“Ask something of me and I will give it to you,” (1Kings 3:5)
How would you respond if God made a similar offer to you?
God did make that very offer to Solomon. Surprisingly, though Solomon was Israel’s new King, he replied in complete humility, “O Lord my God, you have made your servant, king to succeed my father, David; but I am a mere youth, not knowing at all how to act. Give your servant, therefore, an understanding heart to judge your people and to distinguish right from wrong. For who is able to govern this vast people of yours?” (1Kings 3: 7, 9)
While God offered him whatever he wanted, Solomon did not choose the things people usually think of first such as wealth and power, or good health and a long life. Rather, he acknowledged his lack of experience and need as he came to serve as King.
When we are approaching God with a request, we might want to follow Solomon’s example and come humbly, acknowledging our true status and need. Solomon characterized himself as a “mere youth.” How appropriate when coming before God! Jesus said unless we become as little children we will never enter the kingdom of God.
We may not always understand what to request, confusing wants and desires with real needs. Solomon was overwhelmed with the task he was about to face as a young and new king. That is not necessarily a bad place to be since it helped him recognize his needs in contrast to his desires.
One other thing Solomon did in his request was to leave God some room to act in what would be in his best interests. Solomon did not ask to be a successful king. He asked for wisdom and a discerning heart. The Bible tells us that God was pleased with Solomon’s request and gave him not only what he asked for, but also what he didn’t ask for including riches and honor. God also told him that if he obeyed his commands he would give him a long life.
Centuries later we hear the echo of this same response, when Jesus tells us not to worry about what to eat or drink or wear, but “seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” (Matthew 6:33) Seeking God’s will in all things may be the highest priority in our lives. It is a measure that far surpasses the world’s view involving wealth, fame, and power.
So, what would you ask?