May 13, 2020, 2:08 PM
At the start of every year we often resort to formulating wishes and invoking divine providence to help us chart the way in what may well seem a hazy future. This year God is not waiting for you to ask, He is taking the first steps. He is saying to you what He said to king Solomon. Do you believe it?
After Solomon succeeded his father David as king, the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said: “Ask for whatever you want me to give you.” (1 Kings 3:5) Solomon had just been enrobed as king and was taking his first steps when this offer fell literally on his laps. Any of us would have asked for the world but Solomon didn’t. Listen to Solomon’s approach to this open-ended request in comparison to what many of us would have demanded. “You have shown great kindness to your servant, my father David, because he was faithful to you and righteous and upright in heart. You have continued this great kindness to him and have given him a son to sit on his throne this very day. Now, O lord my God. You have made your servant king in place of my father David. But I am only a child and do not know how to carry out my duties. Your servant is here among the people you have chosen, a great people, too numerous to count or number. So give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong. For who is able to govern this great people of yours?” (1 Kings 3:6-9)
How many times have we designed our own schemes, plans and projects and then expect God to endorse them - as an afterthought? King Solomon put God in charge. His spiritual upbringing taught him that when we walk hand in hand with God He will supply all the resources we need to get things going. Solomon claimed that he was a child but his behaviour was far from childish. He did not go to seek counsel elsewhere. He referred to the best counsellor available on earth and he was strengthened. God ordered his steps and gave him directions how to rule the people of Israel.
Solomon had the ability to assess the situation and to first humble himself before God and submit himself to the one whose wisdom surpasses all. His rule became subject - from the onset - to divine influence. He became dependent on God’s guidance.
Isn’t that the way to go? Humankind has limitations whereas God is Infinite – All-Knowing, All-Powerful, and Ever-Present. It is God that sets up kings and puts authorities over us; it is therefore proper to begin with Him, to involve Him in all that we do.
The Bible teaches that if we put God first, everything else will follow. (Matthew 6:33) Henceforth, do it God’s way!
It’s all very well to make a wish or to pray for something specific; but it is also important that we do not ask amiss. Remember how Herodias used her daughter to settle scores with the prophet John the Baptist – because the latter had stood firm for the truth. How many of us today would pray for the elimination of an adversary. Revenge is a matter for God. (Romans 10:19) Our Lord Jesus taught us to love those who do not love us; otherwise what is the point, don’t the pagans do the same? (Matthew 5:47)
Let’s take a leaf from king Solomon’s book, he who considered first things first. He could have asked for power to rule the world and to conquer his enemies. But he wanted to honour God for the choice he had made of him. No one can deny that we each need wisdom to govern even our households and lead our communities not to talk of ruling a whole nation. “The Lord was pleased that Solomon had asked for this. So God said to him, since you have asked for this and not for long life or wealth for yourself, nor have asked for the death of your enemies but for discernment in administering justice, I will give you a wise and discerning heart, so that there will never have been anyone like you, nor will there ever be.” (1st Kings 3:10-12) Be sure that king Solomon had not bargained for this. He certainly must have been taken aback and overwhelmed by this show of largesse from God who gives so generously – without holding back anything.
God can surprise you if you choose to rely on Him entirely for everything; your wellbeing, your sustenance, your health, your purse, your future. For He is our all in all.
“Moreover, I will give you what you have not asked for – both riches and honour – so that in your lifetime you will have no equals among kings. And if you walk in my ways and obey my statutes and commands as David your father did, I will give you a long life.” (1st Kings 3:13-14) To this day none has equalled king Solomon in riches and in wisdom in the whole wide world. He is in a category all by himself all because he put first things first.
In the course 2005, put God at the head of all your enterprises and he will make a way for you where there is no way. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not to your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3:6)