1Kings 2:10-12; 3:3-14
We now turn to the Old Testament and visit with the dynasty that was created by David, the King. We are told that David ruled for forty years and died at the age of seventy. Seven years from Hebron (only the southern kingdom) as was later known, Then thirty-three years from Jerusalem and now here he was the king of the whole of Israel. When David died, his son – Solomon, became the king. We will have to remind ourselves that Solomon was the son of Bathsheba who David had cheated with and eventually made sure her husband had killed. Bathsheba was the wife of Uriah, the Hittite, serving in David’s army. I think there is a message here for us to realize that this is the lineage that Jesus came from years later.
Solomon is a son of an unfaithful relationship yet that doesn’t stop God from using him. It does not matter how you came to this world. You are a special child of God. There is no unplanned child in the eyes of God. Solomon turned out to be the greatest king that ruled Israel.
In our text today, we encounter Solomon in conversation with God. He goes before God to make a wish. We have to remember that he was already a king and it is easy, maybe, to figure out some of the wishes he would have made, if given a chance. Maybe if I were him I would have asked to have some kind of power and strength that would scare my enemy away. As we look at Solomon’s request we see a number of components:
a) A Wise and Discerning Heart: Even with this it was for Solomon to know how to apply it. It turned out that he was wise in governance but not so in his family decisions.
b) He Did Not Ask God to Do His Work: We met Solomon applying his wisdom in 1Kings 3:16-26 when two mothers came to him to help decide whose child was dead and whose child was alive. The mother with a dead child did not care if the living child was cut into two while the one who believed the living child was hers opted for the other mother to have the child rather than being cut into two. The king quickly figured out which mother was the true mother.
c) His Request Was Unselfish: He did not ask for something to benefit himself directly but that which would make him a better person and a better king. This might, in turn, benefit him but the intent of asking was not selfish. At the center of his request was service.
d) He Never Counted Himself as Perfect as His Father, David: He believed that his father had done good things before God and he had been rewarded for obeying what God commanded. He knew that the one way to win in the world was to have God on his side. This happens only when one obeyed God’s statutes. Obeying the commandment and doing what God directed each time did not always make sense. God is able to know what would happen many years ahead and therefore liked to order the lives of his people accordingly.
If God came to you this morning with a clear voice that you could understand and ask you what he could do for you, what would be your wish?
I have a long list in my head as I think about this topic but allow me to share just three wishes I have if God asks me today:
1. Discerning Eyes: An eye is such an important part of our body. There is a 16th century proverb that says, “Eyes are the window to the soul.” This proverb seems to have been confirmed by scientists like those studying at Orebo University in Sweden. According to these scientists they say “The pattern in the iris gives an indication of whether we are warm and trusting or neurotic and impulsive.” Our eye’s ability may be limited physically but our hearts carry the most poignant picture through our eyes. The eyes are the reflection of the mind. They are like a lamp to our body. My wish before God may not be that deep but all I would ask is for God to help me see the important to me because if I were able to see the world with they eye of God I would see what God sees: a)Starting from the creation, when he had finished he said, “And God saw all he had made and it was very good.” (Genesis 1:31a). My challenge everyday is to try and see the goodness in God’s creation, not the bad; b) To see the world and creation as one. My prayer is that I continue to see the oneness of God’s creation. God did not create continents but one world with people who look differently but equally in his eyes; c) To see people as God sees them. Not to judge or put any label but to always look at all human beings as children of God, created in his image. That is what the eyes of a baby are like and as the child grows, then they are either taught or learn to put people on different scales depending on the outcome we would like to have. God’s eyes see us as his children who need forgiveness and guidance and love.
2. An Understanding Spirit: God has the spirit of understanding his creation. My wish is that God can help me in a number of areas: a) Why do humans hate other humans? When you think of all the ammunitions that humans invent, they are not for killing animals but killing other humans. When you think of fighter jets, nuclear bombs or any other form of weaponry it is against each other in the name of defense; b) Why are most humans selfish? People have a tendency to think about themselves first and by doing this we miss the opportunity of being a blessing to the world. It is by thinking of the other first that we are able to see the goodness and the talents that they possess for the kingdom; c) Why I fail to care for the environment? What makes the world a beautiful creation is the environment that goes with it. Our duty is that of being stewards. As the ground provides us with food, we must make sure that we don’t dump poison into it in the name of improvements. Rivers, oceans, and forests were created for a reason and we have to take care of them as they provide us with shelter and recreation venues.
3. A Giving Spirit: As humans we forget that we own nothing and all we have comes from God. We are hand-made vessels and instruments, as I like to think of myself. God created each of us as a vessel with a definite purpose in life. Sometimes it takes a while to discover that purpose and even for some they have refused to be used that way. My prayer or wish then is to learn the following: a) All I have and who I am is not mine. I am just a steward. If the owner asks me for a little back of what belongs to him, why do I hold back? Whether it is time, talents, silver or gold, they belong to him. Jesus did not hold back when it came to a time of giving himself for us; b) To learn that in giving we receive back. God is never known to owe anybody anything. What we give is given back. It was St. Luke who put it in a very special way when he said, “Give and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measure to you.” (Luke 6:38c). In giving we get renewed. God has continued to give himself to us everyday. When we learn to give ourselves to God and to serve others then we receive a unique fulfillment from God.