Friday, August 31, 2012


A CHANGE OF HEART

 

“At Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream by night; and God said, “Ask! What shall I give you?” – 1 Kings 3:5

Picture this.  You are quietly sleeping, and suddenly the Lord our God invades your dreams and says “Ask! What shall I give you?”  What’s the first thing that comes to mind to ask for? 

The question, coming from the God who has everything to give, holds the excitement of a kid in a candy store!  But that’s exactly what happened to King Solomon.  As he slept quietly, God entered his dream and wanted an answer as to just what gift was on King Solomon’s heart.

Solomon found favor in God’s eyes from the day He was born.  When his father David sinned with his mother Bathsheba who was not his wife, God took the child from that affair as punishment.  But then to comfort her grief David slept with her.  From that loving act came Solomon.  In 2 Samuel 12:24 it says “the Lord loved him.”  I cannot imagine a more blessed thing than to know that the Lord loves your child.  And as Solomon grew, God stayed with him, watching over his life and caring for him.

Years had gone by, and now Solomon, still only a boy, was thrown into the throne room as king.  Being contentious about doing the job well and pleasing God, he worried that he didn’t have all the smarts he needed to do the job.  Being raised in the admonition of God, I would say Solomon had already been praying about it.  And then God comes to him in a dream and says “Ask! What shall I give you?”  Solomon had the answer readily at hand.

 
“You have shown great mercy to Your servant David my father, because he walked before You in truth, in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart with You; You have continued this great kindness for him, and You have given him a son to sit on his throne, as it is this day. Now, O Lord my God, You have made Your servant king instead of my father David, but I am a little child; I do not know how to go out or come in.  And Your servant is in the midst of Your people whom You have chosen, a great people, too numerous to be numbered or counted. Therefore give to Your servant AN UNDERSTANDING HEART TO JUDGE YOUR PEOPLE, THAT I MAY DISCERN BETWEEN GOOD AND EVIL. For who is able to judge this great people of Yours?” – 1 Kings 3:6-9

Look at how Solomon talks to God.  First he gives praise for all God has done for his father and the father that He gave Solomon, He gives him praise for allowing him to sit on the throne, and then he presents a problem, and answers the question.  But he didn’t just say “God, give me all the answers I need when I need them.”  That would have been a solution to the problem as well.  But he asked for an understanding heart.  Not an understanding mind – but to understand at the center of our emotions – the heart.  He asked so that he could discern, or have strategic insight, to good and evil. 

God was impressed, and rightly so.  When he could have asked for wealth, fame, fortune, or things that would rot and rust on this earth, he didn’t.  When he could have asked to be removed from the job to hard for him, he didn’t shirk.  He had already analyzed his weakness and narrowed down the problem to what he truly needed to resolve it – a change of heart. 

It’s often misquoted that Solomon asked God for wisdom.  He did not.  Wisdom was a bonus prize – the gift God chose for him.  1 Kings 4:29 says “And God gave Solomon wisdom and exceedingly great understanding, and LARGENESS OF HEART LIKE THE SAND ON THE SEASHORE.”  He gave him what he asked for – a heart change.  To do so, it says God ENLARGED his heart.  I believe when it was enlarged, it was filled with the love of God.  1 Corinthians 13:2 says “And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, BUT HAVE NOT LOVE, I am nothing.”  God knew what it took to make Solomon a mighty man, and a wise man.  He needed love. 

Sometimes we let problems overwhelm us and we cry out for wisdom, for answers, or to just have God remove the problem.  We struggle with the problem from our perspective, when we need to see it from His.  Knowing that God looks upon our hearts (1 Samuel 16:7), maybe we need to ask for a change in our hearts.  Maybe we need to ask for an enlarged heart.  It worked for Solomon.

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