (hands).
- Wisdom is navigating realities of life when rules don’t help. (Tim Keller) When the Bible doesn’t address an issue, but you discern God’s will for you in that unique moment… (examples…)
- Prov 26:4 “Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest you be like him yourself.”
- Prov 26:5 “Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own eyes.”
- 1Ki 3:16-28 Solomon meets 2 women claiming a son, so he facetiously asks for sword to split child and the one woman is bitter to divide the child while true mother says spare his life; thus she gets the baby!
- Discerning between good and evil… different than Adam & Eve who wanted ability to determine good & evil from their own perspective rather than from God’s perspective. This is what makes Solomon’s request pleasing to the Lord (1Ki 3:10-14).
- “give me an understanding mind to discern between good and evil”
- What do you dream/desire, pursue/pray?
- Proverbs 2:1-6 Make your ear attentive to wisdom, incline your heart to understanding, call out for insight… seek it like silver and search for it like hidden treasures… For the Lord gives wisdom”
– – – >>> Wisdom is found by digging deep… like cracker jack or prize in cereal box /or digging for oil/h20
- James 1:6 If any of you lacks wisdom, ask of God and He will give it generously.
How does he pray?
- Solomon asks/prays to God with a worthy pattern.
- Prays with devotion.
Solomon loved the Lord and traveled from Jerusalem to Gibeon to offer sacrifices (1Ki 3:3-4). His prayer starts with adoration of God, and affirmation of God’s past faithfulness to father David (1Ki 3:5-7). Solomon is recounting the covenant God made with David (2Sam 7), as if to say – “God you promised blessing, so I’m trusting you.”
à Choose your God today.
à Pray Scripture: it’s God’s guaranteed will for what He wants to accomplish and aligns us to Him.
- Prays with devotion.
- Prays with humility.
Solomon approaches God as a “little child” (1Ki 3:7). Solomon is a young man, likely in twenties, yet he’s making a statement of dependence upon God.God honors the humble and opposes the proud (James 4:6). Avoid being God’s opposition… pray humbly! Think about it, when we pray with pride, God will confuse and frustrate you and withhold blessing until your idols are crushed and you are brought low (cf. Deut 28:20).
- Prays with selflessness.
Solomon’s request is not for riches, love, or fame, but the ability to govern a nation and do justice for people (1Ki 3:9, 28). Further, Solomon knows the people belong to God.à We can pray for greatness and great things, but be sure they glorify God’s kingdom and not your own. Many people only pray to God in trouble and neglect God when circumstances are thriving. If you are storing up treasure on earth then don’t be surprised when its not replaced after attrition and storms destroy them.à Prayer is a wartime walkie talkie to advance God’s kingdom army in the mission, not a domestic intercom to entertain our comforts in a world that is wasting away (John Piper). Further, Solomon recognizes he is a steward not an owner.
- An owner feels entitled and assumes they deserve God’s blessings. But God’s blessings are all grace.
- A steward understands the value of work, perseverance, and trust in whatever God determines.
- What are you holding tightly and unwilling to place in God’s hands?
Matthew 6:33 “Seek first the kingdom of God & his righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you.”
- God was please with Solomon and because he sought God’s kingdom, God also blessed him with more. If we genuinely seek God, we will be satisfied and provided for our needs (Prov 10:3). Is that prosperity gospel? Depends if your only aim is prospering self or prospering God’s kingdom…If we seek the stuff without God’s kingdom, then we get neither.
- Fortune / fame… becomes worthless bc can’t purchase what is priceless in relationships & faith.
- Job / Career… empty in the end.
- Spouse/family… shallow in the end
- Health… exhausted and meaningless in the end, bc even postponing death doesn’t revoke its coming.
- Solomon would fall and fail the Lord.
- He indulged and lived beyond his means.
- He fed his lusts rather than his soul.
- He surrounded himself with unaccountable and ungodly crowds.
- He failed to instill a godly legacy in the next generation.
Yet, God kept a seed in Solomon that in the fullness of time would bring one greater than Solomon (Matthew 12:42). Jesus
- Lived humbly in the means of God’s provision and sacrificed himself.
- Fed on the Father’s word and fed crowds.
- Surrounded himself with disciples and invested in them to multiply.
 A more detailed article here: https://www.desiringgod.org/articles/how-to-ruin-your-life-in-your-twenties