"And the king went to Gibeon to sacrifice there, for that was the great high place; Solomon used to offer a thousand burnt offerings upon that altar. At Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream by night; and God said, "Ask what I shall give you." And Solomon said, "Thou hast shown great and steadfast love to thy servant David my father, because he walked before thee in faithfulness, in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart toward thee; and thou hast kept for him this great and steadfast love, and hast given him a son to sit on his throne this day. And now, O Lord my God, thou hast made thy 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. And thy servant is in the midst of thy people whom thou hast chosen, a great people, that cannot be numbered or counted for multitude. Give thy servant therefore an understanding mind to govern thy people, that I may discern between good and evil; for who is able to govern this thy great people?" It pleased the Lord that Solomon had asked this. And God said to him, "Because you have asked this, and have not asked for yourself long life or riches or the life of your enemies, but have asked for yourself understanding to discern what is right, behold, I now do according to your word. Behold, I give you a wise and discerning mind, so that none like you has been before you and none like you shall arise after you. I give you also what you have not asked, both riches and honor, so that no other king shall compare with you, all your days. And if you will walk in my ways, keeping my statutes and my commandments, as your father David walked, then I will lengthen your days." And Solomon awoke, and behold, it was a dream. Then he came to Jerusalem, and stood before the ark of the covenant of the Lord, and offered up burnt offerings and peace offerings, and made a feast for all his servants" (1 Kings 3:4-15 NRSV).
This is it! Here’s your big chance to ask God for anything you want! Anything at all! Wow, it’s unimaginable, isn’t it? What would you ask God for? Remember now, this is your one and only chance to have anything you want. Does Solomon’s response surprise you? Does he seem foolish to ask for “so little?” Without knowing what the verses that follow his answer reveal, Solomon does seem like a child indeed! An understanding mind? The ability to rule with clarity and discernment? Come on Solomon! You blew your big chance!
Solomon appears to limit his blessings by asking for so little, doesn’t he? But then we see that God gives Solomon abundantly, extravagantly more than he even thought to ask for. The task ahead of him seemed so overwhelming, following in his father’s footsteps was so daunting a responsibility, and yet he didn’t ask for riches or for personal comfort, or even for an easy life. He only asked for what he needed to do that for which he was made. He wanted to fulfill his purpose -- his destiny. And he realized he was not up to the task on his own. He knew he would need God. And that is what he asked for--God‘s blessing.
Do we limit God in our requests? Do we pray that we’ll get a bonus so we can make a down payment on a car? Do we ask God to lead us into a relationship so we won’t be alone? Do we beg for money, recognition, beauty, power, tangible material rewards? Don’t we “think small?” How is it that God granted Solomon’s request and then gave him so much more than he would even imagine asking for? Again, he asked for God to bless his purpose! When we try to tell God what we need, when we decide that something needs to happen to make us happy, when we make a plan for our lives that edges out God, we limit our own capacity to receive God’s blessings.
Think about it, God created our world. He designed it to sustain every physical need we have. Doesn’t it follow that he would want to provide for every spiritual need as well? Wouldn’t we be better off if we let God decide how to bless us? He’s so much bigger than we can fathom, doesn’t it just make sense that his vantage point is a lot wider than our view of our own little piece of the world?
My hope today is that you will ask your God to bless you as he deems necessary to fulfill his purpose for your life. And that you rejoice in the fact that God allows us to ask for so little, yet gives us so very much.
Blessings on your journey,