The Ask

Read 1 Kings 3:5-15

Getting the opportunity to wish for absolutely anything with the certainty it will be granted sounds phenomenal. We have all heard the story of Aladdin and the magic lamp. Each of us has desired to be Aladdin who is given the three wishes by the genie in the lamp. Some of us grew up watching the original, or syndicated reruns, of the television show, Bewitched, and wished we had the powers of Samantha. With just a twitch of our nose, we could have anything we desired. Oh, what it might be like to have anything we wanted.

Today we read about King Solomon, the son of David. Like his father, Solomon was not perfect. Right before the passage for today, we find out that Solomon is still worshiping at the high places of his Egyptian wife’s religion. Yet, like David, Solomon hos found favor with God. So God asks Solomon what it is that God could grant for him. Solomon asks for the wisdom to govern the Hebrew people who God  has entrusted to him. Solomon’s request is as much for the Hebrew people as it is for himself. Because of this unselfish request, God gives Solomon the wisdom, as well as, all the benefits for himself which Solomon did not request.

This story has a lesson for us in it. When we come before God with our requests, we should ask ourselves the focus of our request. Are we seeking things which will only be a benefit for us? Do the petitions we make to the Lord serve others as well? This story seems to indicate that the Lord ispleased when we ask for that which will benefit others. In so doing, we may discover that we receive not only what we ask for but the positive aspects which we did not request.

Role Model

Read 1 Kings 3:1-15

Role models play a valuable role in life. By observing positive behaviors and attitudes in others, individuals can improve choices made in life. These role models may be teachers, mentors, neighbors, family members and/or community members. We might know them personally or only be able to observe them from a distance. Learning from their lives, we are able to be shaped and guided as we journey through our own lives. Choosing our role models is a very important decision because it can influence the direction our life takes into the future.

In the Bible, we observe a large variety of role models. One of the purposes of the Scriptures is to share stories of the people of God so that there is an availability of role models for us in our life and faith journeys. The passage from 1 Kings presents Solomon as a role model. Solomon has recently become the king of Israel, succeeding his father David. This story is a vision in which Solomon is asked by God what God may be able to give Solomon. The vision may create in our minds the image of a genie in a lamp giving the lamp’s new owner three wishes. Faced with the opportunity to request anything, Solomon begins by humbling himself before God and expressing gratitude to God. The one request which Solomon makes is for wisdom to rightly govern God’s people. Because of the attitude of and the request made by Solomon, God indicates that wisdom will be given and promises a long, wealthy and honored life for Solomon if Solomon follows God.

Whether you have been placed in a leadership role or are facing everyday decisions of life, what Solomon models in this story can serve you well. There is benefit to humbling one’s self in the face of opportunity. Realizing the great fortunes of life which has allowed the opportunity to be presented is a great starting point. Acknowledging the limitations of knowledge and skills reminds the person that no one achieves alone. Then seeking the wisdom to choose and act in a way which not only benefits self but others aligns a person to live in an beneficial manner. This follows the example of Christ as well as Solomon.