1 Kings 3:1 Now Solomon made a treaty with Pharaoh king of Egypt, and married Pharaoh”s daughter; then he brought her to the City of David until he had finished building his own house, and the house of the Lord, and the wall all around Jerusalem.
2 Meanwhile the people sacrificed at the high places, because there was no house built for the name of the Lord until those days.
3 And Solomon loved the Lord, walking in the statutes of his father David, except that he sacrificed and burned incense at the high places.
4 Now the king went to Gibeon to sacrifice there, for that [was] the great high place: Solomon offered 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 shall I give you?”
6 And Solomon said: “You have shown great mercy to Your servant David my father, because he walked before You in truth, in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart with You; You have continued this great kindness for him, and You have given him a son to sit on his throne, as [it] [is] this day.
7 “Now, O Lord my God, You have made Your servant king instead of my father David, but I [am] 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 numerous to be numbered or counted.
9 “Therefore give to Your servant 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?”
10 The speech pleased the Lord, that Solomon had asked this thing.
11 Then God said to him: “Because you have asked this thing, and have not asked long life for yourself, nor have asked riches for yourself, nor have asked the life of your enemies, but have asked for yourself understanding to discern justice,
12 “behold, I have done according to your words; see, I have given you a wise and understanding heart, so that there has not been anyone like you before you, nor shall any like you arise after you.
13 “And I have also given you what you have not asked: both riches and honor, so that there shall not be anyone like you among the kings all your days.
14 “So if you walk in My ways, to keep My statutes and My commandments, as your father David walked, then I will lengthen your days.”
15 Then Solomon awoke; and indeed it had been a dream. And he came to Jerusalem and stood before the ark of the covenant of the Lord, offered up burnt offerings, offered peace offerings, and made a feast for all his servants.
A guy was in a cave, looking for treasure. He found an old lamp, rubbed it, and a genie came out. The genie said “I will grant you three wishes, but your ex-wife will get double.” The man agreed, and said “I wish I had a mansion.” The genie granted it, and his ex-wife got two mansions. The man said “I would like a million dollars.” The genie again granted it and his ex-wife got two million dollars. Then the man said, “Scare me half to death.”
Introduction: If God were to appear to you and tell you that He would grant you one request, anything you wanted, what would you ask for?
Solomon asked wisdom to do what God had called him to do. As we look at Solomon’s request we can find some truth that will strenghten our own prayer life. I desire to share with you that there five positive characteristics that Solomon possessed that we need to possess. Notice the first characteristic:
I. REMEMBER YOU ARE A SERVANT
“You have made YOUR SERVANT king instead of my father David….v7
His request centered upon asking God to give him what he needed to do what God had called him to do.
Illus-When you enlist in the Army they take upon themselves the responsibility of providing you with everything you need to be a soldier. Your responsibility is to commit and submit yourself to them. The army trains you for it wants you to do and then sends you where they want you to be sent.
We avoid a lot of frustrations when we learn that we exist to serve.
II. STAY SMALL IN YOUR OWN EYES
“I am a little child….v7”
This demonstrates that Solomon was realistically aware of his own inability, he needed help. Pride will not make such a request.
Illus–A man who will drive past a 100 service stations lost before he will stop and ask for help.
Humiltiy = I am sorry, I am wrong, I need help, I don’t know. I am not better than you. I do not know more than you. I
III. THINK OF OTHERS
“this great people.v9”
Solomon cared about the people over whom he would be ruling. He wanted to be the kind of king they needed.
Illus—Little boy at orphanage who gave his candy to a smaller child.
Illus—I met with a man two days ago. He sat and cried as he shared with me about the people he had left in Africa that needed to hear about Jesus.
IV. REMEMBER RIGHT AND WRONG
“discern between good and evil…v9”
“An understanding heart”
A teacher was giving a lesson on blood circulation… Trying to make the matter clear, she said, “Now, class, if I stood on my head, the blood, as you know, would run into it, and I would turn red in the face.”
“Yes,” the class said.
“Then why is it that while I am standing upright the blood doesn”t run into my feet?”
The answer came from the back of the class, “Cause your feet ain”t empty.”
Sometimes an answer sounds good but it is not the right answer.
V. DENY YOURSELF
Solomon did not ask for:
1. Long life (Health)
2. Riches (Wealth)
3. Vengenance (Peace)
Yet God gave him:
1. An understanding heart
3.Long life (conditioned upon obedience)
Private William McGee of Indianopolis 304 th of 76th infantry division
Mosselle River Mullhiem Germany Mar 18 1945 Medal of Honor
In making the supreme sacrifice, PVT Mcgee demonstrated a concern for the well being of his fellow soldiers that transcended all considerations for his own safety and gallantry in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service.
Jim Elliott— “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose”.