But “…Solomon loved the Lord, walking in the statutes of his father David, except he sacrificed and burned incense on the high places…In Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream at night; and God said, ‘Ask what you wish me to give you’” (3:3,5).
God meets Solomon in the last place you would expect, in the high place of Gibeon.
Be encouraged: God’s meets everyone who loves him and keep his commandments in unity with God, right where we are.
In his dream, Solomon thanks the Lord for the kindness God showed to David and for granting him a son to sit on his throne. He then acknowledges that compared to his father David, he is but a little child who knows very little about the world. So Solomon asks God for an understanding heart to judge God’s people, to discern between good and evil (3:7-9).
God is very pleased with Solomon’s prayer. Why?
Because of what Solomon does NOT pray for.
God tells Solomon:
“Because you have asked this thing and have not asked for yourself long life, nor asked riches for yourself…but have asked for yourself discernment to understand justice, behold I have done according to your words. Behold I have given you a wise and discerning heart…I have also given you what you have not asked, both riches and honor…” (3:11-13).
When we pray, it should be for God’s wisdom and discernment in the job he has given us, no matter how humble or exalted that job may be. A prayer that pleases God in this way is a wonderful way to understand what perfect unity with God means.
Note, though, that God does bless Solomon blindly or unconditionally:
“If you walk in my ways, keeping my statutes and commandments, as your father walked, then I will prolong your days” (3:14).
Don’t miss this: David got caught up in one of the worst cases of temptation, disobedience, warning, and judgment of all time, yet God speaks of David fondly. That is because of David’s sincere repentance that triggered God’s never-ending love for the man with a heart after God.
As believers in Jesus, we are imperfect, but we too have hearts after God that trigger his never-ending love for us, and God meets us where we are.
Take a few moments right now and re-read the rest of Chapter 3:16-28 for a rich metaphor of God’s never-ending love and perfect unity with God through the heart of a mother, who is willing to sacrifice all to save her child. She, too, knows what NOT to pray for.
If we do NOT pray for our own enrichment, but rather for wisdom and discernment, God will bless us with what we did NOT pray for, too.
This makes me want to pray differently for wisdom and discernment:
- To be a better husband;
- To be a better father and grandfather; and
- To be a better servant in the kingdom of God, right here, right now.