There is fascination in the story of rubbing a lamp and having a genie offer three wishes. I guess it would be against the rules to use the third wish to ask for more wishes! While the genie in the lamp is fiction, there is a story in the Bible where God asked a man to name a request. His response was unexpected, and blessed by God.
Our prayer text for today is 1 Kings 3:4-15. In this familiar text the son of David, King Solomon, is asked an amazing question by God.
God said, “Ask. What should I give you?” ~1 Kings 3:5
If God asked you to make a request of Him, I wonder what would come to mind? Riches? Fame? Success? I think God placed a lot of trust in Solomon at this moment! What did Solomon request?
“Lord my God, You have now made Your servant king in my father David’s place. Yet I am just a youth with no experience in leadership. Your servant is among Your people You have chosen, a people too numerous to be numbered or counted. So give Your servant an obedient heart to judge Your people and to discern between good and evil. For who is able to judge this great people of Yours?” ~~1 Kings 3:7-9
The next verse affirms that this request pleased the Lord and he granted this request. God tells Solomon that the wisdom that he will be given is so great that “there has never been anyone like you before and never will be again” (vs. 12) God also gave him riches and honor along with a conditional promise:
If you walk in My ways and keep My statutes and commands just as your father David did, I will give you a long life. ~~1 Kings 3:14
The value of wisdom is exalted in the Proverbs of Solomon. It is unfortunate that Solomon did not heed his own advice and allowed idol worshiping wives to turn his heart away from the Lord. Still, for a time Solomon enjoyed the blessings of wisdom. Have you ever thought about the wisdom that God can provide to you today?
Now if any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives to all generously and without criticizing, and it will be given to him.~James 1:5
So, ask God to provide the wisdom you need. Also, keep your eyes open because God’s wisdom can be found in…
*His Word. This is the primary source of wisdom. We can learn not only what God desires for our hearts and lives, but also the principles that reside behind them.
*Your Experiences. We can learn a lot from the experiences of life, if we are open to learning. It does seem that some people never make the connection between their personal decisions and the consequences that follow.
“The secret of life, though, is to fall seven times and to get up eight times.” ~Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist
*The Story of Others. Listen to reliable witnesses of real life who can testify to the value of wisdom in life decisions. It is difficult to learn from the experiences of others because we always think we will be the exception! “It won’t happen to me” is a thought that precedes many a tragic result.
Even though we know Solomon’s story did not end well, did you ever wonder if he looked back on his life with any regrets? If you want to know what Solomon as an old man thought of his decisions when he was a younger man, read the book of Ecclesiastes. Read it all in one sitting. If you want, you can skip to the end to get the gist of it all:
When all has been heard, the conclusion of the matter is: fear God and keep His commands, because this is for all humanity. For God will bring every act to judgment, including every hidden thing, whether good or evil. ~Ecclesiastes 12:13-14
That’s wisdom. Pray for it.