While I was preparing for this devotional I have learned a lot. I have learned that the older I get the faster technology changes. I learned Facebook videos are not as scary as they seem and actually kind of fun. I learned I do love showing people Jesus in the Old Testament (I was pretty sure about this before but it was confirmed).
And I learned something about this account we are going to look at today. When Solomon received his great wisdom…he was sleeping. We will come back to this but let me give you some context so we know where we are at.
God’s people demanded a king. He gave them one. It did not got well. That first king, Saul, was removed from being king. God then appointed David, a man after God’s own heart, even that did not go well. A man after God’s own heart could not pull it off. David was a king yet could not be the perfect king of kings. Solomon is the son of David. When this interaction between Solomon and God happens Solomon is king and has a child of his own.
Today we are going to look at when Solomon received his great wisdom from God.
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 3:5-15
I have heard this account of Solomon receiving wisdom and hoped I would also be smart enough to ask for wisdom. Yet this account reminds us once again the gifts we receive are not dependent upon us. The gifts we receive are lavished onus by a good, gracious, all knowing, and loving God. I am misplacing my hope when I am placing it in myself.
Just as God made the covenant with Abraham while he was sleeping God gave Solomon wisdom while he was asleep.
In this passive condition of sleep Solomon receives wisdom and blessings. God is interceding for him while he sleeps.
Jesus does the same for us. While we are still DEAD in our sin he comes to us.
I am so thankful that we are reminded over and over again in scripture that all the good stuff is dependent on Jesus and not on us.
Do you ever wonder what to pray for or how to pray? I do ALL THE TIME. This is one of those gifts he gives us, one of all of those good things we are given.
26 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. 27 And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.Romans 8: 26-27
Prayer is one of those things we get to do. We do not need to fret over how to pray. We do not need to know exactly what to pray for. We can stubble over our words. We can sit and be still. We can write out our hearts. We can use scripture. We get to because he gives us all of the good things…like prayer and the words to pray.
Abraham received the promise while he was sleeping.
Solomon received wisdom while he was sleeping.
We receive Jesus when we are dead in our sin.
We do not get the Jesus or the gifts he gives because we know how to pray. We get Jesus because He gave himself to us.