Hello Friends? How was your weekend? Do you have plans this week?
This is Junior High week out at Camp JIM, where our family serves. This can be a difficult age group, so please keep us prayed up! There is an increasing confusion about gender issues among the young people, and the exposure that they have to things we would call occultic (they call it magic) has increased greatly over the last decade. Our college age counselors are trained to handle all types of situations, but it seems like there are always surprises. They need discernment to identify the needs of the campers, and they need wisdom in answering hard questions and giving direction. Their answers can affect a camper for a lifetime.
Well, welcome to my mini soap box today. I’ve come to the end of 1 Chronicles. There is a LOT about how David prepared the kingdom for his son, Solomon, to take over, and I know there are some lessons in there. For now, I’m moving on to 2 Chronicles, chapter 1. When Solomon was made king, he traveled 7 miles to a high place called Gibeon to offer 1,000 burnt offerings to God. 1 Kings 3:3-15 parallels this passage, and says that Solomon loved the Lord and followed the ways of his father, David.
What happened next is sort of mind blowing. That night, God appeared to Solomon in a dream and asked him, “Ask what you wish Me to give you.” My commentary calls the practice of offering sacrifices and then sleeping before the altar in hopes of a dream from the god of that place an “incubation dream.” Interesting, huh? So maybe Solomon was actually hoping to have an interaction with God.
Has God ever talked to you in a dream? How do you think you would respond?
My experience with dreams is that my interactions lack the filter that I use in real life, and they can be very revealing and so vulnerable. So, when I think of God asking dreamy Solomon what he wanted God to give him, I wonder if Solomon knew his mind, or if God just pulled his heart’s cry right out of his spirit so that Solomon knew where his help was coming from? It is estimated that Solomon was only around 20 years old, and he had been handed a vast kingdom. He knew these people that he had to rule were set apart and God was someone to be revered.
Solomon’s answer to God was that he knew God ‘s character by the way God had dealt with his father, David. He knew that God was the one who had also made him king, so he said, “I am but a little child; I do not know how to go out or come in.” (1K 3:7) “So give your servant an understanding heart to judge Your people to discern between good and evil. For who is able to judge this great people of Yours?” (vs. 9)
Wow, such pure motives. God was so pleased that He gave Solomon exactly what he asked for. In addition, because of Solomon’s unselfishness, God went above and beyond Solomon’s expectations. “Behold, I have done according to your words. Behold, I have given you a wise and discerning heart, so that there has been no one like you before you, nor shall one like you arise after you. I have also given you what you have not asked, both riches and honor, so that there will not be any among the kings like you all your days.” AND “If you walk in My ways, keeping My statutes and commandments, as your father David walked, then I will prolong your days. Then Solomon awoke, and behold, it was a dream.”
There are a few things that stand out to me.
God rewards those who seek Him. When Solomon humbled himself before God, God asked him what He could give him. God is still doing the same thing for those who trust in Him today. God gives us salvation, a home in heaven, the Holy Spirit to teach and guide us, and all of the wealth of heaven. Supernatural wisdom is also a gift of the Spirit, along with a long list of other gifts mentioned in 1 Corinthians 12 and Romans 12. It is the Holy Spirit who decides how to gift each believer. The apostle Paul, in his letters, encourages believers to ask. It’s my opinion that many times God gives us a craving for what He really desires to give. (I have provided links to the specific scriptures referenced, for your convenience.)
You can bank on God’s promises. What I mean is, God’s response to Solomon’s request wasn’t “I will give you.” Instead, His response was, “I have given you.” It is as good as done. The check isn’t in the mail; it’s in the bank. You can make withdrawals. God gave Solomon the confidence to act, and Solomon didn’t seem phased by the fact that his encounter with God had been in a dream. He had the discernment to know the genuine deal.
Do we have confidence in God’s promises? There are many promises in the Bible. If you qualify (because you are a Believer/Saved in Christ), you can bank on them. Believe God.
We should want wisdom. James says that God will give wisdom to anyone who asks for it without doubting. There’s that theme again… believe.
Proverbs 9:10 says that “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” Solomon knew his source was God.
The verse before it explains that when you give instructions to a wise man, he becomes wiser. When you teach a righteous man, he will increase in learning.
We can acquire all the knowledge available, but without wisdom it is worthless.
If we value God’s word, we will want to learn and grow. Wisdom applies what we learn to our lives, being able to recognize what is right and what is wrong.
1 Peter 1:2-4 says that God has given Believers everything they need in order to live godly lives, and that through the knowledge of Christ… through Him, God has given us His “precious and magnificent promises.” Everything we need. It’s already in the bank. We can make withdrawals, and enjoy the process of knowing God more, having changed hearts, and enjoying the surety of knowing we are Chosen. Not someday. Now.
If you haven’t believed in Jesus for your salvation, would you like to? God is asking, “Will you be my son or daughter, and live for Me?” He has such amazing promises for you.
“Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom. 14 But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. 15 This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. 16 For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice. 17 But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. 18 And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.” James 3:13-18, ESV