Word of Encouragement (02/27/2024)

Pastor James
February 27, 2024

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?" (1 Kings 3:6-9)

Solomon made this petition when God said to him, “Ask what I shall give you” (v. 5). God said this when He appeared to Solomon after he offered a thousand burnt offerings at “the great high place” at Gibeon because the temple had not been built yet (v. 4).

But Solomon did not proceed directly to stating what he wanted. He first expressed his gratitude to God for what He had already done for him. What a wonderful display of humility on his part! He was king in Israel, but he did not forget that the true King of Israel was YHWH; the human kings of Israel were but God’s servants, who were appointed by God to rule the people of God in His name for His glory. They owed to God their crown, their success, their abilities, and their very lives. Solomon acknowledged this reality with his humble posture of gratitude. He did not let the honor and submission the people rendered to him go to his head and make him proud and arrogant.

This humble posture might have come from his personal experience. Because of his position as king and all the authority he had at his disposal, he constantly had to deal with people who came to him with their requests. He could have felt that people came to him, said what they said, and did what they did only because they all wanted something from him. Some flattered him with all kinds of pleasant words to get what they wanted. Others acted like he owed them something. But there were some who came in a posture of genuine humility and gratitude. He must have experienced his heart opening wide to these folks, a strong desire stirring up in his heart to do for them far more than what they asked for.

At this stage in his life, Solomon was not so blind to miss how this applied to his relationship with God. Even though he was Israel’s king, he was still a mere man. He was nothing before God, who could see into the depths of his naked soul through all the luxurious royal accouterments he had on. He knew that he could not ascend to the throne if God did not grant it to him because Adonijah had already tried to take the throne for himself preemptively (1 Kings 1). He did not take his kingship for granted. This was shown in his humble and grateful posture before God. God must have been pleased.

What God told Solomon applies to us in Jesus Christ. He tells us in His Word, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you” (Matt. 7:7); “If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you” (John 15:7). Oh, how blessed we are that we should have this promise from our almighty God! But before we proceed with our requests, we ought to acknowledge all the He has already done and give Him thanks. Would He not delight to give us more than all that we ask or think?